September 12, 2016

Get to Know How Final Tier 4 Standards Affect Your Gen-Sets

With Final Tier 4 emissions regulations in effect for diesel engines 56 kW (75 hp) and above (or just becoming in effect for those in Canada), customers are beginning to inquire about gen-sets that meet the new standards. But it's important to note that Final Tier 4 emissions regulations affect emergency and non-emergency generators differently.

Emergency stationary gen-sets are defined as those in which the generator set operates only during periods of an outage of the normal utility power supply. Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) allow stationary engines to be sold and labeled as emergency stationary. Under these guidelines, the engines can operate for 100 hours or less per year (50 hours for test and maintenance and 50 hours for non-emergency use) for events such as flood, earthquake, fire, frost, or other natural disasters.

Because of their lower emissions potential, the EPA allows emergency generators to continue operating at pre-Final Tier 4 emissions levels for the foreseeable future.

Non-emergency generators placed in new applications must comply with Final Tier 4 emissions regulations, according to EPA-defined phases. These gen-sets include non-emergency standby power, prime power, and those used for load management/peak shaving, rental, and other mobile uses.

Be sure to work closely with your generator manufacturer when determining regulatory compliance, and also consult your local and regional regulatory authorities to ensure that emissions requirements in your area are not more stringent than those defined by the EPA.