Wet stacking is a condition that can occur on diesel engines where not all the fuel is burned and the unburnt residue goes into the exhaust side of the turbo and into the exhaust system. The main cause for diesel generators is that the engine is running at a low proportion of its total capacity.
The best way to avoid wet stacking is to ensure that the generator is run on load with at least 75% of its maximum load capacity so that it reaches its optimal running temperature. This can either be achieved by doing an on load test using the building load or using an external load bank. If wet stacking has already occurred but it is at its early stages, carrying out the same should burn off the unburnt fuel and solve the problem. If wet stacking has occurred for some time, it might be necessary to carry out an engine rehaul to resolve.
Bear in mind that it is quite possible that the generator capacity you have on site is somewhat bigger (even double) than your peak building load to make sure that in the event of a power cut, the generator would be able to take the entire load immediately rather than having to load shed. This therefore means that the building load will never be sufficient to suitably loadbank the generator. If this is the case, the solution is to use an external load bank, which will allow the generator to be run up to its full capacity. Not only will this prevent any wet stacking but it will also give you confidence in your generator’s ability to run at full load.
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