The world of equipment rentals can be a bit like Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities…”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”. After a robust 2017, commercial construction companies are anticipating an even stronger 2018. In addition, 2017’s natural disasters brought a boon to reconstruction needs and to basic power needs. All of this put generators into the realm of high demand! These are heady days for generator manufacturers and for rental corporations. But because supply is lower than demand, right-sizing power ratings for expected needs can be even more challenging. This can lead to an environment of frustration and equipment under-performance/failure.
Everyone who has ever conducted business has appreciated their customer. They are the lifeblood of business. We do everything we can to support the customer, seeking to grow with them. In the generator rental world, this support comes with its own set of challenges. Oftentimes, customers may not be able to completely anticipate how the equipment will be used. In other cases, they may know their power requirements, but if the right-sized generator isn’t available for rent, they will up-size the power rating to ensure that they have enough power to meet their requirement. While up-sizing may work for the customer in the short run, it can be very problematic for the rental house in the short and/or long run.
An under-loaded generator will degrade the performance of the engine and after-treatment over time. The phenomenon is known as wet stacking. If it continues to happen, it will degrade the engine itself, as well as the after-treatment system. The costs can be significant…reduced productivity, increased fuel consumption, increased maintenance. Ultimately it can lead to the need to repair or replace the engine. All the while, it has a negative impact on the environment. In the end, the experience can be very frustrating for the customer, and the customer may be inclined to hold the renter accountable.
While the customer might not be able to anticipate all requirements during its generator rental period, the rental house is even less certain. Should an engine/after-treatment issue arise, the rental house will often accept a degraded system back from a rental contract without charge to the customer. Often, the extent of degradation will not even be known, until a final renter deals with a more catastrophic failure associated with wet stacking…the final straw that broke the camel’s back.
The industry has sought solutions. Load banks can be used. Dedicated, built-in systems can be a very expensive solution. Non-dedicated systems can work if they are applied in regular intervals, but this can be logistically difficult and it’s one more thing for management to monitor. Systems exist that address the after-treatment system by applying high heat to burn off particulates according to engineered algorithms. These solutions can be quite expensive and do little to address issues at the source: the engine. Ventech’s Liquid Heat Generator (LHG) addresses the issue both on the engine and the after-treatment levels. Furthermore, the LHG delivers in a more cost-friendly way.
The LHG is powered by the engine’s belt drive. The Ventech system is designed to intensively heat the coolant. The heating of the coolant helps to bring the engine to its optimal operating temperature. More importantly, when the LHG is engaged (through a clutch system), it loads the engine. The combination of loading the engine while heating the coolant acts as a strong deterrent to wet stacking. The Ventech system is always programmed to disengage as soon as the user requires power, thus giving the user full access to the power rating of the generator platform. The upshot of the LHG-equipped generator for the renter: continue to try to match the power rating with the customer’s need, but if the match misses, the generator is protected! Customer interactions remain pleasant where the renter is happy to say the customer is always right!
The Ventech LHG is currently available as an OE-installed system.