Caterpillar is now progressively fitting its off-road diesel gensets with the ACERT EPA Tier 2 and 3 compliant emissions control technology, the first company in the North American market to do so. The rating ranges cover 900 – 1000 kWe and 1000 -–1100 kVA, all powered by the new Cat C32 engine.

The adapted gensets are designed for standby applications and load management, and are intended to provide emissions compliance without sacrificing power density or fuel economy. Genset ranges in ratings from 125 to 800 kW with ACERT will be released later this year and into 2006.

Cat claims that the new technology, available on its road diesels since 2003, allows its users to meet worldwide emission regulations as well as delivering better fuel efficiency and power density in a smaller footprint.

Available in 60 Hz and 50 Hz models, the C32 set is powered by a 32 litre displacement, 12-cylinder, “V” configured engine. The generator features a permanent magnet excitation with Class H insulation, Class F temperature ratings (105°C prime/130°C standby), and anti-condensation space heaters. Winding temperature detectors are standard on select generator models. The C32 generator set is also equipped with an air-to-air after cooler cooling system with a serpentine core radiator that condenses its footprint, improves airflow and increases static restriction capability, and lowers transportation costs.

An ADEM A4 controller, mechanically actuated electronic fuel injection (MEUI), and cross flow cylinder head comprise the building blocks of the Cat C32 engine with ACERT. The controller precisely regulates engine functions including airflow and the performance of the fuel injectors, subsequently enabling the fuel injectors to deliver accurate, precisely timed volumes of fuel. The newly designed cylinder head, with its unique cross-flow design, incorporates manifolds engineered, say Cat, to dramatically improve combustion airflow.

The generator set also includes a standard electronic modular Control Panel 3.1 control system that ‘offers enhanced flexibility’ and can be configured to site-specific requirements. It combines engine and generator control and monitoring into a single digital panel for quick key access to engine and generator controls, diagnostics and operating information. The EMCP 3.1 communicates over a common J1939 package network and can support 17 optional languages, with English included as standard.

Additional functionality is available on the optional EMCP 3.2 and 3.3 controllers, including power metering, protective relaying and Modbus RTU communication capability. Both the EMCP 3.2 and 3.3 controllers also support the J1939 accessory data link, which allows for the addition of EMCP 3 annunciator modules and the discrete I/O module. The EMCP 3.3 controller also offers enhanced engine monitoring capabilities.

ACERT is a system with two main goals: get more clean air into the engine and provide more uniform dispersion of that air charge, leading to more complete combustion and reduced emissions. All Tier 3 off -road engines with ACERT have cross-flow cylinder heads, and most have four valves per cylinder. Most engines with ACERT use turbochargers with waste gates, improving air control and therefore increasing performance. Even more important than controlling air flow is controlling fuel flow. Maintaining optimised conditions requires that the right amount of fuel be delivered at the right time under the right pressure.