21-22 The Best Tutorial on | diesel power plants

Diesel Power Plants

Diesel Power Plants
Diesel Power Plants

Diesel Power Plants are a type of energy source that are used in many industries like Marine, Power Generation, as Industrial Power generation Plant. They are used to generate power, run turbines, and produce heat. Diesel Power Plants can be found in many different places around the world. We will be looking at the different types of Diesel Power Plants and help the readers to understand about them.

In this post on diesel power plants, I will explain the complete Layout with a description of Captive Diesel Power Plants for industrial Applications and a complete description of

  1. Alternators,
  2. Engine Control,
  3. fuel, lube oil,
  4. cooling,
  5. Compressed air system.

My readers will find the post useful..

Essential Components of Diesel Power Plants

Industrial Captive Diesel Power plant consists of the following basic systems and components

  1. Prime Mover( Engine)
  2. Alternator ( Generator)
  3. Starting and stopping system
  4. Air System
  5. Lubricating Oil system
  6. Intake system
  7. Fuel system
  8. Exhaust system
  9. Cooling system
  10. Control and Governing system


diesel power plants

The Prime mover is the main unit of any power plant. Heat energy is converted in to mechanical energy by the prime mover.

Four stroke engines are used for the power generation. Four-stroke engines are suitable for such applications for the following reasons.

  1. Low fuel oil consumptions 
  2. Effective lubrication system
  3. More flexibility. 
  4. Less Exhaust noise.
  5. Simple and better cooling.
  6. Better scavenging
  7. High efficiency.

Fuel System of diesel power plants

diesel power plants

Fuel Systems of a Diesel Power plant

1. Fuel Supply system

2. Fuel Injection system

Fuel Supply system

Fuel transfer system receives and stores the fuel in the tanks. Heaters are provided in the HFO storage tanks to maintain the correct pour point. From the storage tanks, the fuel continuously circulates. From the circulation system, fuel is transferred to fuel settling tanks through a controlled valve. Control valve supplies the fuel to settling tank as per the required quantity. Settling of the solid and water takes place in settling tank.

From the Fuel settling tank, fuel is supplied to the fuel treatment units. Oil is pumped to the daily service tanks after the purifying process. Fuel circulates to the mixing unit via the three-way valve. Consumption of fuel is metered through a flow meter installed in the system. Fuel supply pumps supply the fuel to the engine-driven fuel pump. From the engine-driven pump, fuel is supplied to the fuel injection system through fuel filters.

For the efficient combustion of the fuel, the temperature of the fuel is monitored by the viscosity meter provided in the fuel booster system. A pressure regulating valve installed in the system will regulate fuel supply at constant pressure to the engine-driven pump.

A diesel tank is incorporated into the system and is connected with the fuel supply system via a three-way cock. In mixing tank the circulated fuel is collected and supplied to the day tank.

The fuel system is equipped with two critical safety devices as under’

  1. A valve installed at a remote place to close the fuel system supply in the event of fire.
  2. Low fuel level in the tank.


Fuel Injection system

Efficient operation of the power plant is achieved by the fuel injection system . The fuel injection system supplies the metered quantity of fuel per the load requirement with the correct pressure and the best-atomized form to the combustion chamber to burn the fuel efficiently.

Air Intake System

diesel power plants

Following components are the part of Air System.

  • Air intake ducting supported suitably 
  • Silencer
  • Air Cleaner
  • Flexible connections.

The arrangement allows an air intake area located away from the vicinity of the prime mover, providing a reduction in noise from the airflow. The filters protect the engine’s vital components from impurities carried by air.

The design of the air system is small to ensure the reduced losses by friction, and economical viability.. 

The filter design is suitable for dust collection with simple maintenance and minimum air pressure drop. . An air system will be designed with silencer and marine type filter or oil dipped type filter.

Flue Gas System of CPP

From the exhaust valves, exhausts are led into a gas receiver. In the receiver, gases are equalized from fluctuating pressure and are further directed to the turbocharger.

Exhaust gases from the turbocharger outlet, are led to the Exhaust gas system consists of a spark arrester silencer. Exhaust duct with exhaust bellows and suitably supported with proper insulation. The exhaust pipe is connected to the Waste heat recovery boiler for the cogeneration plants. Exhaust system connects straight to exhaust stack, for the power plant without the heat recovery unit.

For the purpose of chillier unit and domestic heating, a heat recovery unit is installed in the flue gas system.  Steam is produced by the heat recovery unit.

The exhaust silencer dissipates exhaust gas pulsating noise, arresting of spark, and recovery of waste heat. The Silencer operation is based on an absorption system. The working is with a centrifugal system with the aid of fixed blades fitted in to provide the rotary motion.

Engine cooling water system

diesel power plants

Engine cooling water system contains following two types of systems

  1. Low-Temperature cooling water system (LT circuit) 
  2. High-temperature cooling water system ( HT circuit)

LT water system (Low temperature system)

LT water is circulated by pump through CAC (charge air cooler) and lube oil cooler.

The designed freshwater temperature in the LT system is not more than 36Deg C for preventing the high temperature of charge air from entering the engine.  

High-temperature cooling water system (HT circuit)

Before entering to cooling water jackets and cylinder heads the water passes through the first stage of charge air cooler from the High Temperature circulating pump

For ensuring efficient combustion in the complete load area and keeping the temperature limits the thermal load in high load areas and hot corrosion in the combustion area, Cooling water maintains the temperature of 800 C

For the perfect combustion in the low load area the temperature is high enough, and the cold corrosion is avoided.

Starting Air System

Starting Air system

Types of Compressed air system

  1. Starting system
  2. Starting Control system
  3. Safety system
  4. Jet ( Lambda Controller ) supply system

The compressed air is supplied from Starting Air Bottle. The air passes to the Dirt separator and is further provided to the engine starting equipment at a pressure of 8.5 bars to 10 Bar. 

  1. Direct Air Starting system- In this system, Compressed air is directly supplied to Engine cylinders at a pressure of 30 bars. The starting air enters the cylinders as per the firing order for the starting sequence of the engine and the engine starts, as soon as the engine gains the starting speed.
  2.  Starting Motors: – In this system, starting air is supplied to the starting Air Motor at a pressure of 8.5 Bars to 10 bars. . Flywheel is rotated at a starting speed by a starting Air motor.
  3. Starting Control System– Starting air to the starting motor is supplied through the Solenoid valve operating as per the signals from starting control system. The system is also provided with an emergency starting valve that can be used manually to start the engine in auto system failure.

Lubricating Oil system

diesel power plants

The lubrication system provides the lubricating oil to the moving parts of an engine. The lubricating oil provides the oil film between the moving parts and prevents the parts to generate heat due to friction.The secondary role of the lubricating oil is to clean the amounts of combustion impurities deposited in the parts.

In the dry sump type engine, oil suction by the lube oil pump taken from a separate tank. In the wet sump type engine, the lube oil pump takes suction from the engine sump.The pump supplies the oil to the engine through the lube oil cooler, the Thermostatic valve, and full-flow filters. In the engine, the oil circulates through many branch pipes to supply the various parts asunder..

  • Main and con rod bearings
  • Piston cooling
  •  Cooling of the piston.
  • Valve gears mechanism for the lubrication of rocker arms.
  • Lubrication system for the camshaft components
  • Other auxiliaries engine units like, Turbocharger, Governor, Pumps, and Valve-gear trains.

A bypass oil cyclone type filter installed on the engine for the cleaning the impurities of lubricating oil.

Pre-Lubrication Pump

Before the starting of the engine, lubricating oil is provided by the lube oil priming pump. Oil supplied by the priming pump limits the boundary lubrication by reducing the time for the commencement of hydrodynamic lubrication



Alternator converts the mechanical energy in to electrical energy.

Types of Alternators

  1. Alternator for marine application
  2. Locomotive Diesel Electric Alternator
  3. Brushless type alternator
  4. Radio Alternators.


  1. Current and Alternator speed ar directly proportional.
  2. The efficiency of an alternator is proportional to the speed.
  3. Current and temperature rise will be in inverse proportion.

Control and Governing system of diesel power plants

Why is it required?

  • As per the load requirement, the load is never constant on Generator.
  • Oscillating Frequency with the supply of poor quality willbe the result of uncompromised adjustments..
  • Non speeding up and a constant frequency is the indication of generation is as per the system requirement
  • The quality of power will depend upon the Frequency and the voltage.
  • Must control the Frequency and voltage properly for the steady and proper output for satisfactory performance.
  • Engine governing system utilized for administering Frequency and power output.  

Diesel Power plant Speed control

  • Manage constant shaft speed at all loads
  • Maintain a steady fuel supply through the Engine.

Engine Control System of diesel power plants

Engine control system
21-22 The Best Tutorial on | diesel power plants 20

This system is installed independently on each Generator set and capable of smart, sophisticated functions of the Engine and interfaced with the plant system.

This system is also responsible for the operation, complete monitoring of the Engine, and safety functions. This system is also connected to an external system for providing entire operation and monitoring capabilities to the remote system.

Main units of the system

  1. Panel for ECS
  2. panel for Ignition Control

ECS Panel;-  Engine primary function is controlled by the central unit of engine system mounted in the ECS panel. ECS panel is connected to an internal and external system to enable the operator to monitor the engine status and manage the Engine through the touch screen on the panel

Ignition Control panel

The ignition control panel is mounted on the engine and connected to a fuel admission valve and ignition coil on each cylinder. ICP regulates the timing and duration of each valve and injectors.

Diesel Engines: An Owner’s Guide to Operations and Maintenance

Diesel Engines and Operations and Maintenance

‘This practical book presents fundamental principles and identifies the separate systems (fuel, cooling, etc.). In this revision urgent information is supplied for electronic diesel engines. It explores three fuel systems: low pressure, mechanical, and electronic. Checklists of required maintenance tasks are included, with explanations of engine operation: warm-up, normal running, and shutdown. This guide provides illustrations and step-by-step instructions. The explanation of the basic engine systems and routine tasks presented in Diesel Engines, augmented by the manufacturer’s operating manual, puts the actual accomplishment of these jobs well within the capability of even a nontechnical boat owner. Special knowledge and tools are not required

Fundamentals of Medium/Heavy Duty Diesel Engines

Fundamentals of Medium Heavy Duty Diesel Engines 8

Based on the 2014 National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) Medium/Heavy Truck Tasks Lists and ASE Certification Test Series for truck and bus specialists, Fundamentals of Medium/Heavy Duty Diesel Engines is designed to address these and other international training standards. The text offers comprehensive coverage of every NATEF task with clarity and precision in a concise format that ensures student comprehension and encourages critical thinking. Fundamentals of Medium/Heavy Duty Diesel Engines describes safe and effective diagnostic, repair, and maintenance procedures for today’s medium and heavy vehicle diesel engines, including the most current, relevant, and practical coverage of: • HD-OBD emission diagnostics • Common rail injection systems

Pounder’s Marine Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines

Ponders 18

Pounder’s Marine Diesel Engines has served seagoing engineers, students of the Certificates of Competency examinations and the marine engineering industry throughout the world.

Now in its ninth edition, Pounder’s retains the directness of approach and attention to essential detail that characterized its predecessors. There are new chapters on monitoring control and HiMSEN engines as well as information on developments in electronic-controlled fuel injection. It is fully updated to cover new legislation including that on emissions and provides details on enhancing overall efficiency and cutting CO2 emissions.
After experience as a seagoing engineer with the British India Steam Navigation Company, Doug Woodyard held editorial positions with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute of Marine Engineer

* Helps engineers to understand the latest changes to marine diesel engineers
* Careful organisation of the new edition enables readers to access the information they require
* Brand new chapters focus on monitoring control systems and HiMSEN engines.
* Over 270 high quality, clearly labelled illustrations and figures to aid understanding and help engineers quickly identify what they need to know.

Lamb’s Questions and Answers on the Marine Diesel Engine

Lambs Questions and Answers 11

The book is comprehensive and includes almost all topics needed to understand marine diesel engines. The book explains the role of heat in engineering science, the principles behind internal combustion engines, the role of fuels and lubricants, the cooling systems, the lubricating systems and the heat exchangers.

The book also explains the various parts of the marine engines and their functions. Air-storage tanks and air compressors are also dealt with in the book. Information on balancing and vibration, various instrumentation and control methods, along with the safety measures are covered in the book.

Lamb’s Questions and Answers on the Marine Diesel Engine was published by Butterworth-Heinemann in 1990. The eighth revised edition is available in hardcover.

A Pocket Book of Marine Engineering: Questions and Answers

A Pocket Book webp 11

A Pocket Book of Marine Engineering: Questions and Answers is a book that covers the topic of air filter for engine in great detail. This book is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about this topic. The author, John Myatt, is a world-renowned expert on marine engineering. In this book, he covers everything from the basics of how these engines work to more advanced topics like choosing the right air filter for your engine. If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to air filter for engine, this is the book for you.

This handy pocket-sized guide is filled with hundreds of questions and answers on marine engineering, covering all the basics from engines and propulsion to steering and safety. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about this fascinating subject, whether they’re studying for a qualification or just interested in how boats work. With clear explanations and plenty of diagrams, this book is an essential reference for anyone with an interest in maritime engineering.

Diesel Generator Handbook

Diesel Generator Handbook 1 13

Diesel Generator Handbook meets the need for an authoritative reference work covering the range of mechanical and electrical topics embodied in the practical design and application of diesel generating plant. It will be particularly welcomed in many parts of the developing world where the diesel generator is basic to the electricity supply system.

The discussion covers, in fifteen chapters, the prime mover, power ratings, synchronous generators, load assessment, control principles and systems, switchgear and controlgear, standby power, fuels and lubricating oilss, installation and commissioning, noise reduction, and plant operation and maintenance.

The book thus caters for all who are concerned with the selection, specification, testing, commissioning, operation and maintenance of diesel-based generator systems: not only the practising plant or services engineers, but also non-specialist engineers and users. The young technician or trainee engineer who is embarking on a career in the supply industry will find this handbook an invaluable investment.

L L J Mahon, FIEE, FBIM, after an engineering apprenticeship with BTH in Rugby, gained over 30 years’ experience in the design, development, manufacture, installation and commissioning of both stationary and highly specialised mobile diesel generator plant for a range of applications.

Blog Conclusion

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