Kohler Power Systems The History Behind Kohler Power’s Diesel Generators:
LET THERE BE LIGHT
In 1920, Kohler builds the first modern-day diesel generator. Originally built to power Kohler plumbing products, the Kohler Automatic Power & Light (powered by a Kohler engine) provided instant electricity to houses and businesses around the globe. By 1929, the world takes notice.
Kohler diesel generators power up Admiral Richard Byrd during his historic South Pole expedition. At the other end of the globe, 1000s of miles from assistance, the Kohler diesel generators provide the expedition’s only power source — in subzero temperatures. When the expedition ends, Admiral Byrd leaves the generators there. He will see and use them again four years later.
Kohler GOES HOLLYWOOD
The Kohler brand is the newest behind-the-scenes star of the silver screen in 1929 as Kohler diesel generators power the “sound trucks” for Hollywood’s film cameras and sound recording equipment. Only two years later, in 1931, Kohler is on hand at the Hoover Dam.
The USA initiates one of the world’s biggest engineering accomplishments — the construction of the famed Hoover Dam. Kohler diesel generators are selected at this historic moment to power the construction lights to help the crews continue their monumental endeavor 24/7.
WWII: BEHIND THE BATTLE LINES
Of course, in 1939, during WWII the Allied forces needed power. Kohler engines and generators join the USA troops and allies in all parts of the world. Kohler diesel generators provided critical power on sea or land in every theater of war whether the need was in mobile hospitals, radio communication, lighting, cool refrigeration or more. Less than a decade later, Kholer is famous for its reliability. In 1948, Kohler creates its stand-alone K-Series engines, the company’s first for smaller needs such as lawn or landscape, farming and snow country. These diesel generators were so reliable many are still running to this day.
MAKING MILLIONS OF MILESTONES
By 1966 Kohler manufactures its 1,000,000th generator engine and takes further flight. By 1995, Kohler is awarded a contract from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to implement emergency backup power systems to airports in the USA. By 1998, Kohler has the first and only EFI. Kohler creates the globe’s first electronic fuel injection (EFI) engine to be used in lawn mowers. This new technology provides commercial cutters with easy starts and major fuel usage reduction. At this time in the late ’90s, this ground breaking technology was only commonly used in the automotive industry.
DIESEL ENGINE OF THE YEAR
Kohler creates the globe’s first Tier 4 diesel engine called the Kohler Diesel KDI – without a DPF in 2012. The breakthrough diesel engine provides operators with a Tier 4 final rating and significantly lower operating expense, while offering OEMs maximum power in a smaller footprint. Later that year Diesel magazine’s gave it the “Diesel of the Year” award.