1341 Diesel

Historically, diesel was the most common fuel source for stationary engine generator sets, but international and domestic concerns over the emissions generated by combusted diesel and a dramatic rise in the availability of piped natural gas is causing diesel to be phased out of the stationary power market. Some air-quality constrained portions of the U.S. and Canada have unilaterally halted all new permits for diesel-fired generators.

Diesel fuel stores almost as easily as kerosene and is becoming more and more popular among self-sufficient households in North America. It is difficult to ignite intentionally and almost impossible to ignite by accident. Two grades are available: No. 1 diesel which is actually kerosene, and No. 2 diesel, which is identical to No. 2 home heating oil. The most common diesel recommended by vendors for backup power diesel engines is grade No. 2-D or DF-2.

Diesel, however, brings with it a suite of issues related to constant, reliable power production, including:

• Poor or irregular fuel quality contributes to a high incidence of performance failure among diesel engines.

• Diesel degrades through oxidation and water condensation within the tank. Galvanized steel, zinc, and copper can serve as oxidation catalysts.

• Anaerobic bacteria in the water thrive on sulfur within the diesel, forming a sludge that renders the fuel unusable.

• Diesel-fired generators may experience problems if the temperature of the fuel falls below the cloud point (temperature at which paraffin in the fuel crystallizes).

• Biocides and stabilizers are used commonly throughout the industry to prevent degradation of the fuel when stored for longer than six months.

Due to the susceptibility of diesel to degradation, the best maintenance program is consumption. The contents of the fuel storage tanks should be turned over at least twice annually.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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