How Does a Diesel Generator Work?

A diesel generator, also called a genset, is a machine that converts chemical energy in diesel to conduct electricity, and is a great choice for a secondary energy source. They are typically used in remote locations where there is no access to the electric grid, but can also be used in other applications. They are an ideal solution for providing backup power during storms or other natural disasters when the power lines have been knocked down by wind or fallen trees. Since we already know the main components of the machine, how does a diesel generator work?

How Does a Diesel Generator Work?

A diesel generator uses the same principles of combustion to produce electricity as a traditional car engine does. However, instead of using an internal combustion engine to turn a crankshaft and drive pistons, it uses an electric motor to turn a rotor shaft, which in turn drives the alternator that produces electricity. 

The first step in understanding how this process works is to understand how a car engine works. A car engine is basically a four-stroke process; intake, compression, ignition/power stroke and exhaust. In the intake stroke, air enters the cylinder through an opening called the intake valve (which lets air into the cylinder). Then in the compression stroke, fuel is injected into each cylinder and compressed by pistons acting on their connecting rods (this compresses the air inside).

Next comes ignition/power stroke: The spark plug ignites the compressed mixture of air and fuel–and then expands rapidly outward through each cylinder’s open exhaust valve (which sucks out carbon monoxide). As this happens, the pistons are pushed down, turning the crankshaft, and creating torque. This is how your engine converts fuel into power.

A diesel generator is essentially a motor that uses the heat from burning diesel fuel to create energy. The motor is connected to an alternator, which creates an electrical current by spinning its rotors at high speeds. This current is then sent out via an outlet or wire so it can be used to power various appliances and devices. 

The process of using diesel fuel to create energy is called combustion, which happens when oxygen combines with carbon in the fuel to produce carbon dioxide and water vapor as well as heat energy (thermal energy). This heat energy can be converted into electricity (via gears) with an alternator’s rotor assembly. The alternator’s rotor assembly is a series of copper coils wrapped around an iron core, which are then placed inside a strong magnet. When the engine spins the shaft that is connected to the alternator, so does its rotor assembly. This causes electrons in the copper coils to move back and forth from one end of each coil to another, creating an electrical current. This process can be used in many different areas, including businesses and remote areas.

Need Your Generator Running Around the Clock?

Most standby diesel generators are used as an emergency energy source. Their purpose is to provide you with power should your power grid fail during a storm or peak hours of business. To ensure your generator is running around the clock, you’ll need a reliable fuel provider. At Pacific States Petroleum, we have been providing California with safe, cost-effective fuel solutions for 22 years. Contact us today to learn how we can help keep your business running smoothly when times are tough.