Baldor Electric was formed in 1920 in St Louis, Missouri, by Edwin C. Ballaman and Emil Doerr. The company was named Baldor after its founders. Ballaman was an electrical engineer by trade and had patented a centrifugal switch improving motor performance. Recruiting Doerr to supervise plant operations proved to be a winning combination.
They were an immediate success operating with a few employees in a small leased shop based out of a St. Louis building. The low horse-power induction motors produced were used for equipment that required motors for high-torque startup, such as pumps. Within one year of production, the company had outgrown the small shop and purchased a factory to be company headquarters for the next 45 years.
Generator Business Progression
Baldor purchased Pow'R Gard Generator in 1965. In August of 2006, Baldor expanded its generation production plant. They added an additional 100,000 square feet to their Wisconsin building. The Boreman Learning Center was part of the addition. Its auditorium featured advanced audio-visual equipment for customer and employee education.
On January 27, 2011, ABB announced its acquisition of Baldor Electric company. ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies. At that time, they employed approximately 124,000 employees. In October of 2013, ABB announced the sale Baldor Generator corporation to Generac. Generac folded the 3.25 kW to 2.5 MW Baldor generators into their business plan. When the purchase was complete, the employees from Baldor were hired under the Generac umbrella. This ensured no loss of quality production.
Purchasing Baldor Generators
It is not possible to purchase a new Baldor Generator. Generac did not carry the Baldor name that ABB used when they acquired the company. It is possible to purchase the same generator under the Generac name. However, there are many pre-owned Baldor generator options still available. Generator Source has been in the generator business for more than 35 years. We purchase, sell, maintain, and troubleshoot generators and associated power equipment. Every generator must pass a 31-point inspection prior to sales. Contact Us
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Engine and Alternator Combinations
A generator consists of an engine and alternator (often called generator end). The engine is considered the prime mover for the generator and supplies rotational force. Baldor designed and manufactured the alternators for generator applications. A breakdown of current technology is listed below.
Baldor followed technology advances with the design and creation of the alternator for the generators. An example is the AE8-E Generator. The alternator has the following features:
- Brushless design
- Class F insulation used for all alternator wiring
- All wound components impregnated with varnish
- Sealed shaft bearings
- Double coated copper wire
- Stamped steel winding locks for overspeed protection
Baldor generators are sized between 1 kW to 2000 kW. As the alternator size increases, the engine size must increase. They did not manufacture engines for the generators. They outsourced engines, and customer needs were matched to the engine design.
Diesel, Natural Gas (NG) and propane are the fuel systems that power the engine. Diesel engines are compression ignition engines. They do not require a separate ignition system to deliver a spark to each cylinder. Propane and NG fuel engines require the ignition system to deliver a spark. The engine block and main components are the same only fuel and ignition system change.
The Baldor manufactured alternator fits many engine designs. Engines such as Detroit Diesel, Cummins, Mitsubishi, Ford, Haltz, Vanguard, Isuzu, John Deere, Kubota, Honda, Robin, and GM were used in the generators. The wide variety of engines available allowed the customer many selection options.
Each engine manufacturer has its designated electronic control system. The controller for the engine functions is called an Electronic Control Module (ECM) or Engine Controller. It monitors and controls all engine functions including throttle application. The engine controller communicates with the generator controller. An example is; As load increases generator controller communicates with engine controller and more throttle is applied.
The generator controller is considered the heart of the controls circuit. It does not have direct control of the engine. It communicates with the engine controller. The communication is conducted through a Control Area Network (CAN) wiring installation.
Baldor is an industrial motor company. They used their alternator (generator end). An appropriate engine would be selected from the twelve manufacturers available. The engine has an ECM for control. IntelliGen IGS-NT controller is one of the selected units. Engine alarm monitoring is one of the major engine safety functions of the controller. Some of the alarms are:
- Lubrication Oil Inlet Temperature High - The sensor is located in the oil passage before or after the oil cooler depending on engine manufacturer. The engine ECM monitors this pressure and supplies alarm information to the controller via the CAN
- Lubrication Oil Inlet Pressure Low - Signal sent from the engine ECM to the generator controller when oil pressure drops below set point
- Coolant Outlet Temperature High - When engine coolant temperature exceeds the set point in the ECM, alarm signal is sent to the generator controller
- Coolant Pressure or Flow Low - Engine coolant pressure or flow does not meet specifications, signal sent to the generator controller
- Exhaust Gas Temperature High - Temperature sensor(s) located in the exhaust system monitor exhaust gases. When specifications are exceeded an alarm is posted.
There are a host of other conditions that are monitored. Some alarms, such as a low oil pressure alarm, will result in an engine shutdown. Once an alarm or check engine light is illuminated, there is minimum troubleshooting that can be accomplished from the control panel. The technician will remove the cap on the 9-pin datalink connector and connect to the engine ECM via the CAN network.
It is not uncommon for a generator manufacturing company to outsource major components, such as the controller, engine, or alternator (company dependent). They interface all components into a single working unit. Many controllers offer paralleling options. This allows same make generators to be operated in parallel without the use of a separate paralleling control panel. Auxiliary binary and analog inputs/outputs are also one of the many functions.
Baldor Generator Styles
There are three basic styles of generators manufactured to meet the needs of most every industry. Each of the styles has different installation and maintenance requirements. All are a complete generating system and ready to assume the load once installed.
A portable generator set located is in a sound attenuated, weather-proof, or weather resistant enclosure. They are complete towable generating units ad include a fuel tank. Smaller generators can be connected to a truck by ball and hitch, or ring and pintle hitch. Larger units use a fifth wheel connection and are towed by a semi-truck.
Portable generators are popular with the construction industry because they can easily be transferred from location to location within a job site quickly. All portable units must meet the Department of Transportation (DOT) standards for lighting and towing safety.
All generator styles are manufactured with the generator, engine, and radiator on a skid. Outdoor generators that are not portable have the same basic structure of portable generators, without the ability for towing.
It is possible to place them on a level surface that is approved for operating weight and vibrations, and the unit is ready to be connected to assume the load. In areas where space is a premium, these generators can be located on rooftops. Advanced electronic controls of these generators allow paralleling in multiple generator applications.
Engine, radiator, and alternators are mounted on a skid without fuel tanks or an enclosure and are located in a maintenance, generator or, equipment room within the building. Installation requires a fuel supply, exhaust connection, and engine radiator outside cooling access. Considered the most complicated installation, indoor generators offer ease of monitoring during operation and no exposure to weather conditions.
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