Is there any truth to the fact that a generator needs a load on it constantly to keep it from self destructing ?

No. Most of the time my construction generators (Hondas) run without a load. Even when we are using nail guns the air compressor only goes on periodically. The rest of the time the generators are just idling.

This could be good discussion ,
Those Homies who have generators do you also have a transfer switch and panel
to use it to power some of your home appliances

Well… your answer is not entirely true.

Running the generator at no load has NOTHING to do with generation, and has everything to do with how the engine operates and what it needs.

Engines want to be run uner a load. It allows them to heat up, and enables the fuel to be burned completely. When a gasoline or diesel engine runs under no load, the fuel winds up condensing in the exhaust chambers, resulting in back-pressure building up in the engine. Eventually, the engine will start to billow black smoke at start-up, indicating that it is a bit sick.

Remember, ALL engines want to run under load. The concensus among electrical engineers who work with generators is that 1/3 load at a minimum is an acceptable target.

Great info did not Know that .

I guess it is that way with Humans too , Char finds enough things for me to do that I am never finished .

Its more about the combustion…

Even diesel electric locomotives. Electric traction motors are fed via power generated through the diesel-turned power plant. The “throttle” for the train is actually a rheostat.

This is why the diesel’s run at a consistent RPM. they toggle between being under a load (while the train is moving) and being under no load (when the traction motors are not engaged).

The next time one of these puppies is stopped at a crossing, listen to the engines; they dont clow down. Watch when the train starts moving, you’ll hear the engine under load and watch embers fly out of the exhaust at the top of the locomotive.

I am currently building a power station using three (3) large CAT gen units. The net-net will be 7.9 megawats at 4160volts of alternating current.

I know a little about these things…

I think what Bill meant to say is that a generator needs excitation or it will stop producing.
If the magnetic field generated by the excitation fails to exist, the voltage generated which is directly related to this magnetic field will also fails to exist. There can’t be power if there is no voltage; proven by one of Ohm’s laws.