How Exactly Do Diesel Generators Work?


Every year, the United States suffers from nearly 150 critical power outages. When these outages take place, homes lose energy, businesses lose a means to serve customers, and large swaths of the population are inconvenienced.

But what keeps critical infrastructure like hospital life support machines from going down during a blackout? How is it that they’re able to keep patients safe, data centers are able to keep the internet working, and some schools are able to keep teaching?

In most cases, these institutions’ ability to circumvent power outages is due to diesel generators.

Diesel generators are a means of generating power off the grid. If you’re curious to know how they work, keep reading as we break down the basics.

Stage One: Adding Fuel

For diesel generators to perform their magic, they need fuel. In case you haven’t guessed by their name, the type of fuel required to operate diesel generators is diesel fuel.

Diesel fuel creates mini-explosions inside a diesel generator’s engine, which creates power. That’s not the power you’ll be using to power your building during an outage, but it is the power your diesel generator will use to power its internal components.

Stage Two: Moving Rotors

Inside a diesel generator are a series of rotors that are subjected to resistance. When diesel fuel creates explosions within your generator, those explosions push those rotors forward, against the resistance, in a rotational motion.

The energy that’s created from that rotation pushing against resistance generates electricity that can then be pumped into your building.

Stage Three: Your Building Powered

Your diesel generator should be hooked in as a backup power source to your power switch. As soon as your primary means of electricity goes out, your switch will flip, which will cue your generator on.

The moment that happens, your generator will start producing power, and that power will be pumped into all of your building’s appliances, immediately restoring power to your property.

This will last for however long your generator continues to possess fuel.

Minding Maintenance

Like any engine, the engine that exists inside of diesel engines is prone to damage and needs maintenance. Whether it’s cleaning the engine, oiling it to ensure proper rotation of rotors, or any number of other things, you must look at your user manual and keep up with maintenance.

With a solid maintenance routine, you can expect your diesel engine to work well for decades.

Diesel Generators Save Lives

Using a diesel generator may seem like a means to maintain convenience amidst a growing number of power outages. For some people, however, diesel generators do so much more than preserve convenience. They preserve lives.

Keep that in mind if your reliance on electricity is critical, and if it is, be sure to get a diesel generator installed at your home or business today.

Do you have more questions relating to the topic of what is a diesel generator? Are you looking to discover additional facts about energy? If so, we welcome you to explore more of the cutting-edge content we have featured in our blog.

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