First of all, let’s explain what running a generator off load means. It means running the generator without any building or load bank load so the generator effectively is running on idle.
Whilst it is good to make sure that the generator is able to start and run correctly without any issues, if you only ever run a generator off load, it can lead to wet stacking. A generator is designed to be able to output a certain maximum power. The Engine Control Unit will automatically dictate how much fuel should be used but if the generator only runs on idle, excessive fuel will be used. As not all of it is combusted, the unburnt diesel accumulates on the turbo and the exhaust stack and can cause irreversible damage if not remedied. This is why it is important to run the generator onload and ideally (at least once a year) carry out a loadbank test, which involves running the generator at up to 100% of its capacity. This will burn off the unburnt fuel deposits and ensure that everything is running smoothly.
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