How to size a generating set for a concrete batching plant.
What is generator set?
A generator set is a machine capable of converting a mechanical movement into electrical energy, and specifically it is an internal combustion engine, which when it rotates moves an electrical generator, called an alternator, where electrical energy is produced.
What is the generator set function?
The main function is to supply electricity, in those facilities that do not have an electrical distribution network or it is not feasible to connect to it.
In other cases, it is used as a backup method, to avoid loss of supply in the event of a failure in the supply network. An example of regular use as a backup source is in hospitals, since it is very important to have a power supply at all times.
What factors influence when choosing a generator set?
The factors that will determine how to choose a group is:
- Type of network, single-phase or three-phase.
- Voltage: 220Vac, 400Vac, 440Vac or 480Vac…
- Frequency: 50Hz or 60Hz.
- Total power installed in the plant.
- Central working power.
- Types of starting of the motors, direct, star-delta, since it will indicate the starting peak that the generator set must support.
Other no less important factors to take into account are environmental factors and location, that is, at what temperature is it going to work, its geographical altitude, proximity to marine environments, environmental noise, since they will determine its manufacturing architecture.
It is necessary to collect all this information, to transmit it to the manufacturer/supplier of the group, so that they know all the requirements to be met and size the equipment that best suits our needs, so that when it is installed, everything works correctly and there are no problems in the electrical supply network.
How to size the generator set for installation in a concrete plant?
There are many sources where it is explained how to size a generator set, but to have a quick approximation of the necessary generator set, the working power of the plant must be taken into account and at least twice this will be the necessary power of the generating set. However, this is an approximation; it is recommended that it be the manufacturer with the data of our plant and the environmental conditions of the site, who sizes the necessary generator set, since depending on its technical sheet, it will choose the model that best suits the needs for our concrete plant.
What must the generator set have for its installation in a concrete plant?
It is very important that the generator set have a voltage regulator. This is an equipment to keep the output voltages and the necessary power fluctuations balanced.
If this self-regulation system is not available, with the power changes produced when starting the different motors, they can cause voltage spikes, these being very damaging to the electrical components that are connected to it, causing malfunctions ,failure or even destruction of electrical equipment, motors, …
In addition, it must be taken into account that being an electrical machine, the generator must have its own grounding installation.
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