Made in Milwaukee

Cooling the power generators

Many of the large backup power generators used around the country are built in the Midwest by companies such as Kohler Co., Caterpillar Inc. and Cummins Inc., and many of the suppliers that serve those companies are based here as well.

Backup power generators are essentially oversized motors that drive a turbine, which produces electricity. The engines either run on diesel fuel or natural gas, and like automotive engines, they produce a large amount of heat that needs to be dispersed.

That’s where Kenosha-based IEA Inc. comes in. The company designs and manufactures cooling systems for backup power generators. Its cooling systems, which operate very much like those used in cars, vary in size between 4 by 4 feet to 8 by 24 feet, said James Kettinger, president and CEO of the company.

“They might be for mobile emergency backup power generators, or they might be for stationary backup power,” Kettinger said. “Those are used by data centers, hospitals, government buildings and the military – anything that cannot be without power.”

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