Generators produce a lot of noise and vibration, which can be annoying and disruptive to the surrounding area. A generator that isn’t vibrating makes less noise! If you want a quieter generator experience, one of the best ways to reduce generator vibrations is to ensure your device does not shake at all.
Luckily generator vibration is not an issue that cannot be fixed! This blog post will discuss why generators vibrate, how to stop generators from shaking, and what you can do about generator vibration.
Why Do Generators Vibrate?
A generator is a machine that produces electricity. As such, it has moving parts like any other machine, and those moving parts produce vibration as they move around inside of the generator casing.
1. Moving Part inside the Generator Engine
One of these moving parts is the piston inside the combustion chamber that moves at a speed of 3600 RPM. The movement of these parts is responsible for moving the crankshaft. They produce considerable amounts of vibrations.
2. Misalignment of Some Parts
A generator rotates around the axis, causing vibrations due to misalignment between engine, flywheel, alternator, etc. Failure in the lubrication system results in lackluster movement within the moving parts inside the generator engine.
3. Incorrect Mounting
Generator or engine mounted incorrectly to the baseplate. What’s more, faulty generator mounts, misaligned generator feet & support system components can increase the vibrations.
4. Faulty or Worn-out Spark Plug
Faulty or worn-out spark plugs can increase the engine vibration or shake it uncontrollably. They prevent the air-fuel mixture from igniting properly inside the cylinder leading to misfiring. That forces the engine to run like it’s having ‘hiccups,’ which increases the vibrations when idling or even at high speed.
5. Improper Fuel Intake Adjustments
If your generator fuel intake adjustments are off, the engine vibration might be higher than average. Even when the unit is idling, it can happen because the generator engine isn’t receiving the correct fuel-air mixture.
6. Damaged Motor Mounts
The generator engine comes mounted on rubber vibration isolation mounts that help damp some vibrations before reaching the generator frame. If they were to get compromised, the vibrations would increase to extremely high levels.
Types of Generator Vibration
Generator vibrations are of four types. Your generator might experience all four or one of them, depending on the size and model.
a) Lateral vibrations
Lateral vibrations cause the generator to shake from side to side, typically caused by a misalignment or loss of balance between engine and generator components. This can be corrected via realigning rotating components within the generator & replacing damaged parts as needed.
b) Axial generator vibrations
The generator or engine causes axial generator vibrations mounted incorrectly to the baseplate and can be corrected via realigning generator feet & support components.
c) Torsional generator vibrations
Torsional generator vibrations result from broken shafts within rotating components of the generator. They are usually due to worn-out bearings that need replacement and repair/replacement to damaged parts inside the gearbox & generator.
d) Vertical oscillations
Vertical oscillations cause vertical shaking; this type of vibration is typically caused by a faulty mount that needs replacing immediately before it becomes worse.
Effects of Vibration on Generators
- Too many vibrations can reduce the generator’s reliability, output power, and life span significantly.
- If you’re working with a massive diesel generator, it can make your buildings not safe from an earthquake.
- If the vibration comes from misalignment, it can lead to malfunctioning issues or total breakdown of its engine’s crankshaft and bearings.
- They also increase stress to the engine, wearing of some parts, sound level, losses in the generator engine, and load on the bearing, which can result in mechanical failure.
- Another thing, the direct effect of diesel generator vibrations on the human body can affect bogy organs seriously with time. It can harm the body balance, concentration, and human sight.
How to Reduce Generator Vibration
Even though it’s nearly impossible to eliminate all the vibrations in a generator, you can still take some measures to reduce them. Reducing the vibrations can help avoid most of the above issues.
1. Ant-Vibration Mat or Mounts
A generator anti-vibration mat is a great way to reduce vibration issues for your generator. You can use several different generator mats, but all perform the same essential function, which is dissipating vibrations.
And to lessen the amount of force being transferred from the ground into the generator, each mat has multiple rubber mountings that absorb those forces by breaking them up and spreading out their impact over a larger surface area.
In addition to using an anti-vibration mat, there is another way people help their generators run smoother: by adding support legs underneath them, so they sit completely flat against a surface rather than at an angle. There are many different generator support legs to choose from, including adjustable generator support legs, rubber generator feet, caster stabilizers, and more.
Some generators come with several features designed for this purpose – including stabilizers & rubber mounts to guarantee the unit won’t vibrate under normal circumstances. That way you can enjoy electricity without disturbance!
The heavier the unit, the bigger the anti-vibration mountings, and the more mountings you’ll need to reduce the vibration. Use your generator’s weight to determine how many mountings you need and how big. So, assuming you’re working with an 80kg generator, you’ll need four 20kg mounts.
You will come across many generator anti-vibration mounts out there. All you need is to pick something compatible with your generator in size, weight, and fitment.
2. Conduct Some Maintenance on the generator
The generator may be a little older and therefore needs some maintenance before you can begin reducing vibration issues. You will have to do more extensive work on the generator if it is extremely old or used extensively.
This includes changing out fluids, oils, filters and checking all components for any damage that might need to be repaired/replaced. Ensure there are no loose bolts during this step of the process, or else those vibrations from your generator could worsen.
Visually inspect the generator and its components to ensure that nothing is loose or broken. Tighten bolts, replace belts if worn, and remove foreign objects from rotating parts such as fans.
Take the generator to a professional if the generator still vibrates, no matter how slightly or infrequently. The problem might be beyond repair due to faulty parts inside the generator itself and its mounting system.
A technician can verify this for you by checking out your generator with diagnostic tools such as an oscilloscope or vibration meter. In some instances, your generator’s internal rotor may need replacement before anything else will work properly again.
a) Check Generator for Loose Bolts or Damaged Connectors
First, check the generator for any loose bolts. If there are any broken mounts, you will have to get them repaired before continuing with other steps. Ensure all connections/decouplings are secure while checking the machine’s vibration sensors and wiring harnesses. You want to make sure everything is connected correctly so it can run smoothly without vibrating excessively.
b) Check Generator Oil Levels
The generator’s engine should be running during this step. Check the generator oil and make sure it is at an appropriate level for optimal working conditions. If the generator has been operated extensively, you might need to replace some of the fluids as well. Keep in mind that if your generator starts vibrating excessively immediately after being put into use, you will have to do a complete service before reducing vibration issues significantly.
c) Clean or Replace the Spark Plug
If your generator is misfiring, you might want to check, clean, or replace the spark plug. Start by removing it from the engine with the generator off, inspect it for carbon deposits, and clean it with a soft bristle wire brush. Check the gap and correct it with a gapping tool. Also, test for viability by holding it against the crankcase with the boot on. If no sparks, consider replacing the plug.
d) Adjust the Carburetor Calibrations
It’d be best also to check the carburetor adjustments to make sure they are correct before ruling it out. If you’re not familiar with how to adjust the carburetor. In that case, it’d be best to hire a generator technician to handle the task for you, as any maladjustment could lead to an operation issue later.
e) Replace Worn Out Isolation Mounts
Isolation mounts are crucially important in helping reduce the overall engine vibration. It-dumps some of the vibration before they can reach the generator frame. The system is built to handle the constant movement of the generator engine, and with time it wears out. If you see any wear signs on your unit’s mounts, it’d be best to replace them as they might be the source of the extra vibration noise.
Use a Tachometer or Vibration Meter to determine where precisely the vibrations are coming from to be reduced accordingly. This step involves checking how much work is being done by each component within the generator and how hard each component is being worked. You can quickly tell if a generator needs repair or servicing based on how much of the generator’s power is used and whether components are working to their fullest capacity.
3. Reduce the Power Draw
Generators constantly working at high RPMs, or revving too quickly, can cause excessive vibrations over time. So, if the generator is producing too many vibrations when running at high speed, reduce the power draw by unplugging some appliances. After all, the vibration might accelerate wear and tear in some of your generator parts and cost a lot in repairs and replacements.
You can reduce generator vibration issues to a large extent if you turn off some plugged appliances. You don’t have to run your generator at maximum capacity; only do this when necessary.
Is vibration energy?
The two most common types of energy in vibration are kinetic and potential. Kinetic energy is produced when an object moves or changes its position, while potential energy is stored within a system until it makes contact with another object.