When we first came to this house in November 2009, its only electrical power came from a diesel generator. I have never been particularly interested in engines, and I knew little or nothing about this one. I didn’t know what make or model it was, what its service schedule was, how to service it, what to do if it went wrong. I had no manual for it, and no handover.
Indeed some of these things I still don’t know 4½ years later. The “gen set,” to give it its proper name, consists of three main components: the diesel engine which makes the power, the alternator that turns the power into electricity, and the controls which safely start and stop the system and allow it to be started remotely. I now know the make and model numbers for these components, and have managed to download maintenance and user manuals for them, but I still have no idea who actually manufactured the overall gen set, or who supplied or installed it.
The first picture shows the outside of the gen set (I keep wanting to call it the generator, which is how we always refer to it, but strictly speaking that’s like failing to distinguish between your car and its engine). On the left, obviously is the tank, the box in the middle houses the engine and the alternator, and the rusty box on the right houses the controls. (There is what looks like a filling cap on the right of the box but we never use that: I presume that this leads to the gen set’s own tank, which is not used in our case because the thing is fed automatically from the big green tank – this would also explain why the controls have a fuel gauge that never shows anything but nearly empty).
The second picture shows the inside: the diesel engine (which I now know to be a Kubota D1105, manufactured in November 2003) is on the right and the alternator (which I now know to be a Sincro GK4MBL) is on the left.