A diesel generator is the combination of a diesel engine with an electric generator (often an alternator) to generate electrical energy. This is a specific case of engine-generator. A diesel compression-ignition engine is designed to run on diesel fuel, but some types are adapted for other liquid fuels or natural gas.
Diesel generating sets are used in places without connection to a power grid, or as emergency power-supply if the grid fails, as well as for more complex applications such as peak-lopping, grid support and export to the power grid.
Set sizes range from 8 to 30 kW (also 8 to 30 kVA single phase) for homes, small shops and offices with the larger industrial generators from 8 kW (11 kVA) up to 2,000 kW (2,500 kVA three phase) used for large office complexes, factories. A 2,000 kW set can be housed in a 40 ft (12 m) ISO container with fuel tank, controls, power distribution equipment and all other equipment needed to operate as a standalone power station or as a standby backup to grid power.