Types of Diesel Generators

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Diesel-powered generators have a wide variety of applications.

Diesel generators are used as a substitute for electrical power, and are very handy in areas where accessing the power grid is difficult or in situations where a homeowner would prefer to have an alternate power supply available. Diesel generators come in a wide variety of sizes, models and designs, and are built and sold by many different companies. If you are interested in buying a diesel generator, familiarize yourself with the different types available.

Contractor and Industrial Generators

Contractor and industrial generators are used for construction sites and other settings where another power supply is not available. These diesel generators are generally large, and designed to put out a great deal of power for long periods of time.

Domestic Diesel Generators

Domestic diesel generators are used mostly as stopgaps for when a home loses power. They are not as large as contractor and industrial generators, and usually have less of a power output.

Cooling Systems

While a diesel generator's engine runs, some sort of cooling process is necessary in order to prevent the generator from overheating. Different diesel generators have different cooling mechanisms. Two main types of cooling systems exist: air-cooling systems and water-cooling systems. Both are effective, but water cooling systems have shown to be far more durable.

Air-Cooled Diesel Generators

Air-cooled diesel generators rely upon the air that is running through the generator's engine to provide the necessary cooling function. Air-cooled diesel generators have no additional parts except for a specialized air-intake system, and usually manage to work as well as water-cooled diesel generators.

Water-Cooled Diesel Generators

Water-cooled diesel generators achieve the cooling effect by using an extra system which causes water to flow around the generator's engine as it runs. Engines with water-cooled systems also come with a radiator attached to them as well. Diesel generators with water-cooling systems require more maintenance than air-cooled diesel generators. The water level and the cooling system's effectiveness must be checked regularly.

Power Output

In general, while most diesel generators work in basically the same manner, diesel generators come in a wide variety of different power ratings. Diesel generators are usually classified by the amount of watts of electrical energy they can put out. The range of diesel generators is extremely wide; a 3,000-watt diesel generator will be an effective generator to run power tools, while a 30,000-watt generator can run an entire restaurant and more for an indefinite amount of time.