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Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706106 11/08/05 02:30 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,607
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Jay Offline OP
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We have a pair of 1,620kw (2,172 hp) Caterpillar 3512 emergency power generators at the telecom central office where I work. This is the most recent coolant analysis result for them. The coolant is Caterpillar ELC that was installed 6 years ago. Each generator has more than 800 gallons of coolant. The analysis was done by Butler Machinery with Level II kits purchased through Dyson Analysis.

The first column is gen 1, the second gen 2.

code:
    GEN #1              GEN #2
Total hrs: 117 hrs 118 hrs
Appearance: red/orange/clear red/orange/clear
Odor : normal normal
Foam : normal normal
Oil/Fuel : none none
Maintenance & additives:
Glycol 50% 32%
Freeze -37C -17C
Boil 107C 103C
PH 8.7 8.7
Conductivity 3940 4040
NO2 490 170
NO3 0 0
SiO3 3 3
moO4 866 423
PO4 3 0
Bo3 1 11
Seb 1380 870
Toly 1560 870
K 5636 3437
Corrosion & Hardness:
Fe 0 0
Cu 0 0
Al 0 0
Pb 0 0
Sn 0 0
Zn 0 0
TH 3 42
Ca 3 11
Mg 0 31
Metal Pitting :
SO4 0 0
Glycat 0 0
CO3 0 0
CI 0 0
NH3 no no
Solids : none none


Many thanks to Terry for his line-by-line analysis of the data.

One generator suffered a boil-over accident soon after installation, and was topped off with water. That generator is in trouble now. Can you guess which one?

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706107 11/16/05 09:31 AM
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Chris142 Offline
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How do you overheat 800 gallons of coolant? [Eek!]

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706108 11/16/05 09:36 AM
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Posts: 3,845
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Terry Offline
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I am amazed at the lack of comment and questioning here with this INDEPTH coolant analysis on a stationary diesel.

Jay, thanks for sharing here.

Terry

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706109 11/16/05 09:45 AM
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bruce381 Offline
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Gen 2 has a higher amount of dilution with harder water than gen 1 but corrosion metals still are low why is it trouble?
bruce

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706110 11/18/05 01:53 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
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Jay Offline OP
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Chris, you overheat the coolant by mis-configuring the load bank to operate at maximum load, at the same time building load is applied, during an outage. The combination just boils the coolant right out. [Big Grin]

Bruce, I should say, "starting to get into trouble" and you win the gold star by identifying the problem generator.

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706111 12/02/05 12:12 PM
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Posts: 575
0
04SpecV Offline
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So who decided it would be a good idea to just "top off with water" ?

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706112 12/19/05 10:51 PM
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Jay Offline OP
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The contractor that built our network had control of the building before it was turned over to the owners, and the accident happened on their watch. The contractor decided to top off with water and saddle the owners with a $5,000 repair.

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706113 01/20/06 06:26 AM
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Megadeus Offline
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Wow. That's a pretty retarded thing to do with such expensive equipment.

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706114 02/21/06 09:12 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
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Ken2 Offline
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There is no way that engine should have overheated unless something is wrong in the plumbing or the air flow for the cooling. It should carry 110% load without overheating...big diesels are always tested at 110% of rated load on the test stand before they are shipped to the customer. Medium sized engines like this one should bog down from overload before they overheat.

Are the engines subject to freezing? If not, I wouldn't use a glycol coolant--just water and suitable corrosion inhibitors and SCA. Why didn't your company's maintenance folks test the coolant at least every six months? A routine something like that is their responsibility.


Ken

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706115 02/28/06 08:01 AM
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Jay Offline OP
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Ken, thanks for your comments. We definitely had a boil-over with coolant loss, and the contractor in charge of the building topped off the Caterpillar ELC coolant with water. Our coolant analysis results have shown this for some time.

We do coolant analysis yearly since the generators typically run about 30 hours yearly. This is the first time we've done a level II analysis, though. I made Terry aware that we don't have freezing temps here, but he didn't recommend going with corrosion inhibiters and water. Neither did our Cat dealer. Our Cat dealer concurred with Terry's recommendations.

I'm still pressing our managers to get started with this repair--expensive as it is.

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706116 04/24/06 07:03 PM
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ctdhombre Offline
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Jay,
I have some questions. The generators were installed 6 years ago. Did the boil-over on Gen. #2 happen during install and testing? What is the nature of the problem now that is need ing repair? Is the boil-over the cause of the problem needing repair? If so, why was the repair delayed for six years?

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706117 04/25/06 03:15 AM
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Jay Offline OP
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ctdhombre, the boil-over happened soon after installation and testing. A power outage occured out of hours and, due to a mis-configuration of the load bank, full building load and full load bank load were applied at once, which exceeded the maximum power rating. The engine ran until it overheated and shut down.

The $5,000 "repair" that I mentioned is the cost of draining some of the coolant and topping off with ELC concentrate and some additives to bring the anti-corrosion additives up to normal levels.

The repair has been delayed because of it's cost.

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706118 05/22/06 01:26 AM
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Gary Allan Offline
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Okay ...so there's no "damage" other then long term corrosive insult. That is, the overheat itself hasn't ecessively damaged to engine due to the system safety interlocks.

So we're talking just the dilution factor. You've got to take out so many more gallons of the current coolant ..and add way too many drums to bring the concentration up to par.

Tell them to buy xxx drums a month. Wait until enough are accumulated.

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706119 05/28/06 10:22 PM
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Jay Offline OP
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Gary, thanks for the suggestion. That might work. A good portion of the bill is labor and the cost of hauling the drained coolant away (it's hazardous waste), but I'll give that a try.

Re: Caterpillar 3512 Emergency Generators, Cat ELC coolant #706120 06/29/06 12:33 PM
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ebaker Offline
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Is "Seb" Sebacetic acid? Whats "Toly"?

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