Generator set (genset) manufacturer Atlas Copco Power Technique business development manager Philip du Plessis says the business is always prepared to try to close any sale that comes its way, regardless of factors influencing the market.
“While we do see an increase in inquiries under these difficult circumstances – which is good for us – we still find that general enquires for our gensets come through regardless of load-shedding,” he explains, referring to how bouts of load-shedding have served to increase leads and enquiries for new gensets.
“This does not change how the company manages its business,” he explains.
Although the pandemic put a halt to face-to-face customer interaction, we always ensured that we would stay in contact with our customers and dealer network. “We adapted as a company and ensured that our transition to online interaction was as smooth as possible.
Du Plessis tells Engineering News that customers will either rent or buy generators. The initial decision depends on the application and the sector.
Atlas Copco Power Technique’s mobile QES gensets range from 9 kVA to 1 250 kVA. The company also sells industrial generators that range from 10 kVA to 2 250 kVA, as well as small portable generators ranging from 1.6 kVA to 12 kVA. Containerised generators are also available from 800 kVA to 1 450 kVA.
“Our target markets for the QES range is mainly general construction, mining, quarrying, agriculture, roadworks, residential, telecommunications and transport,” Du Plessis explains.
He says that, typically, Atlas Copco’s distributors will assist the company with sales of 125 kVA and lower, but notes that, over the past year, generators of 250 kVA and above have been in demand the most in South Africa.
“These larger generators are supplied to larger enterprises because of the ongoing instability in the power grid. When faced with load-shedding, these generators are the power sources that are required to keep businesses going.”
Atlas Copco’s QES generators come equipped with user-friendly Qc series controllers that provide power within two clicks and take just six seconds to be fully operational. With models above 250 kVA, it is possible to connect and deploy multiple generators in a modular power plant format if paralleling, load-sharing or power export is required. To realise this, users can choose between either a Qc 3012 multiple gensets synchronisation controller or a Qc 3111 automatic mains failure synchronisation controller.
“A key element of the design is that it is easy to operate, giving the generator plug-and-power capability and eliminating any headaches associated with startup,” Du Plessis notes.
Additionally, multiple socket combinations are available, depending on the customer requirement. A single-phase option is available if a lower power output is needed, which are available in three socket options, depending on the local power standard.
Additionally, CEE 400 V from 16 A to 125 A sockets are available when the objective is to get the maximum power output from the generator.
Further, the QES generator range features waterproof canopies that repel all liquids, including heavy rainfall. They can perform continuously for up to 500 hours in extreme temperatures, from a maximum of 50 °C to –25 °C.
Du Plessis explains that the range has undergone an extensive design and testing procedure to ensure resilience. The galvanized steel canopy and powder paint coating is subjected to a 720-hour spray test, plus nitrogen cutting, with the double layer painting base frame subjected to a 480-hour spray test, consequently ensuring corrosion resistance.
The QES generators include a fuel-efficient power pack, a sound-attenuated steel enclosure and spillage-free frame, with integrated forklift slots and lifting beams for ease of transportation.
They also include a lifting frame structure that can withstand up to four times the weight of the generator, as well as a heavy-duty base frame to cope with regular mobilisation.
All models in the QES range require only two hours of maintenance for every 500 operating hours and have large doors for ease of access during servicing.
Further, the range includes a standard digital automatic voltage regulator and a 300% short-circuit capability, which means that the generators can be used to start any electrical motor within 20 seconds.
Du Plessis believes that the QES range balances high performance with affordability, which reduces clients’ capital investment while enabling them to continue competing in price-sensitive segments.
“Our generators have been developed using Atlas Copco’s extensive experience in construction environments, which enables us to deliver sustainable value,” he concludes.