A diesel generator, also called diesel Genset, is the combination of diesel engine with an electric generator(usually an alternator) to generator electrical energy. This is a specific case of engine-generator. A diesel compression - ignition engine is usually designed to run on diesel fuel, but some types are adapted for other liquid fuels or natural gas.
Diesel generating sets are used in places without connection to a power grid, or as emergency power-supply if the grid fails, as well as for more complex applications such peak-lopping, grid support and export to the power grid.
Proper sizing of diesel generators is critical to avoid low-load or shortage of power. Sizing is complicated by the characteristics of modern electronics, specifically non-liner loads. In size ranges around 50 MW and above, an open cycle gas turbine is more efficient at full load than an array of diesel engines, and far more compact, with comparable capital costs; but for regular part-loading, even at these power levels, diesel arrays are sometimes preferred to open cycle gas turbines, due to their superior efficiencies.
Set size range from 8 to 30 KW(also 8 to 30 kva single phase) for homes, small shops and offices with the larger industrial generators from 8KW(11kva) up to 2,000 KW(2500kva three phase) used for large office complexes, factories, and other industrial facilities.
A 2,000 kw set can be housed in a 40ft (12m) ISO container with fuel tank, controls, power distribution equipment and all other equipment needed to operate as a standalone power station or as a standby backup to grid power.
Diesel generators are not only used for emergency power, but may also have a secondary function of deeding power utility grids either during peak periods, or periods when there is a shortage of large power generators.
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