Shenton Group announces increased management team to fulfil growth plans

Shenton Group announces the internal restructuring of departments and the addition of a new increased management team to help broaden expertise, enable growth, and help support our thriving team.

As part of the revised structure, the existing Board of Directors will now form the C-suite leadership team, who will work together towards achieving our vision as a business whilst ensuring we continue providing a working environment that empowers our employees.

Curtis Meek will become the new CEO overseeing the corporate strategy, leaving Jody Meek to focus all his attention on the operations department as the new COO.

With those changes in place, we can now focus on delivering our growth plan, making Shenton Group fit for the future by simplifying our business and investing focused efforts in building market leadership through technical expertise, innovation, excellent customer service and efficiency.

As the COO of Shenton Group Jody Meek says: “What we are trying to accomplish with restructuring is to continue to provide industry-leading critical power solutions and exceed our customers’ expectations whilst preparing the company for rapid growth moving forward.”

About Shenton Group:

Since 1982 we have provided trusted power solutions to public and private organisations. We supply, install and maintain all aspects of Standby Power, Uninterruptible Power Supplies and Combined Heat & Power Systems. From feasibility and design advice, through to integration and commissioning, we provide peace of mind with a turn-key solution.

With a strong and established track record in innovation and manufacturing excellence, our mission is to provide the most trusted energy solutions, in an unpredictable world.

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What are the Differences between High-Voltage, Medium-Voltage, and Low-Voltage Switchgear? And Which Type Do You Need?

Switchgear is an essential part of any electrical system, especially in generator power and in commercial settings. But what exactly is Switchgear and what voltages are there? This blog aims to help explain what switchgear is, what the difference between the voltage options is, and help you work out what voltage switchgear you need for your generator.

Firstly, let’s talk about what switchgear is.

What is Switchgear?

Switchgear makes up an integral part of an electrical power system. The term switchgear is a broad term that describes a range of switching devices that all complete a common purpose: controlling, protecting, and isolating power systems. This switchgear definition can be extended to include devices that regulate and meter a power system, circuit breakers and similar technology. Basically, switchgear are the components that interrupt a power supply in the event of a problem.

How Does Switchgear Work?

As mentioned above, electrical switchgear has three basic functions, electrical protection, electrical isolation, and control. Switchgear power systems are a combination of electrical disconnects that provide the isolation of electrical equipment to prevent damage in the event of a power surge. Circuits can only handle a certain amount of electricity, and if too much of it flows through, the wiring may become too hot. This could cause problems on crucial electrical components or even start fires. An efficient switchgear will activate in the event of an electrical surge, automatically interrupting the flow of power and safeguarding the electrical systems. De-energizing equipment for safe testing, maintenance, and fault-clearing are other uses for switchgear.

What are examples of Switchgear Components?

Switchgears are made using components that disconnect power to help protect any connected equipment from the risk of an electrical overload. Switchgear can include multiple components, including:

  • Fuses
  • Switches
  • Relays
  • Isolators,
  • Circuit breakers
  • Lightning arresters

What are the Different Switchgear Types?

Switchgear comes in three distinct types, which are three voltage levels:

  • LV (Low voltage)
  • MV (Medium voltage)
  • HV (High voltage).

Each type of switchgear has a different voltage level for different applications, but what are the differences between high-voltage, medium voltage and low voltage?

what are switchgears

What is the difference between LV, MV and HV switchgear?

The three types are distinguished by their varying voltage levels, which is the primary difference between them. But what are the three different voltages used for?

Let’s start with low voltage switchgear first.

Low Voltage Switchgear

Low-voltage switchgear can control systems up to 1kV in voltage. These are frequently used in a variety of industries and are typically found on the low-voltage sides of power-distribution transformers.

Medium-Voltage Switchgear

Systems with voltages between 1kV and 35kV use medium-voltage switchgear. This switchgear is frequently used in systems that include transmission and distribution lines, generators, feeder circuits, and motors.

High-Voltage Switchgear

Lastly, we have high voltage switchgear. A high-voltage switchgear system is one that can manage between 35 kV and 230kV of voltage. These breakers frequently have improved safety features because they are made for high-voltage use.

What Switchgear type do you need?

The type or voltage switchgear systems you need ultimately depends on the power load you have. If you already have switchgear and need assistance with maintenance, the team at Shenton Group performs visual inspections, cleanings, and lubrications for LV switchgear as part of annual maintenance work or one-time servicing.

For more information or to discuss ongoing maintenance services, get in touch with our team.

For efficient power distribution in industrial setups, switchgear systems are frequently used to protect connected technology from damage and interrupting the end user. Shenton Group have  carried out a low voltage switchgear project in London Docklands and another in Liverpool for a telecoms company. If you require any support, advice or are keen to start a project involving switchgear equipment, or specialist switchgear systems, then get in touch with us today and we will be glad to help.

Top 5 Weekly Routine Checks for Looking After Your Generator!

Even the very best power generators need regular maintenance to guarantee peak performance. Generators need to be serviced by trained engineers to ensure they are serviced correctly, remain functional, and all the components and equipment are maintained and repaired if necessary.

However, between service visits, there are 5 checks you can do onsite to help ensure the smooth running of your generator and to spot any repairs that are needed before they become a problem.

What to Check on a Generator

Here are our top five tips featured on our weekly generator maintenance checklist:

1 – Check Coolant & Oil Levels

The first check that will be beneficial to the running of your backup or prime power generator is checking the fluid levels, which include the coolant and oil. Once you have checked the level to ensure it is adequate, and topped it up if required, it is a good idea to visually check for any leaks or anything that looks abnormal.

Checking the diesel or petrol tank is also a good idea to ensure you don’t need the fuel polishing or replacing.

2 – Check Battery Voltage 

The second check to make within your weekly routine is the battery voltage. The process for this is controller specific, so please contact us and we can send you a “how-to-guide” for your specific controller to help you complete your battery voltage check effectively, reducing the likelihood of battery failure or damage.

3 – Check Generator Attenuator & Exhausts

The third step in your weekly routine generator checks and onsite servicing is checking that the attenuator and exhausts are clear of any blockages. These blockages can be caused by an accumulation of dust, or even a bird’s nest and other items, so a check for any sign of anything accumulating to help prolong the life and function of your generator. 

4 – Test Run Offload

The fourth step is to run a weekly test run offload for a duration of five minutes. Running the generator with no electrical load can ensure that it starts successfully without affecting business operations. This is to ensure that the generator can start up before switching over to generator power from the main supply.

5 – Check Generator Bodywork 

Lastly, the fifth step is to check the generator’s bodywork for any signs of rusting or damage, and attend to any repairs or damaged parts to ensure the generator runs safely in between servicing.

running your generator

If you aren’t sure how often you should test your generator or run generator maintenance, we can help. We advise that you perform these initial checks on your power generator weekly. This inspection can be vital to supporting your power supply and making sure it stays reliable, with valuable insight into the health of your generator.

Trying to undertake more advanced maintenance work is always a risk if you are not qualified. But if you want to be more hands-on with your generator, we recommend a HawkEye2 remote monitoring contract.

HawkEye2 offers added protection through 24/7 remote monitoring and can be used with all makes and sizes of standby generators. Remote monitoring ensures any issues are flagged up and rectified before your hour of need – not during it. Sometimes you won’t even have to wait for an engineer to arrive.

Once a week, HawkEye2 automatically starts your generator and runs it for 10 minutes, checking vital operating parameters such as voltage, frequency, oil and water temperature, battery condition, emergency stop, and fuel levels. After the test, a full condition report is sent to Shenton Group’s HawkEye2 monitoring centre. You can also receive SMS or voicemail reports straight to your phone.

HawkeEye 2 in a nutshell:

  • Fully-automatic operation 24/7
  • Continuous monitoring of generator conditions
  • Notification of mains failure and generator operation
  • Confirmation of a successful test run
  • Automatic low fuel warning.

When it comes to the physical maintenance and repair work on your generator, we have strategically placed depots across the UK and a nationwide network of technical engineers and support staff to provide help with whatever you need.

We promise the highest standards of UPS and power generator servicing, testing, generator repair, maintenance, and emergency response to ensure your diesel generator reliability. If you aren’t sure how to repair a generator, or if you need to know how to check generator oil levels or the battery voltage, please give us a call.

For more information on our generator maintenance support and generator servicing, get in contact today.

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What is Fuel Polishing?

As an organic compound, diesel fuel is liable to deteriorate over the natural course of time. In doing so, it gradually leaves sediment in a diesel generator’s tank. Once the diesel stored in fuel tanks deteriorates and is left for long periods, it can become contaminated which will have a negative impact on a diesel generator. In worst-case scenarios, this can cause system failures which could be disastrous, especially for an emergency backup generator.

Fuel polishing is a cleaning process that removes any harmful sediment and bacterium in your generator fuel tank which, if not eliminated, can have a detrimental impact on your backup power system. A fuel polish involves removing the diesel from the storage tank, filtering it, removing the redundant fuel, and then feeding the remaining clean fuel back into the tank.

Fuel polishing also helps your generators to run more efficiently, as with the cleaner fuel you will use less, therefore, saving you money and risking fewer breakdowns.

How a Fuel Polishing System Works

At the bottom of an unchecked fuel tank, there is likely to be a build-up of damaging sludge, which can cause issues for different parts of your generator as it runs through the system. Water and bacteria build up over time because of natural processes, contaminating your fuel and rendering it unfit for use. The solution to prevent this is to filter the diesel using a fuel polishing system.

Some generators are fitted with their own fuel polisher and gauge. The benefit of this is the fuel is cycled and cleaned automatically. This means you do not need to wait for an engineer to come out, you save money on your maintenance plan, and you further decrease the chances of contaminated fuel. Some of our clients find this option very useful, as we can fit fuel polishers to new and existing generators, subject to conditions on-site.

For those that don’t have a fitted fuel polisher, Shenton Group provides a professional fuel polishing service that comes to you and ensures your fuel is cleaned safely without damaging the environment.

Shenton Group’s Fuel Polishing Process

  1. The fuel is carefully extracted and filtered via a series of processes to clean and remove any particle or bacterial contamination.
  2. The tank is also cleaned, and any solids or debris items are taken out.
  3. Before the clean fuel goes back into the tank, it is tested to ensure it conforms to EN590 regulations and ISO4406 levels.
  4. The clean fuel is then treated with a chemical biocide to slow future bacterial growth.
  5. The remaining contaminated fuel is ethically disposed of.

How Important Is Diesel Polishing for the Upkeep of a Generator?

Backup generators are vital and expensive pieces of equipment. It is certainly in the best interest of your operation to keep on top of regular maintenance and servicing in order to prolong the life of the generator and keep your power supply secure.

Fuel polishing can prevent engine breakdown, fuel starvation, blocked filtration systems, filters, and water or any other contaminant entering your generator. Contaminated fuel will cause your generator to fail and the cost of replacing parts can be expensive. Fuel polishing also prevents the need to replace the entire fuel supply in the tank, an expensive and unnecessary outlay.

Key Benefits of Fuel Polishing

When fuel becomes contaminated and is left too long without polishing, the whole fuel supply in the tank might need to be removed and disposed of at a great cost. This is hugely wasteful and environmentally damaging. It is best to continuously maintain your fuel supply to avoid having to dispose of waste fuel.

A more responsible and cost-effective approach would be to make use of a maintenance contract and regularly schedule fuel polishing for your fuel system, which is less expensive and far better for the environment.

  • Fuel polishing will help prevent the build-up of sludge in your generator and at the bottom of the tank, and will also prevent water from entering the generator.
  • Prevents clogged fuel filters and pistons and removes all traces of contamination present in the fuel, re-optimising it for your gas tank.
  • Depending on your generator set-up, diesel fuel polishing systems can be connected to your fuel supply and can run the filtration process while causing no disruption to your day-to-day operations, so your contingency power supply can continue to be called upon at any given moment.

Does My Diesel Supply Need Polishing?

Depending on your generator set-up, diesel fuel polishing systems can be connected to your fuel supply and can run the filtration process while causing no disruption to your day-to-day operations, so your contingency power supply can continue to be called upon at any given moment.

A fuel polishing control panel for a diesel power generator

How Often Should Fuel Be Polished?

This depends on each individual generator set-up, but in the main, for a backup power system, the stored fuel should be tested at least once a year. The results of the sampling will dictate whether the fuel needs to be polished or not.

A maintenance plan with a professional supplier will ensure your equipment and fuel will be monitored by experts who will also schedule visits to take care of the upkeep of your generator, diesel tank, and fuel quality.

Shenton Group gives you the option of including the cost of fuel polishing as part of your maintenance contract. We routinely check the generator fuel every 12 months and run a detailed report to establish if fuel polishing is required. This is critical for the protection of your asset and the reliability of your backup power system.

With the involvement of specialist equipment, it is understandable that some clients may initially feel the process of fuel polishing to be pricey; however, it is a far more cost-effective route than the removal and replacement of an entire batch of fuel and disposal of the old contaminated batch.

Most importantly, you will increase the life span of your generator and avoid breakdowns, which again can be costly for you and your operation. For example, if you run a food chilling warehouse and the chillers lose power, that could cost thousands of pounds and damage the business’s reputation. Nobody needs that headache! A relatively quick fuel polishing and tank cleaning service can ensure your generator doesn’t break down and keeps your fuel high-quality.

Shenton Group Fuel Polishing and Maintenance Services

Concerned about the quality of fuel in your generator system? Unsure of when the fuel was last polished? Give our team a call or contact us on our website.

We are an industry-leading organisation, providing support contracts to help our clients maintain their backup power systems all over the country. We give our clients confidence that their generators are primed and ready to support at any given moment.

For more information on our services or the cost of our fuel polishing service, get in contact today to speak to one of our technical experts.

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Constant Voltage vs Constant Current Power Supplies

Any hardware device that provides electricity to one or more electric devices is referred to as a power supply. Power supplies mostly fall under the categories of voltage sources and current sources. However, there are also current sources that provide constant current. Often, the term “power supply” refers to a voltage source.

Constant-voltage power supplies and constant-current power supplies are two broad categories of power supply circuits, but what do constant current and constant voltage mean, and are they the same thing? This blog will detail what these two phrases mean, the differences between them, and what applications they are used in.

Constant Current & Constant Voltage

Constant current and constant voltage may sound similar, but they are actually two very different things. Each of these power supplies has different applications, so choosing the right power supply depends on what you need. Let’s break down what they both mean and how they work.

What Does Constant Current Mean?

A constant current (CC), also known as a steady current or stationary current, is a type of DC (Direct Current) that doesn’t change its intensity over time and maintains it.

A constant current source will be used if an electrical load is varied, as it can help stabilise the load into a steady current. A CC power source will maintain a current at a relatively constant level, regardless of any large changes in voltage supply.

An application that uses constant current power supplies is LEDs. While a high series resistance is enough to light an LED, the design may sometimes need to guard against high current, or you can risk burning out and short circuiting the LEDs.

What Does Constant Voltage Mean?

Constant voltage is the opposite. CV refers to a power supply that controls the output voltage to a constant level. This type of power supply always provides constant voltage regardless of the electrical load.

This type of power source is widely used in power supplies for electronic circuits and most DC benchtop power supplies are normally operated in constant voltage (CV) mode.

Some common constant voltage sources are batteries and regulated power supplies. Though batteries can’t supply constant voltage indefinitely and require charging or replacing.

A constant voltage is usually used on circuits that require a steady voltage supply for efficient operation. A good example would be paralleled LED strip lights which require a constant voltage LED driver to produce the most balanced current over the independent output channels.

Generator powering LED ceiling lighting

What are Variable Power Supplies?

Variable power supplies are usually an adjustable component or device, which includes a means for the user to easily vary and adjust the output voltage and sometimes the output current. This can be through a control panel to adjust the setting and switch between CC and CV modes. The original power source’s voltage that is sent to the circuit is limited or increased by a variable power supply. For example, if you run a model train, you would flip a switch and deliver a voltage in increments to increase the speed of the train and reduce the voltage supply to slow it down. This variable type of power supply is also used in tattoo machines and larger industrial power supplies, such as back up generators.

Our Constant Power Supply Services

At Shenton Group, we manufacture diesel and gas HV & LV generators from 10kVA to 3200kVA. As a leading generator manufacturer, we are committed to ensuring that your power supplies continue to function in the case of a power outage, as well as enhancing the sustainability of your power supply by offering the best power solutions for remote regions.

We can offer constant power supply products to help keep your business running in the event of a power outage or fluctuation. Our uninterruptible power supply (UPS) offers a continuous power supply and ensures there is no break in power when the main power source fails, or if the voltage drops to an insufficient level or surges and causes an outage.

To ensure you never experience a power outage, we build a completely customised variety of dependable backup power generators and provide continuous technical support and maintenance services.

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What Is an AMF Panel?

Automatic mains failure (AMF) panels, often referred to as automatic transfer switch (ATS) panels, make the power switch to emergency standby generators in the event of a significant loss of mains power or total blackout. Without AMF panels, generators need to be operated manually and that can mean lost data, potential damage to electrical equipment, and huge amounts of disruption.

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Dealing With an Electricity Power Cut

Most power cuts are unforeseen inconveniences, and until the electricity is cut off, many organisations do not appreciate the importance of electrical power to their operations.  

In the UK, power outages are usually the result of inclement weather, such as power line damage caused by direct lightning strikes, but there are countless other reasons why they may occur, including planned power cuts to conserve energy resources during an energy crisis.

In these circumstances, it is essential to have a plan in place to restore power quickly, as any company without an external backup power source can experience downtime in the event of a power cut. Losing customers, revenue, and damage to machinery and equipment are all preventable with adequate power prevision planning.

Effects of Power Outages on Businesses and Organisations

Loss of power can be detrimental to any business or organisation, causing data loss, damage to sensitive electrical equipment, loss of revenue and missed deadlines amongst the immediate impact of loss of lighting, air conditioning and other necessities.

Whether the outages are short or long-term, a process for electrical power cuts should be implemented to mitigate any damage, including the reservation of a backup power source, such as a fuel-based generator. You may also choose to employ a battery-powered backup system, such as a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). These UPS units are crucial to your backup power source plan, particularly for organisations reliant on a continuous, stable power supply, such as hospitals and data centres.

UPS devices provide a temporary battery output, allowing generators to start up before they take on the full electrical demand (known as the load) during an outage. The relay between the UPS unit and generator makes for a seamless transition between the mains and backup power source, mitigating risk and damage to people and machinery. At Shenton Group, we provide a full range of backup and mains power solutions and services for businesses for your peace of mind.

Hiring a Generator in an Emergency

In the event of an electrical power cut or surge, Shenton Group are able to deliver a power solution that’s right for your needs, such as diesel generators, fuel tanks, and battery-powered UPS devices to give you a temporary backup power external to your mains. Generator hire is a cost-effective option for organisations that require a temporary solution and do not want or need the bigger outlay of purchasing a permanent backup power solution.

If you are in need of a generator hire company to support you in the event of an electricity power cut, we recommend choosing one that provides generator hire 24/7 and is available every day of the year. Unexpected power cuts are exactly that; unexpected, occurring at any given moment. To lessen the effect of an electrical power cut on your operations, your generator rental provider needs to offer support and maintenance around the clock..

Power Call – Nationwide Emergency Call out Generators

If your main electricity power supply is cut off, emergency help is available, offering temporary power source solutions without the initial outlay of a permanent on-site generator. With strategically placed depots throughout the country, our Power Call service guarantees a fast response time.

Power Call is a unique emergency service, provided by Shenton Group to our customers for a nominal monthly fee, giving you peace of mind that your business will not be left without power for long periods of time.

How Does It Work?

Once your organisation is registered with us, a Shenton Group engineer will come to your site and/or facility and install a ‘plug-and-play’ manual generator connection, meaning that our emergency Power Call generators can be quickly and easily set-up once on site, providing power until the mains power returns.

For a fixed monthly fee, emergency callouts to unscheduled power cuts are unlimited, ensuring our engineers will be there to assist whenever you require. A network control room manages callouts around the clock, co-ordinating delivery, connection, refuelling and the collection of the generator once your mains power source is back up and running.

Our Power Call service provides customers with unrivalled support during an electrical power cut or surge, equipping them with everything they need to remain operational without breaking the bank.

Turnkey Temporary Power Solutions

Having access to a turnkey solution is essential, particularly when you need to act quickly to restore power to your operations.

Our dedicated team of specialists will be able to establish the exact power solution you require, helping you to make informed cost/benefit choices. Better still, our experienced engineers and installations team will also recommend and provide all the equipment needed for a temporary solution, including:

  • Transformers
  • Cables
  • Cable protectors
  • Load banks
  • Fuel tanks
  • AMF Panels (Automatic Mains Failure) often referred to as Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS)

Power solutions (such as generators) are classed according to kVA (KiloVolt-Ampere), this is essentially an indication of the power output that can be generated and delivered. 1 kVA will provide the equivalent of 1,000 volt-amps.

At Shenton, we can provide standby and prime power generators for hire from 30kVA, up to 1250kVA, and can synchronise multiple generators for larger power demand. This enables us to supply our clients with a suitably-sized generator solution for their needs.

We are equipped to meet the demand of any bespoke residential, commercial, or heavy-duty applications 24/7, 365 days a year across the UK. Regardless of whether you’re mainland or offshore, no matter how remote, we will deliver and install everything you need, allowing you to focus on running your business.

Protection from Electricity Power Cuts

Aside from temporary backup power solutions, Shenton Group specialise in providing and installing permanent backup power sources, and for those who cannot afford any loss of power, Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) solutions.

As well as providing a bridge between your mains power supply and backup generator, a UPS system will also offer the added bonus of stabilising the power supply, stopping power surges or spikes during the relay process which can cause damage to equipment.

For organisations looking to install a diesel standby generator, we are able to offer the full turnkey solution for your alternative power supply, including:

We now offer finance for UPS power and generator installations, for organisations looking to have a permanent backup power solution to protect their assets from power cuts.

Prepared For the Unexpected

With the National Grid warning the UK of planned winter power cuts to help reduce energy demand at peak times, retaining a continuous power supply by utilising alternative power sources is vital for businesses looking to avoid power losses and voltage fluctuations.

To ensure your business isn’t impacted, why not get in touch and discuss your emergency power requirements with the backup power experts at Shenton Group? Whether you’re looking for solutions available for purchase or hire, we can help.

Our team provide expert, on-site solutions, as well as a 24/7/365 guaranteed solution for prolonged power cuts throughout the UK. With a multitude of options to suit every location and budget, Shenton Group will help you find a suitable backup power option to protect your organisation from electricity power cuts.

Check out our other blog posts and updates or contact us for extra help and expert advice on a permanent or temporary backup power solution.

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How Do Generators Work? A Simple Guide from the Experts  

Generators are an essential asset in maintaining a stable power connection to your business and residential properties. Often hailed as a lifeline, they provide crucial support in case of a mass blackout or power loss.

In this article, we will provide a basic guide on how generators work, explain the different types of generators, and how you can ensure you find the right generator for you and your needs. Firstly, let’s look at what generators are:

What are Generators and What Do They Do?

If your mains power supply goes down, diesel generators are the perfect solution to supply power when it is needed, but they can also be used as a permanent power solution. Generators are complex machines that work by converting mechanical or chemical energy into electricity by capturing kinetic energy (the power of motion) and turning it into energy.

Industrial generators can be used as a primary power source in places where the local electrical grid is unavailable or difficult to access, such as mining and farming operations, new developments, and remote locations. These industrial generators are also frequently used to supply backup power to buildings, businesses, or homes during power outages. Generators can also be temporary, portable power solutions or permanent installations.

Shenton group typically supply diesel engine generator systems as standard. The UK has a very well-developed power grid, which remains stable for much of the time therefore most of the generator installations in the UK are for standby use or for legislative purposes such as life safety applications. Diesel generators are ultimately the most cost-efficient and beneficial solution for emergency standby power. The plethora of reasons why diesel generators are required include equipment malfunction, switchboard failure, transformers failure, network faults, transmission distribution faults on the network as well as to support renewable systems.

How Does a Generator Work?

Most generators run on some form of fossil or gas-based fuel, such as diesel, petrol or natural gas. The internal combustion engine will then run on the provided fuel source and in the process spin an alternator which creates electricity.

The Different Components of A Generator

There are many components that help make up a generator.

Below, we have listed the different components that make up a generator and what their function is:

Diagram of a generator with all the parts labelled
  • Engine– the engine is the main component of a generator and as it runs it rotates the alternator rotor.
  • Radiator: The radiator is used to cool the engine as it runs and keeps it from overheating
  • Exhaust: A generator set includes an exhaust system that collects hot gases from engine cylinders and discharges them as quickly and silently as possible. 
  • Alternator: The main function of an alternator is to convert mechanical power to electrical power. Alternators consist of a steel housing containing the main stator and the rotor assembly. In a process called magnetic induction, the engine rotates an electromagnet rotor, inside the stator to produce an electrical current through copper wirings. Essentially, the engine drives the rotating shaft and turns the rotor which then produces electricity.
  • Control Panel: In layman’s terms the control panel is the brains of the generator. There are various types of control systems but in a gist, they enable effective monitoring, and control and provide diagnostics to ensure the generator set operates within safe parameters.
  • Output Breaker: this is the main switch where the power coming from the alternator can be connected to and provides protection against overload and electrical faults.

Generator Ratings

Specifying a generator can be a daunting task as it involves multiple points of consideration to be able to select the correct solution. There are three main types of generator ratings that are commonly referred to and these are explained below:

  • PRP or Prime Rated Power
  • COP or Continuous Rated Power
  • ESP or Emergency Standby Power
A generator in use to show examples of different generator types

Prime Power Generators (Prime Rated Power)

Prime Power generators are commonly used as the main source of power on building sites and events but also in the life safety, industrial and construction industries. Sites where a reliable main power source is needed external from the mains or National Grid, would also benefit from having a Prime rated generator access. Average power output should be 70% of the prime rating over 24hr period with unlimited allowance on hours of use. In times of peak demand, the generator would work on 100% of prime kW rating with 10% overload capacity for emergency use for a max of 1hr in every 12 hrs of use.

Prime power generators are the preferable option in the UK for continuous use over other types of generator, especially when the load (demand for power) varies or overloading may occur. They provide a buffer for design teams because of the 10% overload capacity and the unlimited use capability.

Continuous Power Generators (Continuous Rated Power)

Although very similar to their prime power counterparts, these generators are designed to run continuously with 100% consistent load for unlimited hours. These generators are mainly used for remote projects off the main power grid, including mining, construction, and oil or gas works.

Standby Generators (Emergency Standby Power)

Standby generators are designed to support mains power in the event of an emergency, providing power to buildings or anywhere needing a backup power supply, such as hospitals and data centres. ESP rating is available for the duration of the emergency outage. The average power output should be around 70% of the standby power rating. It’s a rating based on a varying load with the limitation being 200 hr annually. Having a backup generator for your company means you are protected in case of a blackout. To ensure a fast response to an outage, a standby generator will run weekly self-tests to ensure it can respond quickly and run efficiently the next time it is needed.

How to Determine the Size Requirement of the Generator Set Properly?

Like the main utility supply, generators are not an unlimited source of power therefore loads need to be steadily applied to prevent an engine from shutting down. When the load is suddenly applied, there will be a transient deviation in the voltage and frequency. Smaller generators, below 100kva, tend to have a greater load acceptance capability. When applying or removing a load from a generator set, it has an impact on the quality of power being delivered. The extent of the impact would depend on a variety of factors however the most significant factor is the size of the load that is applied to the generator at any given time. Shenton group has the extensive technical capability within our highly experienced team to accurately advise our customers on the best generator set suitable to their unique circumstances.

Next, we explore the function that an ATS provides and how they interact with a generator.

Do I Need an Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS)?

Not necessarily, however, if you are using alternative sources of power, an ATS will automatically switch over from the main power source, reducing the need for manual switching between power supplies. An Automatic Transfer Switch provides a reliable means of automatically transferring load between the primary and alternative sources of electrical power, such as transferring from mains power to a generator.

Your power sources are continuously monitored by an automatic transfer switch. You won’t need to manually start the standby generator with an ATS, as it will start and stop as needed during a power loss. Using your generator becomes simpler as a result.

Within seconds of a power outage, an automatic transfer switch senses the loss of power, instructing the generator to start before transferring the electrical load to the generator to provide backup power. Once the main utility power returns, the ATS system transfers the electrical load back to the grid or main power source and signals the standby generator to shut down. The generator then returns to standby mode where it waits for the next outage.

Like the main utility supply, generators are not an unlimited source of power therefore loads need to be steadily applied to prevent an engine from shutting down. When the load is suddenly applied, there will be a transient deviation in the voltage and frequency. Smaller generators, below 100kva, tend to have a greater load acceptance capability.

Generator Rental, Purchasing & Maintenance

Whether you’re running a data centre, bank or hospital, power failures can be disastrous to your essential operations. Having a standby generator reduces the risk of power interruption, however, they will only be useful if they’re properly chosen, installed, and maintained.

At Shenton Group, we can provide services including generator hire, maintenance, installation, and servicing for combined heat and power solutions. If you’re thinking about renting or trialling a generator, please visit our generator rental section.  If you need assistance in choosing and purchasing the right system for you, our power consultants can help.

Looking for Maintenance Support on a Generator?

To keep your investment performing at its best, we provide a variety of maintenance support contracts for every type of generator on the market. With every generator, UPS and CHP unit having consumable components, we recommend keeping them and your other power products in tip top shape with our maintenance and monitoring plans.

Please speak to us about our power products today – our team can help answer any questions you may have.

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What Is an Uninterruptible Power Supply System?

With the recent news regarding the potential blackouts this winter, organising backup power for your business is vital. 

Any downtime caused by power outages can be financially crippling for a business or organisation. The average power cut in the UK lasts for 50 minutes. This may not sound too long, but with one hour of downtime estimated to cost a small business around £800, it can be very damaging.

Understandably, bigger organisations and companies can see higher losses from a power cut, but it is also expected that they can recover quicker too. Google lost power back in 2013, and it experienced losses of £100,000 per minute. To avoid loss of output for your business, investing in a backup solution which includes a UPS System is a good idea. But what is a UPS system?

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) offers a continuous power supply and ensures there is no break in power when the main power source fails, or if the voltage drops to an insufficient level or surges and causes an outage.

In the event of a power outage, a UPS can provide power for a couple of minutes and up to 2 hours depending on the battery size and the electrical load it needs to support. This allows equipment to be shut down properly and safely and/or provides time for the standby generator to start up before taking the full electrical load.

UPS Power Protection for your business

From small businesses to large scale operations, uninterrupted power supplies can serve an important purpose. Power cuts can cause major issues for your equipment and productivity, but a UPS is like an insurance policy against this, keeping you online and connected, giving you time to respond to the issue before the lights go out.

To avoid the detrimental impact it can have on your business, safeguarding against outage issues with an uninterruptible power supply makes commercial sense, especially when used in tandem with a backup generator. A UPS is just one part of a reliable backup power solution. A UPS will provide a continuous power supply for a short amount of time and can bridge the gap whilst the generator starts up. Once the generator is ready and can take the full electrical load, the generator will be able to provide power for 72 hours or more.

For some businesses having 15 mins to 2 hours of UPS backup power is sufficient, however for businesses that cannot afford down time, a generator is a viable option. Click here to see more information on the difference between generators and UPS.

Uses of an Uninterruptible Power Supply

Uninterruptible power supplies are deployed for use in a wide number of industries where a drop in power supply is not an option.

Manufacturing and production lines require power around the clock to ensure machinery can keep operating. Industrial UPS can be used at plants and factories to ensure normal operations can continue to take place with little-to-no interruption in the event of a power outage.

UPSs are also vital in the medical sector, where lab facilities cannot afford power outages and the effects on key devices used in patient care, including life support systems, could be life threatening.

In the modern world, Datacentres need consistent power as a power outage can lead to system malfunctions and could mean security risks. Telecommunications & Computer Systems are crucial, and they are heavily reliant on continuous power supply, so UPS plays a key role in their operation, keeping servers running and computers switched on.

Any organisation that needs a constant flow of high-quality electricity to keep the lights on, IT systems and electrical equipment operational, would rely on a UPS to prevent the severe consequences that can be caused by a blackout. The list of applications that UPS can be used in goes on, and examples can be found in almost any industry you can think of.

Three types of UPS systems

Standby

The simplest and most affordable UPS system is Standby, or offline. Standby UPS power supply is generally used for basic electronic equipment such as consumer electronics and security systems, ideal for use in a small office or at home and provides a power supply of up to 3kVA.

Standby UPS systems make use of stored battery backup power during an outage, or when the voltage levels dip or surge. Considered an entry-level UPS, standby systems will protect you and your equipment giving you that imperative battery backup.

Line-interactive UPS

Line-interactive UPSs protect you both on and offline. This type of uninterruptible power supply can correct power without switching to battery-based reserves.  A Line-interactive UPS contains an auto transformer that regulates any over or under voltage. It can be used for consumer electronics, network equipment and entry-level servers.

This type of UPS is interactive as it automatically selects different power taps on the auto transformer and can maximise any limited battery backup reserves by correcting any power fluctuations and managing current levels in an outage or power surge.

On-Line Uninterrupted Power Supply

Online UPS are generally more expensive due to the equipment involved but offer a premium solution for critical electrical equipment and acts as an ‘electrical firewall’. It not only can protect you against a power outage but regulates the level of power delivered to your equipment.

uninterruptible power supply

Online uninterrupted power supplies provide consistent power converting AC power to DC, and then back to AC with zero transfer time using double conversion UPS system technology. It is ideal for the protection of essential IT and server equipment, data centres, telecoms systems and top-end electrical equipment. If a power loss happens to take place, the batteries, which are always connected to the inverter, keep the power supply consistent and cause no interruption at all.

Uninterrupted Power Supplies protect your Electrical Equipment.

UPS systems will look after you and your equipment, so when your power runs out, you can continue to operate but they also ensure you are protected against;

UPS systems will ensure that if there is a power outage, you are protected against:

  • Power Failure. A UPS can ensure there is constant power to your all-important electrical equipment so it can continue to run preventing any downtime or data loss for anywhere up to 2 hours.
  • Under Voltage. Uninterrupted power supplies ensure that your IT systems or electronic devices continue to receive the correct amount of voltage, and IT hardware remains switched on even when the power supplied from the mains is insufficient.
  • Power Surges. Prevent electrical equipment from any damage during power surges caused by high voltage levels, which then suddenly drop off.
  • Lightning or Power Supply Malfunction. Lightning and supply malfunctions can cause energy bursts and a spike in voltage, which can cause the overheating of your equipment; something that a UPS can prevent.

UPS Maintenance Contracts & Servicing

It is essential to maintain uninterrupted power supplies on a regular basis, as the core components can deteriorate with age. At Shenton Group we review organisations’ power demands and design backup power solutions suited to your unique needs.

The key part of a UPS is the batteries. However, they are consumable components as are other parts such as cooling fans, which can also suffer from wear and tear, so a regular health check is vital to prevent you from ever becoming unstuck at a time when you most need an uninterrupted power supply.

Shenton Group offers a range of UPS Maintenance plans based on your individual requirements so that your equipment can remain in shipshape. Speak to us about an uninterruptible power supply today.

Find out more about our uninterruptible power supply maintenance plans or visit our blog for more information about our UPS Systems and the importance of maintenance.

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Electricity Consumption Statistics for 2022, and a Forecast of the Electricity Market for 2023

Introduction

2022 has been a turbulent year for energy. According to a report by IEA, in the first half of 2022 gas prices in Europe increased fourfold and coal more than threefold from the same period in 2021. This resulted in wholesale electricity prices more than tripling in many markets, including the UK electricity market which sources its electricity supply from large coal and gas power stations. The following blog will detail the electricity consumption statistics for the first two quarters of 2022, breaking it down by sector. We will also detail a predicted forecast of the electricity market in 2023.

2022 Electricity Consumption Statistics

The electricity consumption data below is from a report looking at UK April to June 2022 energy consumption, provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Domestic Electricity Consumption

The consumption of electricity from the domestic sector decreased substantially in Quarter 2 of 2022, decreased from 15.8 per cent to 21.7 TWh, the lowest value since Quarter 3 in 2019. This decrease reflects the ease of COVID-19 restrictions in place during the same months in 2021, which meant that people spent less time at home and were comparatively using less electricity. 2022 also saw warmer temperatures in April and May, which reduced the electricity demand for heating. This decrease in 2022 may also reflect customers’ efforts to reduce consumption because of the soaring electricity prices.

Non-Domestic Electricity Consumption

Both non-domestic sectors saw a slight increase in consumption levels in Quarter 2 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. The lifting of COVID-19 restrictions meant that businesses and industries could return to normal operations during this period, however the increase in demand was partially offset by the warmer than average temperatures.

The industrial sector consumed 0.8 percent more electricity compared to Quarter 2 2021 and comparably, the consumption by the other final users, including the commercial sector, increased by 0.6 per cent in Quarter 2 2022 compared to the same 2021 period.

Total Electricity Consumption

The total consumption seen by Quarter 2 of 2022 increased by 8.2 percent compared to the same period in 2021, in contrast to a 5.5 percent decrease in total demand. This resulted from the UK becoming a net exporter of electricity in Quarter 2, with net exports of 4.0 TWh.

Electricity power box with rain and electricity warning label

What does all this mean?

In 2022, the UK saw rising costs of energy combined with warmer-than-average temperatures, resulting in a decrease in domestic energy consumption. On the other hand, the UK saw business re-open fully after COVID-19 in 2022, which alongside the UK becoming a net exporter of electricity, resulted in an increase of total energy consumption.

This overall increase in consumption is one reason why regions across the UK have been warned about potential blackouts or power cuts in the 2022/23 winter season, as the National Grid may struggle to meet energy demands.  

Electricity Market Forecast for 2023

With the ongoing conflict with Russia and Ukraine, Europe is preparing to reduce its reliance on Russian fossil fuel imports by hastening its clean energy transition heading into the new year. The continued energy price crisis is fuelling debate on wholesale electricity market design, while governments are trying to cushion high electricity prices with diverse support schemes.

The Economist Intelligence Unit or EIU have predicted in their Energy Outlook 2023 report that global energy consumption will increase by only 1.3% in 2023 amid a slowing economy. Despite decarbonisation targets, coal consumption could grow marginally to compensate for gaps in gas supplies, and more extreme weather events could force many countries to fall back on fossil fuels, delaying the energy transition.

However, EIU also predicted that renewable energy consumption will surge by about 11% and the energy crisis will prompt some governments to backtrack on efforts to phase out the use of nuclear power.

There are large uncertainties about electricity in 2023. The International Energy Agency’s report detail that the main uncertainties affecting this forecast for electricity demand are primarily related to fossil fuel prices and potential economic growth. As of mid-2022, the global electricity demand growth in 2023 is expected to remain on a similar direction as this year. Strong renewable energy growth of 8% and recovering nuclear generation could also displace some gas and coal power, resulting in the electricity sector’s CO2 emissions declining by around 1%.

Conclusion

With the National Grid’s warning about potential power cuts this winter, many homes and businesses are worried about losing power, as well as the financial impact of rising gas and electricity prices heading into the new year. The recent cold snap this month has already started to test the UK’s efforts to prevent winter power cuts, and many are looking for ways to cut energy costs. The National Grid are providing an Off Peak Energy rebate Scheme from November to March to help prevent power outages and ensure energy sustainability while helping homes and businesses save money.

Your business shouldn’t be left in the dark this winter! We have provided reliable backup power solutions to a variety of sectors across the UK. Shenton Group designs, supplies, installs and maintains reliable backup power solutions, and offers 360 degree support.

To ensure your business operations remain unaffected by electrical outages, get in touch with the UK’s leading technical experts today for peace-of-mind through even the chilliest months ahead.

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