Diesel Power Station
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.
In a diesel power station, diesel engine is used as the prime mover. 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 the alternator which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. 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 cost, 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. These plants are also used as standby sets for continuity of supply to important points such as hospitals, radio stations, cinema houses and telephone exchanges.
(i) The design and layout of the plant are quite simple.
(ii) It occupies less space as the number and size of the auxiliaries is small.
(iii) It can be located at any place.
(iv) It can be started quickly and can pick up load in a short time.
(v) There are no standby losses.
(vi) It requires less quantity of water for cooling.
(vii) The overall cost is much less than that of steam power station of the same capacity.
(viii) The thermal efficiency of the plant is higher than that of a steam power station.
(ix) It requires less operating staff.
(i) The plant has high running charges as the fuel (i.e., diesel) used is costly.
(ii) The plant does not work satisfactorily under overload conditions for a longer period.
(iii)The plant can only generate small power.
(iv) The cost of lubrication is generally high.
(v) The maintenance charges are generally high.
Schematic Arrangement of Diesel Power Station
(vi) Engine starting system. This is an arrangement to rotate the engine initially, while starting, until firing starts and the unit runs with its own power. Small sets are started manually by handles but for larger units, compressed air is used for starting. In the latter case, air at high pressure is admitted to a few of the cylinders, making them to act as reciprocating air motors to turn over the engine shaft. The fuel is admitted to the remaining cylinders which makes the engine to start under its own power