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Maximizing Uptime With Intelligent Diesel Fuel Management For Industrial Generators

Maximizing Uptime With Intelligent Diesel Fuel Management For Industrial Generators

When it comes to keeping the wheels of industry turning, nothing is more important than a supply of steady, reliable power. In terms of data centers, backup generators are often used to maximize uptime. Uptime is the guaranteed amount of time a data center is available to its clients, measured annually. To keep up with modern business demands, data centers need to achieve an almost 99 percent level of uptime each year.

Backup diesel generators are often used by data centers to guarantee that they function smoothly, no matter what happens. In areas where natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes can have a significant impact on the performance of a data center, many have diesel backup generators onsite.

Why Is Data Center Uptime Important?

Having a detailed disaster recovery plan in place is important to prevent interruptions in uptime after a natural disaster. But why is data center uptime so important? And should your data center invest in a backup diesel generator as part of this plan?

  • Expenses – if a data center is down, the organizations it serves can suffer major losses. The costs of downtime can be directly attributed to lost sales for organizations that do business online. This downtime can also lead to loss of customers, reduced productivity, and lost data.
  • Security – downtime increases the risk of a data center breach from hackers. The monitoring that occurs when a center is up and running prevents these types of security breaches and helps avoid costs typically associated with a crisis response plan.
  • Customer satisfaction – system downtime can prevent customers from being able to access your services. This can lead to a decrease in customer satisfaction, and customers may opt to use another organization’s data center services if they consistently report more uptime.

Many major businesses have reported that just milliseconds of downtime have led to millions of dollars in lost revenue. With that in mind, data centers need to seriously consider installing backup diesel generators for emergencies.

Is Fuel Management Critical To The Performance Of Diesel Backup Generators?

While diesel backup generators generally receive routine maintenance according to a manufacturer’s suggested schedule, most people do not consider fuel maintenance. However, it’s critical to monitor and maintain the integrity of the diesel fuel you have on hand, especially when it is stored long-term. If your stored fuel is not frequently evaluated, it can cause your backup diesel generator to fail when it is needed most.

All generators, including data center backup generators, require some level of diesel fuel management. Because these backup systems are not used every day, it is common for the stored fuel to go bad. To make sure that your fuel supply has not been contaminated, it is necessary to sample and test your stored diesel fuel frequently. The quality of your fuel is directly responsible for whether or not your diesel backup generator will work when it is needed.

How Do I Know If Diesel Fuel Has Gone Bad?

Typically, diesel fuel should only be stored for 6 to 12 months. Under the best conditions, it may be possible to store it even longer, but not by much. To increase your storage time, diesel fuel must be clean, stored at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and treated with stabilizers and biocides on a consistent schedule.

Improperly stored fuel can go bad. Here are a few indicators that the diesel fuel for your backup diesel generator has been contaminated:

  • The fuel is darker in color than when it was delivered.
  • There is an abnormal smell, or the diesel smell is stronger than usual.
  • The generator’s fuel lines seem to be clogged.
  • Sediment is forming at the bottom of the storage tank.
  • The output of the generator has dropped.
  • The generator engine’s performance is not reliable.
  • The exhaust from the generator has become darker.
  • You have trouble starting the generator.
  • Damage has occurred to the fuel injectors or the pump.

Monitoring Your Stored Diesel Fuel

There are three ways to monitor your stored fuel: you can do it yourself, outsource the process to an off-site company, or use a fuel management system to keep you alerted to any change in your fuel supply. Because data centers play such a critical to today’s economy, it is generally recommended that the center add an intelligent fuel management solution to monitor its stored fuel.

Diesel fuel management systems automate the fuel monitoring process, allowing organizations to address issues in real-time – and remotely. This technology checks the fuel supply regularly and provides timely updates on fuel quality through a web application. If the fuel quality drops, the system will send an alert, allowing managers to take action quickly. These advanced fuel management systems can also monitor fuel levels, water contamination, theft of fuel, and temperature changes.

Is A Diesel Fuel Management System Right For Me?

Diesel backup generators are often used as a backup power source when there is a power outage. The efficient management of fuel for these generators is a critical part of minimizing downtime and improving productivity for many organizations, including data centers. Using a diesel fuel management system can ensure an uninterrupted power supply during emergencies, preventing unexpected shutdowns. It’s just one more way to guarantee your data center stays up and running, even after a natural disaster.

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We’ve been selling industrial generators for years and our team is happy to share our knowledge. Please browse our blog or ask us a question about industrial generators at any time.
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