wet stacking on diesel generators

FAQs: Is Wet Stacking Normal for a Standby Generator?

Posted in: Business Continuity Diesel Generators Engine & Drivetrain Performance

Diesel engine generators are vital for reliable power generation across various industries, especially as standby power sources. However, they can sometimes experience a condition known as wet stacking, which affects their performance and longevity. In the video shown above, Mike from Americas Generators talks about what Wet Stacking is, its causes, and ways to prevent it.

If you prefer to read, below are some frequently asked questions that provide a deeper understanding of wet stacking, including its causes, symptoms, effects, and the measures that can be taken to prevent and address this issue, ensuring optimal operation and maintenance of diesel generators.

1. What is wet stacking in diesel generators?

Wet stacking refers to the buildup of unburned fuel, carbon particles, and moisture in a diesel engine’s exhaust system. It usually occurs when the engine operates under light loads for extended periods, preventing the engine from reaching the temperatures required for complete combustion.

2. Is wet stacking normal for standby generators?

Wet stacking is not considered “normal” for standby generators, but it can occur under certain conditions such as prolonged operation at light loads or improper maintenance.

3. What causes wet stacking in diesel generators?

The main causes of wet stacking include operating below optimal temperatures, running the generator under light loads (below 60% of its rated power), incorrect air-to-fuel ratios, and extended periods of inactivity.

4. What are the symptoms of wet stacking?

Common symptoms of wet stacking include the emission of thick, black liquid from the exhaust, engine misfires, and excessive exhaust smoke, particularly black smoke under normal load conditions.

5. What effects does wet stacking have on diesel generators?

Wet stacking can lead to reduced engine performance, increased fuel consumption, and mechanical damage such as fouled injectors, reduced turbocharger efficiency, and increased wear on engine components like piston rings and cylinder walls.

6. How can wet stacking be prevented and remediated?

To prevent and remedy wet stacking, it is important to manage the load properly by operating the generator at or near its rated capacity, perform regular maintenance including load testing and inspections, and seek professional intervention for load testing and corrective actions if wet stacking is detected.

If you’re experiencing issues related to wet stacking or require professional advice and service, do not hesitate to contact Americas Generators. Our experts are here to help you ensure optimal operation and maintenance of your diesel generators.


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