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G Satyanarayana

After studying this unit,

you should be able to understand about
diesel engine power plant,
explain subsystem and its functions, and
Understand advantages and disadvantages of
Diesel power plants

A generating station in which diesel engine is
used as the prime mover for the generation
of electrical energy is known as diesel power
station .
The diesel burns inside the engine and the
products of this combustion act as the
working fluid to produce mechanical energy.
The diesel engine drives alternator which
converts mechanical energy into electrical

As the generation cost is considerable due to
high price of diesel, therefore, such power
stations are only used to produce small power.
Although steam power stations and hydro-
electric plants are invariably used to generate
bulk power at cheaper costs, yet diesel power
stations are finding favour at places where
demand of power is less, sufficient quantity of
coal and water is not available and the
transportation facilities are inadequate. This
plants are also standby sets for continuity of
supply to important points such as hospitals,
radio stations, cinema houses and telephone

Diesel Power Plant - Distributed Energy

The design and layout of the plant are quite simple.
It occupies less space as the number and size of the
auxiliaries is small.
It can be located at any place.
It can be started quickly and it can pickup load in a
short time.
There are no standby losses.
It requires less quantity of water for cooling.
The overall cost is much less than that of steam
power station of same capacity.
The thermal efficiency of the plant is higher than that
of a steam power station.
It requires less operating staff.

It is an excellent prime mover for electric
generator capacities of from 75 kW to 1000
kW. The Diesel units used for electric
generation are more reliable and long - lived
piece of equipment compared with other
types of plants.
The plant has high running charges as the
fuel (diesel) used is costly.
The plant doesnt work satisfactorily under
overload conditions for a longer period.
The plant can only generate small power.
The cost of lubrication is generally high.
The maintenances charges are generally high
Noise is a serious problem in diesel power
1.They are quite suitable for mobile power
generation and are widely used in transportation
systems consisting of railroads, ships,
automobiles and aeroplanes.
2. They can be used for electrical power generation
in capacities from 75 kW t0 4000 kW.
3. They can be used as standby power plants.
4. They can be used as peak load plants for some
other types of power plants.
5. Industrial concerns where power requirement
are small say of the order of 500 kW, diesel
power plants become more economical due to
their higher overall efficiency.
Todays modern diesels are quiet and normally
require less maintenance than comparably sized
gas (natural gas or propane) units.
Fuel costs per kW produced with diesels is
normally thirty to fifty percent less than gas
1800 rpm water-cooled diesel units operate on
average 1230,000 hours before major
maintenance is required.
1800 rpm water-cooled gas units normally
operate 610,000 hours because they are built
on a lighter duty gasoline engine block.
Heat Balance Present and proposed Future Development