How to Design an Auto-Lube System for Generators

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As the energy grid changes to distributed sources and wind / power assets, one thing is certain – diesel and gas generator engines are running longer durations. 

Lube Oil is consumption and handling becomes critically important with longer run times.  It’s a change in thinking for designers experienced in standby or backup generator applications.

The chart below is a gross estimate of lube oil consumption for engines in continuous operation.  The chart indicates the volumes of fresh oil and waste oil that must be handled to keep the engines running properly while minimizing maintenance labor cost and machine downtime.  Note that the calculations are approximate and may vary widely for different engines and applications – so please consult with your power generator specialist for more precision.

earthsafe auto lube

Auto-Lube Stategies for Power Generators

Auto–Lube Strategies for Power Generator Engines can range from simple manual systems to fully automated.  The following Systems Progressions will give you some ideas about where you need to be.

Systems 01-06 for Clean Oil Only

Systems 07-12 for Clean + Waste Oil

System 01: Manual Lube

Tank on stand to gravity feed to engine when operator opens manual valve.

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System 02: Auto Lube with Level Control

The level controller on the oil pan opens to allow automatic refill by gravity feed.

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System 03: Auto Lube with Level Control, Oil Pump and Meter

The level controller on the oil pan opens to allow automatic refill by pumped oil flow.  Meter in pump discharge keeps track of oil use.

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System 04:  Adds a Control Panel and Level  Transmitter for Remote System Monitoring

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System 05: Adds 3-Way Valves to the Pump To Allow Suction of Oil from a Tote to Refill the Tank

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System 06: Adds Additional Generators for Multi-Gen Systems

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System 07: Auto Lube with Level Control + Waste

The level controller on the oil pan opens to allow automatic refill by gravity feed. The waste pump is activated manually for fast oil change.

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System 08: Auto Lube with Level Control, Oil Pump, Waste Pump and Meter

The level controller on the oil pan opens to allow automatic refill by pumped oil flow.  Meter in pump discharge keeps track of oil use.

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System 09: Adds a Control Panel and Level Transmitter for Remote System Monitoring

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System 10: Adds 3-Way Valves to the Pump to Allow Suction of Oil from a Tote to Refill the Tank, or Discharge of Waste Oil.

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System 11:  Adds Additional Generators for Multi-Gen System

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