Most machinery has data plates and labels plastered all over them. California alone puts a books worth of labels on everything, many of which are ignored by the consumer. Data tags contain all the engine and generator specifications; serial and model numbers, operational specifications and other troubleshooting data. Model numbers assist in identifying the right parts and the serial number identifies the machine and aids in warranty enforcement.
Diesel Generator Data Tags
Typical Data Tags typically include the following information. Some manufactures offer more, some less:
• Manufacturer Identification, gives the company HQ and contact info. In this case where looking at Cummins Diesel.
• Engine ID, identifies the engine model and series.
o Power is listed in brake horsepower and SI kilowatts at indicated rpm.
o Torque rating in pounds-feet and SI Newton-meters at indicated rpm.
o Configuration (how set up) CPL (control parts list) and revision date of software and engine electronics.
• Engine displacement is the swept volume of the entire engine. Bore area x stroke x number of cylinders. Aspiration indicates how air is delivered to the engine, natural air or turbocharged.
• Fuel specs includes compression ratio, fuel injection system and Emissions Certification.
• Cat Engines give model number, manufacturer, product ID (service and parts numbers) and where built. For other data you have to lookup the specs or refer to the owner’s manual.
• Most other manufacturers follow suit with some combination of the above.
Cummins/Onan Generator Labels
After we know what’s cooking under the valve covers we will want to know what is happening at the generator head. Cummins/Onan Gensets will include:
• Battery data, a lot of commercial machinery run on 24 VDC versus. Genset operational speed in rpm. Nominal rating as a standby power source.
• Generator Specs, like frequency (in the US usually 60 Hz), rated as standby only, prime or both.
• Phase mostly 3 phase, wattage in kW (kilowatts) or KVA (kilovolt-ampere) and the power factor.
• Manufacturer including location and generator model and serial numbers.
• Connection Data Volt-Amp columns show amperage draw for various voltages.
• Wiring diagram reference.
Caterpillar Generator Information Labels
• Manufacturer and description.
• Genset data like engine model and year of manufacture.
• Output in KVA and kW, power factor at frequency, US is 60 Hz.
• Rating: Standby, Prime or both.
• Gen-data including Phase (usually 3-Phase) number of wires in Delta or Parallel series. Output in volts-alternating current (VAC) and amps capacity. Field excitement voltage and amps, generator rpm, max operating temp and ambient temperature. Insulation class and altitude rating, example 3280 ft or 1000 m.
Generator Warning Labels
Caution labels are for personnel safety and genset protection. Automatic Start to warn folks the genset can start at any time. Another is the maintenance sticker and next service inspection. Emergency generator at the entrance, to warn of the unit’s presence, Dual Supply data disconnect locations and instructions. Warning, Warning, Warning . . . Danger! How did we survive before warning stickers and signs? Second power source danger label, we probably would not want to mix power sources. Arc Flash/Shock warnings are usually found at the connection panel. High Voltage, always good to know, Carbon Monoxide, a real problem if the genset is in a room or other confined area.
There is a lot of information, but not all is heeded.