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Thread: MEP-005a First run on Load bank with smoke

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    Default MEP-005a First run on Load bank with smoke

    Hi,

    I got around to getting a home made load bank setup with some parts that were laying around. I have eight 240v 1ph 3,800watt water heater elements. I have 4 breakers wired to a pair of elements, so one of the legs is a little lighter than the other two. When we ran the engine unloaded it made some white smoke. Today I put it under its first load for a little over an hour running all 8 elements. The smoke lightened up a little bit but there is still smoke. I took a video, its hard to see it in the video but does this look normal? Do I need to put it under more load or just run it longer? Please see video.

    Thanks
    IMG_4520.jpgIMG_4528.jpgIMG_4531.jpgIMG_4532.jpgIMG_4534.jpgIMG_4536.jpgIMG_4539.jpgIMG_4540.jpgIMG_4541.jpg
    Last edited by bosko; 03-26-2013 at 21:19.

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    2 Star General 1800 Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bosko View Post
    Hi,

    I got around to getting a home made load bank setup with some parts that were laying around. I have eight 240v 1ph 3,800watt water heater elements. I have 4 breakers wired to a pair of elements, so one of the legs is a little lighter than the other two. When we ran the engine unloaded it made some white smoke. Today I put it under its first load for a little over an hour running all 8 elements. The smoke lightened up a little bit but there is still smoke. I took a video, its hard to see it in the video but does this look normal? Do I need to put it under more load or just run it longer? Please see video.

    Thanks
    First--my comments are generic in nature as related to the oil burning...I have not dug into the TM to review the specifics of the 298 engine. Obviously, the blue smoke indicates oil being burned.

    From an engine that's been sitting up for years, surface rust on the liners may be causing a sealing problem and the rings may need to seat a little longer through some good hard running. Other reasons--the oil or compression rings may be partially collapsed--again from not running. As to the amount of smoke, I've seen much worse than that amount on many different types of generators. The oil burning isn't really hurting anything though but you'll need to watch the dipstick level pretty close. Another possibility--valve stem seals could be worn (or brittle/dried out) and allowing oil to be drawn into the cylinders. If the oil burning continues as is, or it gets worse, you'll need to do a compression test to help isolate the problem. In the short term, I would continue to run it as much as possible to see if it clears up. Also I would load the unit up to at least 75-80% for another hour or two to help clear some of the oil burning.

    I assume you're just running clean diesel with no additives? On our start-ups we use O/B motor oil for lubricity & also diesel additive (injector cleaner), so our 1st-time start ups tend to show a little smoke too--but not as much as in your video....I'm sure other fellows on here will come up with additional causes and suggestions as well.

    Keep us posted...

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    Myself I'd run it another hour or two and then give it an oil and filter change and call it good. A small amount of smoke for such an old Diesel design is normal, most old Diesels ALWAYS smoked at least a little at ALL times. When I was a kid I serviced numerous Allis-Chalmbers heavy equipment Diesels and if they weren't smoking a bit they weren't running, and those had a turbocharger that cleans things up quite a bit. Same engine they put in some of the 70's and 80's 60KW Mil Gensets.,
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    Take a look at the muffler and check for any signs of previous wet stacking. Some tar like drips or a black line from the muffler flange. It takes along time to burn off residual oil that may have accumulated in the exhaust system. I have an 005 that smoked lightly for almost a day before it cleared up and it still isn't perfectly clear. These are older engines not like the new clean burning diesels of today. I would run it at 80% load for a good 4-8 hours and check oil consumption before I was worried.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harleyd315 View Post
    Take a look at the muffler and check for any signs of previous wet stacking. Some tar like drips or a black line from the muffler flange. It takes along time to burn off residual oil that may have accumulated in the exhaust system. I have an 005 that smoked lightly for almost a day before it cleared up and it still isn't perfectly clear. These are older engines not like the new clean burning diesels of today. I would run it at 80% load for a good 4-8 hours and check oil consumption before I was worried.
    Now that's a good point--it seems like every MEP4 I get in shows signs of wet stacking on the manifold--some worse than others. Definitely would be easier to burn off old oil residue than to go into the engine...
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    This looks pretty normal to me...those engines typically smoke a little.
    The wet stacking that Harleyd315 mentioned is very common with these sets; I have load tested a few that took several hours under full load to "clean up." I would run it under 100% load for a few hours...I will bet that at least some of that smoke clears up.

    Edit: I can't tell for sure, but it looks like your % current meter is reading around 75%...do you have a clamp on meter to see how much current you're actually sending through those elements? Assuming that the elements actually pull 3800W at 240v, you should be right at 100% load. Being a purely resistive load, you can "fine tune" current flow with your voltage. A higher voltage =more current flow =more load.
    Last edited by sewerzuk; 03-27-2013 at 19:12.
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    I like your load bank!! I need to billed something like that for my mep-005a.

    I think the smoke is ok.
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    Attachment 418505I was wondering, you don't have the load selector anywhere , i see it in the manuals , looks like it part of the genset, or maybe just the presice, any way been reading about them, lot of good features, lot of relays it seems,...
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    Thanks or all of the great comments, sorry for taking so long to get back on here.
    1800 Diesel - I was running straight diesel, so I added 100 gallons worth (whole bottle) of Lucas Diesel fuel system cleaner to a full tank.
    Harleyd315 – I do have some tar dip marks coming from the muffler/header flange.
    Glassk – I don’t think I have that panel on mine.
    Sewerzuk – You are right, I had the voltage set to 208, So I probably was not getting the full 3,800w*8 elements=30,400 kw as they are rated at 240v. When the voltage is at 208 the load meter reads ~75%, when its at 240 it reads ~90%.

    Today I let the generator run for about 2 hours with some load. The smoke is over all is much less, I think it must have just needed a work out to clear the pipes. I adjusted the voltage knob on the panel so I was getting 240v output. I let the generator warm and applied load little by little. Once I turned the 4th pair of elements on the generator started to fluctuate voltage a little and could hear the engine/generator surge a little bit up and down. I backed the voltage down to 208 where it ran steady and let it run for about 2 hours total. I was wondering about the surging, I didn’t want to duplicate it until I checked with you guys. Am I not supposto run this set to 240? And only 208? Or do I have another problem?

    I put a ammeter on the legs with voltage set to 208 with all of the elements on: (elements are not evenly distributed for all legs, so one will be lighter)
    L1: 48amps
    L2: 70amps
    L3: 70amps
    How many amps can I expect to get out of this generator per leg?

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    Amps draw of L1,L2 and L3 all 8 elemets running @ 208v
    IMG_4561.jpgIMG_4562.jpgIMG_4563.jpg


    MEP-005a Running 75% Load after 2 hours less exhaust smoke


    MEP-005a 75% Load On, then Off, Then back on
    Last edited by bosko; 03-29-2013 at 22:20.

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