Generator Source has been proving industrial and commercial sales, rentals and service for nearly 40 years. During this time we have we have have worked on and built experience with most generator set manufacturers. This artilce provides additonal insigtht and history on the Onan brand, and how everything is related to Cummins.
Beginnings of Onan Corporation
Minnesota native David W. Onan founded Onan Corporation. David was never fond of school and dropped out to support his family when his father passed away when he was 14. His first job was helping build a power plant for the Niagara Falls power and light company.
His next move was to Reinhard Electrical Repair Department, where he supervised 50 mechanics that turned out 100 to 125 repair jobs per day. During World War I, he taught mechanics at the Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, and in his spare time, he worked on mechanical inventions. He was often called a mechanical genius by his peers.
During the 1900s, the automotive industry did not have the service it has today. The owner was expected to remove a failed part and send it in for repair or replacement. In the 1920s, David started his new company from his home, largely working in the evenings on tools and devices for the automotive industry. He created the following 12 manufacturing points for his company:
- Product acceptance
- Experimental research
- Tool and die excellence
- Production and assembly
- Production flow
- Final testing
- One product concentration
- Meeting a need
- Sales and service facilities
- Basic management
Onan Ten-Lite Generator
In the late 1920s, the Ten-Light generator was introduced and sold for $99 plus $12.00 for ten 30-Watt light bulbs and the wiring it powered. The bulbs and wiring would be routed around the home and connected to the generator. This supplied electricity to rural homes that did not have access to utility power. It was a Direct Current (DC) generator. The first Alternating Current (AC) generator was marketed in 1929 and began the Onan generation history.
Onan continued to grow in the generator business, expanding to supplying generators for recreational vehicles and the marine industry. They coupled with large engine manufacturers such as Ford and Cummins engine company. In 1992, Onan Corp became a fully owned subsidiary of Cummins Inc.
Generator Source has more than 38 years of generator experience. We are proud to stock Onan generators and accessories. For our line of in-stock products, go to Onan Generators
Cummins Inc. is the world's largest designer and manufacturer diesel engines. The size of the engines range from 55 to 2700 horsepower and are used for on-highway vehicles, industrial equipment, and marine applications. Cummins industrial engines often power generators, and they utilize Onan-produced alternators (generator end). These units are often referred to as Cummins Onan generators.
Cummins generators using the Onan alternator are branded Cummins Onan and remained that brand until 1992 when they purchased Onan. Cummins Industrial generators manufactured after 1992 may not bear the Onan brand name but do use the Onan alternator. These units were manufactured in the two popular design categories below.
An engine, alternator, and radiator are mounted on a framework called a skid. This is considered a complete generating unit but does need supporting our auxiliary systems. The fuel system generally consists of a primary fuel tank supplying a day tank that supplies fuel for the generator. The radiator is commonly connected to a louver system for outside air. Exhaust must be routed through mufflers and to the outside.
The same concept of engine alternator and radiator mounted on a framework is used. A fuel tank is installed within the confines of the framework and sized to accommodate the operation of the generator engine. An enclosure surrounds the generating unit. They can be sound attenuated and either weather resistant or weatherproof for harsh operating conditions. They are ready to be set on any level surface that will support their operational weight and connected to the building grid.
Emissions & Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Generators produced before 1992 do not meet the rigid requirements the EPA sets with the Tier 4 certification. However, these generators meet the requirements for emergency or standby use. The recent ruling by the California Air Research Board (CARB) allows these generators to be used for Power during Public Safety Power Shutoff events (PSPS). These events can run from hours to days to weeks.
Additional Equipment & Applications
A generator is not the only piece of equipment in standby or an emergency power system. Generator output cables must be connected to a switching device. The manual switching device allows for the transfer of generator power to the grid, and isolates do utility power. When power is lost it, must be manually switched to the generator mode. After utility power is restored, the generator is shut down, and the switch is returned to normal position.
The Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) is the most widely used switching device today. When utility power is lost, the below set of events happens:
- Generator is in automatic operation and receives a start signal. Engine starts and generator prepares to accept the load.
- ATS switches from utility power to generator power. Generator accepts the load.
- When utility power is restored the ATS switches to the normal mode and sends the generator a shut down command.
- The generator initiates shut down.
Recreational Vehicle (RV) Generators
Generator equipped recreational vehicles have the ability to go off the grid with all the conveniences of electrical power. Cummins has 80 years of experience in recreational vehicle generators. Today's Cummins Onan generators are the standard for quiet, reliable, innovative RV power.
They come in a variety of sizes and fuel selections. The customer can select from diesel, gasoline, or liquid propane fueled generator engines. Technical advances such as remote start controls and automatic start systems allow a new level of convenience for powering your RV in off grid areas. The generators quietly operate to reduce noise pollution.
We have a large selection of both pre-owned and new generators. Preowned generators offer an initial purchase savings, and all must pass a 31-point inspection prior to sales. Our large supplier network allows us to offer crane and shipping services. Many times, we can arrange for shipping within 24 hours of purchase completion. Contact Us
for more information or to get the ball rolling.
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