The first home “power plant” was produced by the Kohler Company in 1920. That unit was evolutionary in that it was the first to deliver 110 volts directly to the grid. It also had the ability to adjust the output based on the demand for electricity. The first units were developed to help rural citizens power a few lights, or critical machinery on the farm. Kohler generators were on Admiral Byrd’s expedition of the South Pole in the 1920’s. They also were on the front lines of WWII, supplying the troops the power they needed during the war. Those generators were installed in mission critical applications and did the job.
Today's Kohler Liquid cooled Generators can provide enough power to keep a home lit and warm during a power outage, or keep a business operational. An air-cooled generator usually will hit its maximum capability at 20-22kw. At that point there is just too much heat, and not enough power to be effective. With the rotor spinning at speeds of up to 3600, and thousands of feet of copper wire wound on the rotor, there needs to be a substantial amount of horsepower to generate the power needed. If the rotor doesn’t spin fast enough, and the generator senses an under voltage condition, it will shut down.
Having a powerful engine and a system to keep that engine running is critical. Some of these units use the same engines used in cars today. The engine in your vintage muscle car may be a distant relative of the engine in your 100Kw Kohler Liquid cooled generator. Engines in the generators have radiators, fans, hoses and coolant, just like your car. The engines in Kohler Liquid cooled generators are modified to run on either Natural Gas or Liquid Propane Gas. Even though LG and NG do not burn as hot as gasoline does, the speed, combustion and friction in the engine create a great deal of heat. Smaller engines rely on the circulation of motor oil to dissipate heat. Liquid-cooled engines use a mixture of water and chemicals to cool the engine. The industry term for the antifreeze mixture is engine coolant. Some antifreeze solutions use no water at all, instead using a liquid with different properties. Because the engines sit idle exposed to the elements, the proper coolant with antifreeze is needed to ensure operation under all weather conditions. Liquid cooled engines have passageways that coolant travels through, absorbing heat, before it passes through the radiator, where, tubes, fins and air passing through the spaces between the tubes helps decrease the coolant temperature before it reenters the engine passageways to begin the cycle over again.
The Kohler Liquid cooled generators available for home and small commercial installations are sized from 24kw to 150kw. Larger scale, over 150kw commercial, diesel powered liquid cooled generators are available as well. Having a home standby generator that runs when you need it, and runs as long as you need it to gives the owner a sense of security. Kohler Liquid cooled generators are built on technology proven over decades of use in the field.