Seasonal weather changes can affect your power generation equipment. Heat is the biggest destroyer of engines. Combining excessive heat with Power Packs running in prime applications, 24/7 for weeks on end, can cause problems. Be prepared for warmer weather by taking some proactive preventative maintenance actions today.
Over time dust and dirt – inherent to most port environments – will accumulate in the fins and small spaces of engine radiators. During periods of cool weather this is not usually an issue. However, as temperatures rise engines will require greater cooling capacity and a plugged radiator can cause overheating and unit shut down.
It is important to note that most Power Packs cool themselves by pulling air through the unit and blowing it out past the radiator end. Oil and coolant leaks from the engine will be sucked through the radiator leaving a wet film that will attract dirt and other contaminants. More oil will attract more dirt eventually clogging the radiator.
Keep radiators operating efficiently through periodic inspection and cleaning to remove possible obstructions. Be careful not to damage the delicate fins. A soft bristled brush can work well. Equally effective can be the use of low pressure compressed air or low pressure water in the opposite direction of air flow. It is not recommended to use high pressure from power washers which can damage the radiator.
Engine degreaser can also be used for tougher situations so long as care is taken to prevent solvents from touching belts and hoses.
Water pump failures can happen at any time. Inspect for leaks frequently. Also, plan ahead by having replacement parts readily available to avoid unnecessary downtime.
Belts / Hoses
Loose belts can prevent a water pump from performing properly. Plan on periodic inspection of all belts and hoses for signs of wear and potential failure. It takes time and effort to remove shrouds and covers to perform this task. However, doing so on your schedule versus having an issue when the power pack is supporting a full load of reefers can in the end save time, aggravation, and money.
Regardless of the climate in which you are operating your Power Pack, today’s engines require more than just water for proper cooling. Be sure to use the engine manufacturer’s recommended coolant type. Using the proper coolant/anti-freeze will not only prevent corrosion within the cooling system, but will also be more effective in dispersing heat and keeping the engine running cool and efficient.
Cooling System Requirements – Cummins.
These are just a few thoughts to keep in mind as temperatures rise in order to ensure the longevity and performance of your Power Pack. Should you have questions related to Power Pack maintenance, please feel free to contact us directly.
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