Commercial Diesel Generators – Providing the Heartbeat of the Nation's Industry
Since the heydays of the South African gold rush, the country’s economy has become increasingly dependent upon what were once regarded as secondary industries, but that now number among its mainstays. Manufacturing alone has overtaken mining in terms of its contribution, while construction and telecoms are proving to be equally important. Whatever their relative merits, these and other sectors of the nation’s industry all have one feature in common – they consume massive quantities of electrical energy.
Even if all such operations were located within the catchment area of the national energy provider, their combined demand for power would be far in excess of Eskom’s available resources. In reality, it is the commercial diesel generators installed at their various sites upon which, in many cases, the ability to maintain a continuous operation must depend.
There are, of course, many operations, particularly within the mining and construction sectors that, because of their remote, off-grid locations, have no alternative but to depend exclusively upon an electricity supply generated in-house. However, even at many of those plants and factories that are connected to Eskom’s mains supply network, the available power is often inadequate during periods of peak consumption and, in such cases, the shortfall must then be made good with the help of one or more auxiliary commercial diesel generators.
Power production in South Africa reached its peak in 2011 but since then, it has been showing a decline. Demand, however, has continued to rise and, in the absence of sufficient capital to repair the existing infrastructure and further extend it, the national energy provider has been forced to adopt measures to allocate its power more equably. To this end, its programme of load shedding by means of the scheduled, rolling blackouts that left our homes in darkness and their owners unable to enjoy the many facilities upon which they normally depend is still fresh in our memories.
In the case of the nation’s industries, however, the potential impact is much more serious than the inconvenience experienced by domestic users. Consequently, in order to maintain the productivity upon which profits and jobs depend, once again, they are forced to rely upon the use of commercial diesel generators to supply vital electricity whenever these scheduled outages occur.
Whether as the sole source of power, for use during periods of peak loading or as a backup source in the event of an emergency, these units must be of sufficient size to fully meet the power requirements at startup, and when operational. They need to adjust to variations in the load and, when necessary, take over from the mains supply automatically in the event of a mains failure, returning to rest once the external power source is restored. When purchasing these devices, their generating capacity is important and to meet the maximum demand, it is often necessary to operate several units concurrently and combine their outputs.
All of these operations require close control so, rather than entrusting this to an operator, computerised control panels are the preferred option and serve to safeguard both the integrity and performance of commercial diesel generators. PacB Power Solutions offer South Africa’s industries custom-built gensets and control panels utilising world-renowned branded components, assembled, installed, and maintained by experienced local specialists.
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