POWER GENERATION REPORT V
2011 U.S. Gen-Set Production
Engine Power Source < 5 kW 5 to 18 kW 18 to 50 k W 50 to 250 k W 250 to 500 k W Total
69,813 525,172 105,663
Source: Power Systems Research
TECH, TRADE, TRANSITIONS
The small gen-set business in North America is percolating with activity and change
BY JOE ZIRNHELT
Smaller, lighter, quieter, cheaper — who says you can’t have it all? These factors actually
make the generator set market bigger
and manufacturers are lining up to take
full advantage. The small (under 500
k W) gen-set market in North America is
being propelled by important developments that are creating new markets,
new applications and new customers.
Let’s look at some of the trends.
Product Technology: There are big
technology trends affecting all kinds of
engine-powered equipment and these
developments are about to weigh in on
the gen-set business as well.
In product design the concept of
a high-speed gen-set that can follow
load requirements has always been
sort of a daydream — a gleam in the
designer’s eye. But the practical con-
siderations for making that happen
have historically been a challenge
to overcome. All of the new technol-
ogy associated with hybrid drivetrains
are making this a lot more possible.
Recently, more inquiries and more
discussions have focused on the pos-
sible applications of inverter type sys-
tems and hybrid packages employing
methods to recover some of the lost
energy experienced by a constant
speed system with a variable load.