RER talks with Angel Nieto, product manager power & light, Atlas Copco Power Technique, about paralleling generators, the benefits of telematics, hybrid systems and the benefits of a versatile rental fleet.
RER: What is new technologically for your company in generators?
Nieto: Atlas Copco's new Power Management System for paralleling of generators provides a load dependent auto starting and stopping capability to easily adapt to the load demand and optimize the efficiency of the installation. It is available from the smaller power nodes, QAS95 all the way to the QAS330.
We have now a full range of Tier 4 Final generators with DOC+SCR emission solutions, no DPF to minimize the low load issues that were so common with the previous technology.
Our generator end uses the unique AREP, a built-in excitation system that will provide 300-percent overcurrent for 10s, hence, reducing the risk of oversizing the generator, especially in motor-starting applications.
What are the latest trends and developments in generators for the rental market?
Nieto: New telematics modules can be added to remotely monitor the generators (like Atlas Copco’s Fleetlink) not only on the location, but also to allow the user to read the internal parameters of the generator.
Smart paralleling controllers, they are user friendly and safe to be used.
What trends do you see coming in the near future in generators?
Nieto: I see a strong focus on environmental and fuel-efficient solutions such as paralleling, hybrid solutions and variable speed.
At the time of this conversation, we are around the beginning of hurricane season. What advice would you give rental companies about how to prepare for the impact of major storms?
Nieto: Have your fleet ready and in good shape for immediate availability, and able to be strategically deployed in critical areas. Have mutually beneficial agreements with other rental companies out of the area of influence of the storms. When the storm hits, servicing your customers in the highest priority.
Plan to purchase stock units well in advance to ensure they will be available when needed.
What do you as a manufacturer do to prepare?
Nieto: At Atlas Copco, we increase our stock levels for all our products (generators, pumps, light towers) and increase our production capacity to be able to respond to the high peak in demand.
What are the basics for rental companies to know if they want to be successful in generator rentals?
Nieto: Rental companies need to have a versatile fleet so it spends most of the time in the field than in their yard. Solutions like paralleling play a key role here as it provides the modularity needed to adapt to each application.
A good understanding of the customer's application will help to choose the right size of generator, which will save both the rental company and the end user time and money.
What trends do you see in generator rentals?
Nieto: Remote monitoring (telematics) helps to have a good control of the fleet, thus reducing the operational cost (optimizing service plans, technical service needs, spare parts availability, etc.)