04-20-2012 02:32 PM
We had a platform upset the other night and the the e-gen kicked in. It took the load alright, but was smoking like a frieght train. It set the following ETC's:
The service tech is scheduled to come out, but is over a week out. Any insight on the matter will be appreciated.
04-20-2012 10:47 PM
Not sure what "ETC's" are, but I'm guessing you have faults for open thermocouples for the turbo inlets on right and left bank.
Most common cause of black smoke in a 3500 genset is plugged air cleaners, followed by plugged AC core. Dirty fuel injector tips can also cause a lot of smoke, so can a lot of other things, including bad fuel, lack of maintenance or improperly done maintenance, or a speed timing sensor problem causing the fuel injection timing to be off.
How much (as a percent of rating) load? Was it holding voltage and frequency? Was it running rough? Did the smoke start to clear after running a bit or stay the same? When was the last time it was servcied? How often do you test it?
Better info will get you better answers.
04-21-2012 07:17 AM
Thanks for the responce. ETC's are engine trouble codes... wording from my automotive background. The unit is ran unloaded weekly and has monthly and quarterly service intervalls unless runtime dictates service in between. We use 3 Solar Titan 130 gas turbine gensets for main power, so in a perfect world the 3516 won't run loaded for months at a time. The unit was running at approx. 72% of its capacity and was holding the voltage and frequency steady. It was not running rough, but the smoke was constant for the duration of the run. We've had fuel quality issues in the past, but we recently (about 4 months ago) had a contractor come out and clean the tank as well as circulate fresh fuel in the tank through an external filter skid to verify it's cleanliness. It has ran loaded since then without the black smoking condition.
04-21-2012 01:46 PM
Based on your description sounds like you may have a loaded muffler or exhaust system, how long did you run at that load? If you start and run unloaded a bunch, you can put a lot of slobber into places it will coke up and take time and temperature to burn off, fuel quality issues can compound the problem.
Ideally you should load bank test the unit at 100% load for a couple of hours, if it will carry load and run ok, see if the smoke starts to clear, it may take awhile if the muffler or turbo's are badly coked up. I had units run a bit then all of the sudden you hear a noise like a shotgun going off, a puff of smoke and the engine changes tone and cleans up, all the crud coming off the turbos from the unloaded runs.
May or may not be your problem, but a good starting point. Is there any indications of slobber, like black streaks running down the sides of the engine coming from the exhaust?
By the way, what do the fault codes, the ETC's, translate too?
04-21-2012 01:49 PM
If you have Titan units this must be a fairly new system, have you had anyone check the 3500 engine for fault codes from it's ECM? I'm assuming these are electroninc engines, unless you guys used an old dog engine for a standby (not unheard of).
04-21-2012 02:44 PM
Yes, it is a newer unit. It was built in 07 and put in service late 08. I do not have a way to read the engine ecm, those fault codes are what came up on the genset HMI. I was assuming they came crom the engine ecm but have no way of confirming that. Tomorrow is the scheduled weekly run, so I'll see if I can gather any more information and update the thread. Thanks for the responses.