20Diesel Engine Generator Plant and Standby Power

20.1 Gen‐Set Ratings and Classifications

Diesel engine generation is the generation of choice in industrial plants for remote areas where there is no connection to the electrical grid. For remote or isolated locations, diesel generation is reliable and economical in both initial capital and operating cost. The remote plants must be operated as efficiently as possible because transporting diesel fuel is costly. Diesel engine maintenance can be costly as well. In many cases in the Arctic, diesel fuel transport is only possible during winter months over frozen lakes and rivers.

Medium speed units consume about 0.225 kg of fuel per kWh produced. Slower base load engines consume about 0.192 kg of fuel per kWh produced. When the engine waste heat is recovered for the plant process and space heating, the fuel efficiency may raise from 40% to about 80%. Diesel engines run most efficiently when loaded at 85% or more of their ratings. Prolonged engine running at lower power levels makes them less efficient, more prone to clogging and failing.

Diesel engines are rated for their mode of operation depending on the application as follows:

  • Standby: Generator output is available with varying load for the duration ...

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