Breathing New Life into Old Equipment
GAC engine controls support old and new engines. Many of our success stories involve keeping an old engine running using newer technology, providing both a cleaner solution and reliable power. Our customers and distributors are very creative, saving time, money and frustration. The following stories showcase the creativity and perseverance required to keep necessary equipment up and running.
Replacing a Belt Driven Governor
“I didn’t even know these still existed,” said Dave Pearson of PSS Governor Services, of Norwalk CA. Dave knew exactly how to support his customer. Using a GAC ATB throttle body actuator, he replaced the belt driven governor on a Ford 300 (CSG649i) engine running natural gas standby generator.
Using the GAC ATB401T1N-12 actuator throttle bodies controlled by a GAC ESD5526 speed control module made quick work of replacing these governors.
Upgrading to an electronic governing system improves productivity on your engines and gensets. With electronic governing:
- Gensets maintain a constant frequency no matter the load. Engines respond faster to load changes—as much as 200 times faster.
- Fuel economy improves as a result of accurately setting the engine’s throttle to match the load.
Keeping a Vintage Rolls Royce Running
When an old engine with low hours continues to be unstable, customers sometimes ask if it needs to be scrapped. Often the answer is no, it just needs better control. And when the engine was a vintage Rolls Royce, originally used on a tank, the folks at CSL Power Systems got creative.
By retrofitting a GAC 225 Series actuator, the engine came under control quickly, showing it was too good to be replaced. It then integrated into the rest of the generator system. Engine control is everything when it comes to stable frequency and voltage for generator solutions.
Product of the Month: The ESD5526
The ESD5526, part of the ESD5500E Series of GAC speed controllers, is designed to precisely control engine speed with rapid responses to transient load changes. Ruggedly built to withstand all engine environments, the ESD’s STARTING FUEL and SPEED RAMP features minimize the engine exhaust smoke experienced before attaining engine operating speed, providing a smooth response.
It’s recommended for T1/T2 ATBs and features:
- Simple installation and adjustment
- Adjustable droop and idle
- Accessory inputs for load sharing
- Variable speed operation
- Reverse battery voltage protection
- Soft coupling and lead circuit options
- Multi-V DC
- Light-force (low-current optimized PID)
- Anti-windup circuit (gaseous support)
With closed loop control, when connected to a proportional electric actuator and supplied with a magnetic speed sensor signal, the ESD5500E Series controllers support a wide variety of engines with isochronous or droop mode.
Check the Linkage First
No matter the type of governor you are using, the physical mechanical linkage that sits between the actuator and the fuel system is crucial. When governor control deteriorates or changes, linkage is one of the first areas to troubleshoot. A loose or worn linkage not only causes unacceptable governor control, but can create dangerous conditions if it fails completely and leaves the engine uncontrolled.
General Linkage Review
Look for the following:
- Lack of motion or binding in the linkage attached between the governor and the engine.
- Binding or friction in the linkage, which can cause speed variation and other problems that appear to be caused by the governor.
- Worn connector ends or wear to other linkage components.
- Free play in the linkage. Any play in the linkage will cause the governor to travel the distance of the play before any fuel change is made. An overactive governor provides less than optimum control and can cause excessive wear in the linkage and in the governor.
What Makes a Good Working Linkage?
To ensure you have a good working linkage:
- Ensure the control of fuel from the FUEL OFF to FULL FUEL position is within the travel limits of the actuator output shaft.
- The linkage design must use about 2/3 of the available travel between NO LOAD and FULL LOAD.
- If less than 2/3 travel is used, it may not be possible to stabilize the engine.
- If more than 2/3 travel is used, there may not be enough travel to shut off the engine in the minimum position or to reach the full fuel position, making the engine response appear sluggish.
Linkage created using bolts instead of rod ends rarely allows for optimal control, and loosens over time. The rod used in the second implementation allows for more solid control.
Teaching Kids about Manufacturing
“Getting kids excited about manufacturing is the key to the future of our nation,” said Sean Collins, President and CEO of Governors America Corp., as he patiently answered questions from a group of 7th grade students from Impact Prep Middle School in Springfield, MA.
And they had a LOT of questions:
- “Is everything made in the USA?”
- “How old do I have to be to be an intern?”
- “How many products do you make each day?”
- “Did you always want to work in a factory?”
Sean’s passion for manufacturing shone through as he talked about how he worked at all the individual jobs and loved each of them from shipping to assembly.
“We have to build products in the USA to stay strong,” he said. “Making things is important to our country.”
GAC has been welcoming student tours for more than five years, partnering with SparkPhotonics Foundation, which works with schools to broaden STEM education. While touring the GAC plant in Agawam, MA, the students met employees who had started at GAC right out of school or as interns. GAC has been supporting interns and young manufacturing hires for over 30 years.
Happenings at GAC
GAC will be closed on Monday, February 19, for Presidents’ Day