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generator --- backup generator start procedure


This is the procedure for starting the Empire/CAT diesel 400 kW generators to provide backup power to the oven. This version was originally written by P. Esterline and J. Hill in 1992; revised by J. Hill and R. Lutz in 1996; revised by J. Hill and B. Phillips in 1998. These instructions are for Empire's special dual generator unit XQ400.

The generators should be started anytime there is a power failure or a serious threat of a power failure. At least one of them will be running continuously while the oven is rotating at high temperature.


A) Battery Power
Turn the generator battery power on with the switches in the generator compartment. (The battery charger and (in winter) the engine block heaters should always be on during casting, so the batteries should already be switched on.) The DC lights in the enclosure should come on if the switch at the door is on.

B) Start Engine
To start the engine turn the ENGINE CONTROL switch from OFF/RESET to MANUAL START. If it doesn't start, check for alarm indicators on the panel. ("system not in auto" and "high voltage mode" are normally lit.) Do not crank the engine for more than 30 seconds at a time (it has overcrank protection).

C) Warm-up
Run the generator for about 1 minute before applying load. The "generator available" light should come on almost immediately. Check that the voltage (480 VAC) and frequency readings (60 Hz) are normal. Verify that the engine compartment baffles on the roof of the trailer have opened (The louver controls are normally set to "Auto".).

D) Set Tie Breaker
The TIE CB CONTROL switch should be set to TRIP/LOCKOUT. For normal oven operation we never tie the two generators together, although this dual generator unit would allow us to do that. Leave both the SYNCHRONIZE switches in "on" position.

E) Close Breaker
(as long as everything is ready inside the lab -- normally everthing is ready)

Turn the LEAD UNIT SELECT switch to either GEN1 or GEN2 according to which circuit breaker you are trying to close.

Turn the CB CONTROL switch for the appropriate generator from TRIP/LOCKOUT to CLOSE. (You should hear the breaker close and see the red "closed" light illuminate.) Release CB CONTROL switch; it should pop back to "straight up" AUTO position.

F) Connect Oven Load
If the entire oven is to be run on generators only, be sure to set the software limit for FASE MAX LOAD before switching the breakers. This limit is set globally to "3" for running the whole oven on generators, while it is "6" for running the whole oven on the mains.

Switch the main breakers and tie breakers inside the lab to connect the generators to the appropriate oven power circuits. See "8 Meter Furnace Power Manual" for details.


Emergency Shut-off
The EMERGENCY STOP switch is the big red push button on the generator control panel. (There is a separate switch for each generator.) Another set of EMERGENCY STOP buttons can be found on the outside of the trailer near the hook-up lugs.

Maximum Power
These units are rated "400 kW Standby" so they are each capable of supplying 400 kW for a few hours at a time. Note that in order to reliably supply more than 350 kW in hot weather, the rear and side doors of the trailer need to be open. This ruins much of the sound suppression, so we would only use this mode during the portion of the oven schedule above 800 degrees.

The coolant temperature should not be more than 210 degF. A pre-alarm trips at 208-214 degF and the units will shut down above 220-225 degF.

The oil pressure pre-alarm trips at 30 psi and the units will shut down below 5 psi.

The overspeed limit will shutdown the units above 2120 rpm.

Each generator has a 650 gallon tank. Fuel consumption is about 24 gallons/hour at full load (30 gallons/hour max). Watch fuel levels; If it runs out of fuel, a service call is required. If #2 diesel fuel is needed, call Union Distributing @ 571-7600 extn 228 (daytime) or @ 1-800-288-0760 (nights/weekends).

If service is needed, call Empire Power Systems Rental:

Tom Tomlinson, Commercial Service Dept. Supervisor 696-3028x13 (direct) or 566-4682 (pager) or 240-6006 (cellular)

Laurie Schock (can find a technician anywhere) 566-0236 (pager) or 298-1906 (home)

Oscar Ahumada, Tucson Field Service Foreman 566-0096 (pager) or 240-8284 (cellular)

Jess Hamilton, Service Technician 566-0113 (pager) or 240-8286 (cellular) See the other sheet for the rotation of on-call emergency service techs.

Fase Max Load Table if generators can supply 320 kW each.
0 generators, 2 mains max load: 6

2 generators, 0 mains max load: 3

0 generators, 1 main max load: 3

1 generator, 0 mains max load: 1 +

2 generators, 2 mains max load: 6 for gen / 10 for mains

1 generator, 2 mains max load: 3 for gen / 10 for mains


V) Remove Load
Remove the electrical load with the breakers inside the lab. Reconfigure the oven power breakers as needed.

W) Open Generator Breaker
Open the generator breaker by turning the CB CONTROL switch to TRIP/LOCKOUT. The green "open" light should come on.

Y) Turn Off Engine
Turn the ENGINE CONTROL switch to OFF/RESET or to STOP/COOLDOWN. Press the ALARM SILENCE button to stop the beeping.

Z) Battery
Turn off the battery switch to reduce the risk of running the battery down while the generator is off (except when the AC battery chargers are turned on). The normal state of affairs should have AC line power supplied to the battery chargers.





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