An Overview Of Kohler’s Marine PGEN Paralleling System

kohler marine generator pgen power solution

Advantages of Generator Synchronization

As paralleling systems become more popular, many manufacturers are now making this a default feature for their various generator sets. That, in turn, offers business owners various benefits.

1. Increase system availability

Enabling parallel operation of generator sets can help enhance load support availability. With effective design in place, such as implementing the necessary redundancies, you need not worry about interruptions to business continuity even in the case of a genset failure, as the system is still available to supply power to the load. This setup also ensures your remaining generators remain on standby in case of power failure, even if one of them is taken offline for maintenance and repair.

2. Improve system reliability

When multiple generators are connected in parallel and synchronized, the load can be evenly distributed across each equipment, reducing the risk of failure compared to only having a single large capacity generator supporting the load. This added redundancy will further improve the reliability of your backup generator system.

3. Enhanced efficiency

Optimizing generator efficiency is crucial, as running a large generator at low loads diminishes fuel efficiency. Utilizing multiple generators in parallel, controlled by a management system, ensures efficient operation based on load conditions. The system can put unnecessary gensets on standby depending on the load profile and operate only the necessary gensets required to support the load, boosting efficiency and reducing fuel consumption.

4. Operational flexibility

Parallel generator systems are sufficiently versatile to enable efficient load support. With strategic design and planning, you need only purchase the generators required for your current load condition while maintaining the flexibility to scale with future expansion plans when necessary. This approach can help optimize your capital and operational expenditure.

5. Reduce maintenance costs

Operating your generators in parallel, coupled with efficient load management, ensures optimal performance. By running only the necessary generators and keeping others on standby, the lifespan of your equipment is extended. That also means your generator components experience less wear and tear, resulting in lower maintenance costs over time.

The Challenges of Generator Synchronization

As you can see, generator synchronization offers multiple benefits, making it an essential solution for various applications. However, setting up a paralleling generator system demands expert knowledge to prevent potential damage to the equipment. A simplified control system is necessary to reduce the complexity of the process.

Generally, the traditional synchronization method requires close monitoring of the voltage, as well as manually adjusting the generator speed to match the system frequency. While this is feasible, the process demands an elevated proficiency to achieve. Fortunately, the advancement in technology now allows for automatic synchronization and monitoring through the control system, providing enhanced accuracy and safety.

The synchronizing of industrial (land-based) gensets is typically carried out by incorporating a synchronizing panel or built-in feature on the generator controller. While space might be less of an issue for industrial gensets since it is possible to allocate more room for the additional panel, this could be a problem for marine generators, as there is a need to consider proper space planning on the vessel and out on the water, where the availability and reliability of the power are paramount.                                                                                                                                                            

Kohler's Marine PGEN Paralleling System: The Solution to Your Synchronization Problem

Fortunately, our marine PGEN paralleling system offers the ideal solution to the synchronizing challenges posed by marine gensets. Gone are the days of relying on synchronizing panels, which require additional space and add further complexity to the issue. Our cutting-edge marine gensets are the first and only single-source paralleling generator system that features factory-installed, pretested paralleling controllers and automatic voltage regulators.

All of this is made possible with our Decision-Maker 3500 (DEC3500) controllers, which provide the required control and management of the generator system. Here is a list of features to expect with our best-in-class controller.

1. Auto paralleling

Our DEC3500 controllers are capable of monitoring the speed and voltage of your generators accurately, enabling the seamless synchronizing of your paralleling gensets.

2. Efficient load management

The controller can efficiently manage loads to optimize genset operation. If the load is low, it places unnecessary equipment on standby. However, as the load increases, your standby generators will seamlessly come online to meet the elevated power demand.

3. Load shedding

If your generators are placed under heavy demand, the controller can help disconnect the non-critical load from the gensets temporarily until the demand is decreased. This process, termed load shedding, helps maintain the integrity of your equipment and prevent catastrophic failures that can result in extended downtimes and significant maintenance costs.

With built-in marine PGEN paralleling system capabilities, our DEC3500 controllers can eliminate the need for an additional synchronizing panel, allowing you to save on your capital expense and free up space in the engine room. The installation process is straightforward, as our PGEN paralleling system only requires a cable connection between gensets for communications. This is also beneficial during maintenance as there are fewer pieces of equipment to service.


When it comes to evaluating your paralleling generator systems, always ensure the solution is tailored to meet your business needs. Avoid piecemeal designs that neglect the considerations of the downstream emergency bus and related control   , as it can raise concerns over fault capability and affect your overall operation.

Fortunately, our PGEN solution ticks all the boxes in terms of providing a cost-efficient and simplified solution for paralleling generator systems in the marine environment. If you are interested in learning more about this product, do not hesitate to contact us today.


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