Don’t Make This Mistake When Buying Your Power Generator!

In today’s world of infinite features, gadgets, and widgets it can be difficult for a consumer to cut through the noise and truly differentiate products!

It seems that the more expensive the product, the tougher this differentiation becomes! As the initial purchase price climbs, the temptation for the purchaser is to make a selection based solely on the initial purchase price.

However, this is often a big mistake!

The Big Mistake!


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The #1 Reason Your Generator Will Fail

As we discussed in a previous post, the most common cause of emergency generator failure is battery issues!

Your emergency generator relies on electric power to start. This electric power is supplied by the generator’s battery. If the battery has failed or lost its charge, your generator will not start!

The Four Most Common Reasons for Battery Failure


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How a Pre-Lube System Can Save You $500,000

Most people know that one of the quickest ways to destroy an engine is to run it without oil. An even faster way to destroy your engine is to ramp it up to full load in ten seconds or less without proper lubrication!

Did you know that most emergency generators are configured to ramp up to full load within seconds when there is a utility power failure?

If your generator has not been properly maintained or does not have an oil pre-lube system installed to ensure that the engine is always lubricated and ready for a fast start, your investment here may be at risk!

$500,000 Mistake

Over the years, we have helped a number of customers whose large emergency generators have been compromised because the engines have been inadequately lubricated.

In many of these cases we were looking at 1 MW or larger gensets where the customer had spent over $1M on their emergency power systems. The engine replacement on these units was pushing $500,000. Fortunately, we were able to repair the compromised engines at a fraction of the complete replacement cost.

But it begs the question, what can you do to avoid this situation and the costly repair that goes along with it? (more…)

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Preserving an Engine

Preserving an Engine

Have you considered the affects of not preserving your equipment before putting it into long term storage?  Or “Parking it along the fence?” as so many people refer to it.  How many of you have started up a unit after storing it and noticed it was no running as it was before or experienced a catastrophic failure?  Maintaining spare equipment and redundant machinery in a prime state, ready for operation is critical.

Storing Equipment That Has Recently Been Operable

1. Clean the engine of any dirt or debris.

2. Get the engine running so the oil is hot.  Drain and install clean oil filters.

3. Preserve the engine with preservative oil.  Remove rocker arm covers and gear train covers. Spray these with a preservation oil.  For gas engines, remove spark plugs and spray preservation oil into each cylinder.  Spray each spark plug and install back in place.

4. Seal all intake, exhaust and any other open ports.

5. Relieve the tension on belts to prevent fatigue and deterioration.

6. Spray or brush preservation oil on exposed machined surfaces.  Remove fuel from filters and drain fuel injection pump.  Grease rod threads, joints, linkages, etc.  Remove batteries and store indoors on a trickle charger.  Place a waterproof cover over the equipment.

7. If possible, rotate the alternator on a monthly basis.  Prior to being put back into service, all alternators and switchgear should be visually inspected and have its insulation tested using a megger.

8. When placing the equipment back into service, all equipment must be removed of its preservation oil and be filled with normal, manufacturer approved oil.  Coolant should be tested and an analysis performed.

Engine manufacturers may have other or a variant of steps to be performed.  Always consult the operation and maintenance manual for the proper preservation procedure.

How Can We Help?

The best way to avoid a costly failure perform the steps above – or consult Collicutt Energy for a quote to perform a preservation or de-preservation on your equipment.

During this preservation, we can perform an inspection on the equipment.  This inspection would identify suggested repairs to occur either now or when the equipment is planned to be placed back in operation.  Knowing the condition of your equipment and ensuring it does not further deteriorate saves repair costs in the future.

Take Action

Take action now and schedule an inspection and/or preservation today to ensure that your equipment is ready for when you need it!

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What is an ATS and Why Should You Care

Did you know that your emergency power system has one crucial point of failure that is completely independent of your emergency generator? If this component fails, your generator will not even know it needs to start!

This single point of failure is called an ATS or Automatic Transfer Switch.

An ATS monitors the electrical power from your utility and, when it detects a power grid failure, it signals your emergency generator to start. It then switches your facility from utility power to generator power. When it detects that the utility power is restored, it switches back to the utility and signals the emergency generator to shut off.

Although it is a critical component in your emergency power system, ATS maintenance is often neglected for various reasons. However, this neglect will eventually result in a failure to transfer power when you need it most!

Reasons That an ATS Fails to Transfer Power


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Top 6 Reasons Why Your Emergency Generator Will Fail to Start

Let’s face it, power outages are not only an inconvenience for the average person, they can be very costly for a business and even deadly for care facilities and hospitals. That is why homeowners, businesses, apartment complexes, hospitals, colleges, and many other organizations spend a lot of money purchasing emergency power systems to ensure that they will have electric power should the power grid fail.

But these emergency power systems are not infallible! You cannot just install them and walk away with the false sense of security that they will work when you need them. Without proper maintenance, these units will fail and leave you without power when you need it the most!

Common Sources of Failure

The most common failures that we see in our generator service business are: (more…)

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S1:E1 – Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

In many jurisdictions, power is predominantly generated using thermal power generation systems powered by coal, oil, and natural gas.

These large centralized power generation plants have no use for the waste heat being produced and as a result as much is 60% of the energy is lost at the point of generation.

In addition, transmitting that power from the generation facility to the end point, your facility or building, can result in an additional 8 to 10% loss in efficiency.

As a result, the centralized generation model is incredibly inefficient resulting in:

  • Expensive energy costs
  • High CO2 output per unit of energy generated

Are there ways we can generate power more efficiently?

Collicutt has been working with its clients all across North America to realize dramatically increased energy efficiency using a technology called Combined Heat and Power

What is Combined Heat and Power?

Combined Heat and Power, also known as Cogeneration, is the simultaneous generation of electrical and thermal energy using a single fuel source. 

By generating power at the facility, the heat that would have been otherwise wasted, can be utilized within the facility, offsetting the fuel that would have been used by the facility to generate heat. 

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