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Buy Diesel Generators For Black Start

Ensure Power Continuity By Using Diesel Generators For Black Start Operations

In preparation for potential blackouts, smart companies and smart municipalities plan for restoring power if the power grid is out of service and unable to provide universal power to a region. The plan centers on using the system of generators to accomplish a "black start" that does not depend on receiving power from an external source.

Components Of A Black Start System

A black start requires a DC-powered auxiliary support system, an ignition source, a gas turbine, and a small diesel generator referred to as the black start diesel generator (BSDG). Even if a plant or a broader geographic area has a series of generators, one or more units are most often used for the black start process and then other blocks of larger generators with megawatt capacity are started from the power provided by the BSDG to bootstrap the power grid into operation.

Other plants or substations in the system receive power over tie lines until enough power is available to start fossil fuel or nuclear stations that can produce enough power to meet the needs of a larger system in a region.

Black start capabilities are usually built into a plant at construction, but programmable logic controllers to manage the turbine can be added later. The turbine has high-voltage spark plugs that ignite fuel in the combustors, once the turbine notices that its source of AC power is gone.

DC auxiliary support systems leap into action to power a massive auxiliary generator when more than 35 megawatts are needed. When the gas turbine has gone through steps to reach full speed, the main circuit breaker closes and feeder breakers bring power to the grid to restore power.

Diesel generators used for black starts are used in what is called "island mode" where they work in parallel at partial mode to provide better efficiency. An individual plant might use a minimum of three diesel generators, but using a group of more than 20 is not unusual. They are synchronized to share the load until power is restored.

Standards For Black Start Operations

In the United States, standards for black start procedures are developed, monitored, and enforced by the North American Reliability Corporation (NERC). Established by utility providers after a major blackout in the Northeast in 1965, the group is now a nonprofit organization that oversees nine regional reliability organizations and works with industry expert volunteers to raise awareness about power grid reliability issues.

NERC works with manufacturers who supply generators, turbines, and other components of black start systems to ensure that the parts will be compatible with an effective power restoration. Although it is a nongovernmental, self-regulatory organization, it has the power to levy fines of up to $1 million per day for violations of its standards.

If your company is participating in a black start initiative for yourself or as part of a larger effort, you need a supply of compatible generators with the correct peak load. Coastal Power and Equipment, which offers a variety of new and used diesel generators and generator sets can supply your needs. Before you buy, all generators are rigorously load bank tested and inspected to get them ready for backup power during short term power loss or black start operations.

If you have any questions about using diesel generators for black start operations or need sales assistance for used generators or equipment, call our Houston office at 281-962-1023.