GENERATOR AUTO START
The Be24 generator auto start controller includes in a standard DIN 96mm x 96mm module, all programmable functions needed to control an engine and generator.
This generator auto start, features 6 membrane-type push buttons, 2 LEDs, a 4 digit display, 5 static outputs, 9 inputs, and a 3-position (30A rated) Key-switch for manual start.
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GENERATOR AUTO START CONTROLLER & KEY START
By adding 3 automotive type relays you can make a reliable cost-effective generator auto start controller. As a result, the Be24 Auto Start and Key Start module is the ideal solution when you refurbish an old DIESEL-DRIVEN generator.
As long as you you set up the basic protections for Over-Under Voltage and Over-Under Frequency you will totally protect your alternator and load. The engine safeguards for low oil pressure, high engine temperature and low fuel works by means of switches connected to the digital inputs via the blade terminals. As a result you will get total engine protection.
Further improvements in case you need generator remote monioring can be obtained by using the Be124 Auto Start Module. This generator auto start is of compatible size.
But, if you only need to protect the diesel engine in general purpose diesel driven machinery, we recommend that you use the Be172 controller. When dealing with small gasoline engines, the right choice is the Be1 Auto Start Module.
BE24 AUTO START MODULE
Generator Auto Start front panel view. The Be24 generator auto start is the ideal choice for diesel generators working in rush environments. It can normally operates in between -30 up to 70°C. It can withstand -40°C up to +85°C for an accumulated time total of 1000 hours.
BE24 AUTO START SPECIFICATIONS
>Supply Voltage: 5.5Vdc - 36Vdc >Supply Current: 10-150mA max >Cranking Dropout: 0V for 500mS >Dimensions: 96X96X60mm >Panel Size Cut-out: 91X91mm >Temperature: -30 /+70 deg. C >Weight: 550 grams. CE >Pickup : 0,5-50V 0- 25KHz >Generator Voltage: 70 - 600Vac >Frequency: 20 Hz up to 99 Hz >Overvoltage Input Protection >Current: 5/5Aac up to 2000/5Aac >Charger Alternator Input: 60Vdc >Short Circuit Proof Outputs
BE24 AUTO START CONNECTIONS
The generator (1) voltage is connected to Be24 via the L1 & L3. We recommend that you protect the connections with 1A fuses (4).
In case you need a Generator Circuit Breaker, you can drive the coil of it by using the digital output '2' (in this case the output to drive the horn will not be available).
If you connect a dashboard we recommend that you protect the output 15/54 with a 5 Amp fuse. The outputs of the controller being 'static' require a pilot relay.
The use of fly back diodes is mandatory. The Be24 detects the rotational speed from a pick-up or from the 'W' terminal of the belt alternator.
If these devices are not available, the Be24 automatically calculate the rotational speed from the generator. In this case you are required to program the correct number of poles of the alternator.
The generator controller connections are made by using blade terminals 6,3X0,8mm.
The generator controller connections of the generator voltage and current are made by using removable terminal block.
USING KEY START MODE
When you do not require the auto start function, you can directly start the engine by using the key switch.
The Rated current of the embedded is about 30 Amps. You can use 12V or 24V battery. This auto start generator controller works up to 36VDC.
You are required to use cables of appropriate size. We always recommend that you protect the connections by using a fuse.
In this case the Be24 will not be able to terminate the crank. Before turning the key to 'START' wait for the lamp self test. After that, the Be24 will turn on the fuel solenoid and you can start the engine at anytime. Do not use the output number '10'. Leave the connection 'open'.
USING THE AUTO START MODE
Follow the wiring diagram if you want to use the Be24 module in the full AUTO START MODE.
You are required to connect a pilot relay capable of delivering about 30 amp.
In this case is no longer mandatory to use the terminal '50' of the key.
You can start and stop the generator by using a remote switch connected to terminal '7'. You can adjust settings about start and stop delays.
The AUTO START module monitors the REMOTE INPUT only if you put the controller in the AUTO MODE using the button on the front panel.
You can still use the key start function when the controller is not in AUTO MODE. When you turn the key to start, the BE24 automatically activates the digital output '10' that will excite the pilot start relay,
MODE OF OPERATION
The Be24A generator auto start features AUTO, MANUAL and OFF mode of operation. When you connect the battery supply, the Be24 generator auto start reacts as follows:
a) if the KEY-SWITCH is in the OFF position, the Be24 generator auto start enters the OFF mode
b) if the KEY-SWITCH is in the ON position, the Be24 generator auto start enters the AUTO mode.
The OFF mode clears the alarms and turns the Display off. To select the OFF mode, turn the KEY-switch to off. In the OFF mode you can read the settings or program the controller.
The Be24 generator auto start operates according to the parameters indicated in the installation manual. The Be24A initiates the starting when you activate the ‘REMOTE START' input or you set up the SCHEDULER.
To enter the 'AUTO' mode, use the following instructions:
A) - turn ON the KEY-switch; the Be24 generator auto start illuminates the Display and LEDs for 1 second
B) - push the AUTO push button, then the Be24 generator auto start will indicate [uuuu] (Pre-glow cycle) or [StA-]; the yellow Led ‘AUTO’ also illuminates. If the REMOTE START input is not activated, the yellow LED blinks. If activated, the yellow LED illuminates continuously and a start cycle will take place after an adjustable delay time.
C) - To exit the AUTO mode, push the AUTO push button (the yellow Led turns OFF) or turn the KEY-switch to OFF.
If an Automatic Periodic Test is triggered (scheduler), the display indicates the message [tESt] (see application note in section 19.0 of the OEM manual).
The Be24A generator auto start stores the AUTO operating mode in the memory; if the battery supply then fails and restores, the Be24A will enter the AUTO mode automatically.
To clear the memory of the AUTO mode, push the AUTO push button, or turn OFF the KEY-switch.
MANUAL mode gives an engine start by means of the KEY SWITCH. Use the following instructions:
A) - Turn ON the KEY-switch; the Be24 generator auto start illuminates the LEDs and Display.
B) - If the display shows the message [uuuu], the Be24 is counting the PRE-GLOW time; wait until the message disappears.
C) - When the display shows the message [StA-] turn the Key to START position until the engine starts. The Be24 indicates [ . . . .] during cranking.
D) - To stop the engine, turn the KEY-switch to off.
GENERATOR AUTO START SCHEDULER
To schedule automatic test attempts, you are required to program the parameters [P.26] and [P.27] (section 11.0 in the installation manual). In order to start the engine on-time, follow these instructions:
- disconnect the power supply of the Be24
- wait for the desired start time (external clock reference) and apply the power supply to the Be24.
- select the 'AUTO' mode of operation
Consequently, the Be24A will start the engine after the programmed number of days. The engine will run for the programmed time. If the battery voltage is removed, we recommend that you synchronize the ‘Power On’ of the Be24A with an external clock.
Time remaining to start indication:
The Be24 shows the remaining time to trigger the test: push the [ENTER] pushbutton while Be24 is in AUTO mode of operation. As a result, the display will indicate days followed by hours ([DD.hh]).
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GENERATOR AUTO START
WHEN YOUR PURPOSE IS REMOTE MONITORING KEEPING THE BASIC FEATURES OF A USER-FRIENDLY GENERATOR AUTO START, WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU USE THE BE124 AUTO START MODULE
GENERATOR AUTO START TUTORIAL
A generator auto start controller integrates, all in one electronic module, an user-friendly interface with pushbuttons and suitable indicators, an Engine Control & Protection unit, a Charging Alternator monitoring module and a special programmable relays committed to protect the alternator. As a result, you obtain a total protection against any kind of failure.
A good user interface must allow the selection of manual, off, or automatic and test modes. The automatic mode of operation can trigger the start or the stop of the generator from many sources: simple on-off switches, external relays, digital requests coming from MODBUS (via RS485) TCP-IP (via internet) or SMS (via GSM).
Above all, a generator auto start controller monitors the parameters of the engine (Oil pressure, Temperature, Fuel & Speed), Charger Alternator and the main Alternator (3-phase..single phase..other). It compares the settings in the memory (allowed limits of Oil pressure, Voltage, Current, Low fuel for example) with the measurements made by the measurement circuits.
In conclusion, a generator auto start controller should be capable of interfacing with analogue sensors or switches for the OIL/°C/FUEL/Auxiliary Temperauture monitoring if the CANBUS is not available. The result of this comparison will then generate alarms, warnings or logic actions (activates a particular output for example).
Futher, a generator auto start controller features a range of programmable settings and is engineered to comply with international standards like NFPA110 CSA and many others.
Finally, a generator auto start controller should operate reliably in a range of environments, from minus 30 up to 70 degree Celsius.
A generator remote start is usually obtained by using a switch connected to a generator auto start controller, that governs the generator. The generator auto start controller activates the starter pilot relay in the ignition process. It disconnects the pilot start relay when the engine fires.
This is a really critical issue. A good generator auto start controller has to correctly detect the condition when the engine is running. The risk is to engage the starter when the engine is running or to totally fail to start the engine when is necessary.
All Bernini Design made generator auto start controllers detect the engine running conditions by analyzing the voltage of the belt alternator, the frequency and voltage of the main generator, the oil pressure and, the pickup signal and the 'W' terminal of the charger alternator.
The Bernini Design made generator auto start controllers can retry to start the engine a programmable number of times. Any Bernini Design Bernini Design made generator auto start controller is supplied with factory programming. You can adapt, at anytime, the settings to your particular engine if necessary.
A normally open switch (N.O.) is a switch that it is in its open position when you do need to start the generator. When you close the switch, the auto start controller will instruct the engine to start (immediately or after a delay if allowed by the auto start controller).
When you open the contact the engine will stop (immediately or after a delay if allowed by the auto start controller).
THIS IS THE NOTATION OF A N.O. SWITCH
A normally closed switch (N.C.) is a switch that it is in its closed position when you do need to start the generator. When you open the switch, the auto start controller will instruct the engine to start (immediately or after a delay if allowed by the auto start controller). When you close the contact the engine will stop (immediately or after a delay if allowed by the auto start controller).
THIS IS THE NOTATION OF A N.C. SWITCH
WHY AND WHEN TO USE N.C. OR N.O. CONATCTS
This is only about safety. In other words you have to consider what would happen in a worst scenario: broken switch, open connection or short circuit. You have to consider all issues. If you use a normally open switch and the cable is disconnected, you will be not able to start the engine. This could be a serious issue in case of fire protection systems. On the other hands, in case of open circuits you will not be able to stop the generator. So final decision can be made after analyzing all aspects. For normal operaion the N.O. option is the most common choice. Top-level Bernini design generator auto start controllers feature programmable options N.O./N.C. and generator turn-on/turn-off timings up to 24 hours.
UNDERSTANDING UNDERSPEED PROTECTION
The under speed protection is one of the most complex and misunderstood generator auto start contoller protection. Seems easy to say: simply stop the engine when the speed falls below this limit.
It is not simple as it seems. When It is about shutting down an engine working in critical environment you have to take care. Let’s see some details.
The generator auto start contoller simultaneously monitors frequency (Hz), rotational speed (RPM), electrical load (KW) and generator voltage (V). These measurements are included into a mathematical algorithm.
The final result is to provide an immediate shutdown, a shutdown after a delay or a simple warning.
The mathematical formula is able to understand if it is an overload conditions or a mechanical failure.
The picture shows an example of an overload condition. After a start, the engine reaches its nominal speed .
The ‘WARM UP’ time takes place when Rotational Speed (RPM)/Voltage(V)/Frequency(Hz)/Sequence (PS)/Phase Balance(PB) are within preset-limits. Should a parameter exit the allowed range, the generator auto start controller will reset the warm-up time.
The timer will restart only when all parameters will be within the limits. Warm setting can range from zero up to several minutes. When a failure occurs, the engine will stop.
The controller will provide the alarm 'GENERATOR FAILURE'. Supposing that everything is OK, the generator circuit breaker will automatically close .
Let’s assume now that speed RPM decreases down below the lower limit. The 'Bypass Delay' timer will start to count and, if the speed returns normal the controller will reset the timer.
If after expiring the timer the controller detects a speed lower than the allowed setting, the controller will open the circuit breaker providing the alarm 'UNDER SPEED' .
The engine will not be stopped immediately because, in the formula, the power parameters plays the most important role! In this way, the 'Cooling Down' time will take place. Then, the engine will be stopped.
UNDERSTANDING CRANK TERMINATION
'Crank Termination' is an adjustable engine speed setting that shuts down the starter motor when the engine is firing. The cranking must be terminated correctly.
This is the most complex function carried out by a generator auto start controller. The output of the generator auto start controller drives a pilot relay.
The pilot relay will de-energize in order to stop the current flow to the starter motor circuit when the engine crank termination setting is reached. The starter motor pinion gear will then disengage from the engine flywheel ring gear. The theory is not so complex.
Unfortunately there are many ‘volatile’ parameters involved when you crank an engine: status of the battery, aging of the starter motor, ambient temperature, difficulties in starting the engine due to mechanical problems, unstable connections and so on.
When it is about manual switch start, you will find soon or later the problem and finally you will start the engine.
The hard job of the generator auto start controller is to analyze all sources of information in a way to start the engine automatically.
As a matter of fact, it monitors: the charger alternator voltage (V), the charger alternator frequency (Hz), the generator alternator voltage (V), the generator alternator frequency (Hz) and the rotational speed of the engine (RPM). For each parameter, the generator auto start controller features programmable settings that include the option OFF (in other words the controller does not take in consideration a parameter set to ‘OFF).
It is obvious that the most accurate rotational speed (RPM) information is provided by a pickup. Unfortunately not all engines have this device. It is about a permanent magnet generator with a single pole.
Wire coils are wound around a permanent magnet pole piece.
When the teeths of the flywheel ring gear move through the magnetic lines of force that are around the magnetic pickup pole an AC voltage is generated. Engine speed is measured by the frequency of the signal generated by the pickup.
You can program the number of teeth of the ring gear in a way to get the correct rotational speed). When the generator auto start controller starts the engine, a software routine continuously compares in real-time the settings with the parameters (voltages, frequencies, etc).
Once at least two signal are recognized as ‘true’, the controller terminates the crank.