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Generator Controller Blog

 INFORMATION AND GENERAL TIPS ABOUT GENERATOR CONTROLLERS AND CONTROL PANELS. HOW TO USE A POWER GENERATOR. HOW TO CONNECT A GENERATOR TO YOUR HOME. HOW TO USE A GENERATOR CONTROLLER.

How to make a generator auto start

There are several ways to make a generator auto start. There are five basic solutions:

  1. by using a remote switch to start and stop the generator
  2. by connecting a computer via twisted pair cable
  3. by using a RF remote control
  4. by connecting a modem to a GSM network
  5. by using the Internet via TCP-IP protocol

Bernini Design offers tools and equipment in a way that you can transform your power generator in a fully automatic remote-control based power generator. Lets see each single solution.

GENERATOR AUTO START USING A SWITCH

 It seems the simplest way, but it is not. If you your generator features a generator controller that support the auto mode of operation, probably you will find an input terminal with the name 'remote start'. In this case, you can connect a switch between this terminal and, usually battery minus. Normally battery minus is connected to ground. But, this is not mandatory rule! We recommend that you connect the wire not to ground. The best solution is to use a wire as indicated in the wiring diagram if not otherwise indicated in the user manual of your generator controller. Some controller offer N.C. (it starts the engine when you open the contact) or N.O (it starts the engine when you close the switch) options. It is about safety. Consider your goal in case you cut the connection!. A N.C. switch (e.g. you cat the wire) will hold the engine running. A N.O. solution will stop the engine (cutting the wire has the same result as opening the switch). On the left wiring diagrams for the most popular auto start module Be1, Be24 & Be124. On the following link a general purpose generator controller auto start module.

GENERATOR AUTO START USING MODBUS

In case you want to use a computer, you can take advantage of the RS485 serial interface. This serial interface supports the MODBUS protocol. You can connect on the same cable other devices that share the common bus. The maximum allowed distance is about 1000 meters. You can run the free of charge software application after connecting an RS485-USB converter. Using the software you not only can start and stop the generator, you can fully monitor all generator parameters. In the following section you can see some screen shots about the BeK3 generator controller. Click on the icon to open the full screen.

16 thoughts on “generator controller blog

  1. HI….NOT HAVING ANY CONTROLLER. HOW TO START STOP A GENERATOR FROM MY ROOM ON TOP OF THE FLOOR. ABOUT 50 METER AWAY..WANT TO START IT DURING THE NIGHT FOR EXAMPLE IN CASE OF POWER OUTAGES. I HAVE LOT OF DC REALYS AND SWITCHES..WIRES..TOOLS…NOT ELECTRONICS PLEASE…REGARDS DANIEL.

  2. Not so easy. In a way it depends on the distance. As a matter of fact it can ‘ear’ the engine firing you can terminate the crank with a button. The risk is to crank the engine while is running. So, the main issue is how to detect when the engine is running. There are some ways. One of this is to energize a relay using the W.L. of the belt alternator. One other common solution is to use the oil pressure switch. When the contact is closed to the ground (better to say to battery minus) you are allowed to energize the start. In a way we can say that oil pressure switch is in ‘series’ with the pilot relay. An other option is to energize a relay using the 230V (OR 115) of the alternator. When the engine is running the relays opens the contact in a way to inhibit a start attempt. Basically, it is possible by using 2-3 relays to make a generator remote start. But, is it also important to provide basic protection in case of low oil pressure and high temperature. In this case, you are required to use a fuel solenoid to stop the engine. Or, as option a stop solenoid energized to run. Other important issue is about gasoline engine. When you want to start this kind of engine from a remote location, you are required to activate the choke. It is not an easy task at all. To conclude, I definitely recommend that you use a simple engine auto start module. You can find solutions with less than $100. You can find a tutorial about auto start on the following link https://bernini-design.com/generator-auto-start-circuit-diagram/

  3. WE HAVE AN ISSUE ABOUT BE21 MESSAGE ERR. FOLLOWING MANUAL INSTUCTIONS NOT CLEAR THE MESSAGE. GENSET NOT RUNNING. GUIDE US THROUGH THIS GENSET CONTROLLER. USED IN AMF CONTROL PANEL. THE ENGINE HAS ONLY 10 HOURS RUN TIME, PLEASE HELP URGENT

  4. I am not sure if I understands the information on the schematic drawing for the outputs on the controller ( Be28 point # (1) )
    It states that I am to use diodes on the connections of the relays About Be28 Automatic Transfer SWITCH controller I have 24v relays – is that the correct device to use ( KGC , KMC & KFS ). Is it mandatory to supply the ATS controller from the engine battery. Is it possible to use a separate DC Supply. Why to use engine battery it sounds unfamiliar to me.
    JOY
    Can you explain the connections there please ?

  5. Generator Controller BE21. Dear sirs Bernini design. We are facing a complex problem. The generator start and stop normally.
    Sometimes, only on LOAD, the BE21 deliver an ER01 alarm and shuts down the engine. Based on the user manual information it is about over speed protection.
    We do not understand why the BE21 stops the engine only when the generator circuit breaker is closed. Normally, on load, the engine reduces the rotational speed. SO THERE IS NO EXPLANATION ABOUT THIS PROBLEM. PLEASE HELP US WE ARE NOT ABLE TO FIND A SOLUTION

    1. Dear SIR
      I think you are supplying a non-linear heavy load like an UPS or INVERTER. In this case the waveform of the voltage is totally out of order. The Be21 shuts down the engine because the internal detects an unaccetable level of harmonics in the voltage. This is dangerous for your load and this is dangerous for your alternator. If you are using a 5KW UPS you may need at least 10KVA generator. If you are using a 10kW UPS you may need 25kVA generator. We say so by experience about thousands of applications. You may argue that an analog meter reads the frequency correctly. We agree with that. But one thins is running a generator according to international standards. One thing is running a generator in particular situation. You can disable the ERROR1 alarm by following the instruction manual of the Be21 generator controller. But is it at your own risk. We vividly recommend that you check the ratings of the equipement involved in your application. Bernini Mentore

  6. Be142 generator controller continuously deliver error 13. We checked twice the battery. It is 13.1V, we can not cancel the alarm. Please guide us.

    1. Dear SIR. Be142 has a special algorytm to check the battery. It is not about a simple check of over or under voltage. The generator controller check and stores the battery transient during start. In other words Be142 is able to provide an alarm about battery efficiency. An other issue is the battery charger. The Be142 is able to understand when you are using a battery charger not suitable for your battery.
      So we recommend to check the following issues:
      – sizes of the cables that connect the battery to the panel
      – quality of the connections
      – floating voltage of the battery charger (you may be required to disconnect the battery)
      – the floating voltage may not exceed 14.8Vdc (otherwise the Be142 will trigger the alarm)
      – check all fuses (especially the fuse holder contacts)

      After that:
      – turn the controller into manual mode
      – disconnect the mains supply
      – after 5 minutes check the battery voltage: should be 12,2-12,8V
      – start the engine and stop it immediately five times
      – wait five minutes
      – read the battery voltage: should be around 12.0V
      – CONNECT THE MAINS. CHECK THE BATTERY VOLTAGE. IF IS RISES ABOVE 13.8 immediately, the battery of the engine must be replaced.
      – you should get the BATTERY ALARM ER13 (too high voltage on the battery during charge).

      IF YOU WANT TO DISABLE THE ALARM, you ca do that. Please check on the user manual section 14.4: DISABLING BATTERY VOLTAGE ALARM.

  7. HOW TO START STOP A GENERATOR USING A MOBILE PHONE. HOW TO CONNECT THE LOAD TO A GENERATOR USING THE BUTTONS ON THE MOBILE PHONE.
    THANKS

    1. Dear SIR. Good question, but several answers depending on your goal. STEP BY STEP:
      1) If it about a general purpose generator, you can purchase a remote control activated by SMS. You are requested to pun inside a SIM card without PIN. The mandatory requirement is that your auto start module supports remote start input. In this case you simply start and stop the generator. You get no feedback of what is going on neither notifications in case of failures. Cost of the system about 50USD.
      2) If it is about a professional application, you can install a generator controller that supports GSM. You can hold your AUTO START module and use the add-on module just to monitor alarms, fuel and so on. Cost about 99-120USD
      3) Best solution is to remove the existing AUTO START module and replace it with an high performance GSM-BASED generator controller. The function that you can get with this module in combination with a mobile phone are beyond you imagination. The cost is about 199-249USD. You can see the system here https://bernini-design.com/gsm-based-generator-start-stop/

  8. hi again Carlos. I AM NO LONGER ABLE TO FIND THE CONTROLLER BE23, THISNK IT IS (OR WAS???) A BERNINI PRODUCT. HOW TRO SERVICE THIS GENERATOR CONTROLLER. PLEASE HELP ASAP PLEASE. CARLOS INIESTA

    1. AMT920 is the same of AMT910 and BE11 (AMT920 is powerd at 24V)
      You camn ask for the manual to bernini@bernini-design.com. This is the copy and paste from the manual
      !!!E04 (ALTERNATOR FAILURE) If after 300’’ from the starting of the engine the voltage of the alternator does not reach the threshold defined at channel ‘E’ an error ‘E04’ will be displayed and the engine will stop.!!!
      As you can see it is about a failure of the alternator. But, is is possible that the controller, being damaged for some reasons, is not able to detct the alternator.
      You should verify with a V-METER is voltage arrives at the voltage detectin input (it is about connect JB of 9 poles). Btter to check on the user manual wiring diagram.
      In case the AMT920 is faulty you can replace it with a BE21 generator controller.
      VISIT THE PAGE https://bernini-design.com/amt910-amt920-be11/
      Best Regards Bernini Mentore

  9. BE24 AUTO START PROBLEM URGENT HELP. TERMINAL#1 ALWAYS HIGH (22V). IT DETECTS ALWAYS ENGINE RTUNNING STATUS. WHT WRONG WITH IT. URGENT URGET URGENT URGENT MAIL TO ELAIN.EXOR@GMAIL.COM PLEASE! NOT ABLE TO FIND DOCUMENTSD ABOUT IT!!! URGENT HELP REQUIRED

    1. Uderstood. You can find support on this page https://bernini-design.com/generator-auto-start/
      On a few words, I try to help you. Terminal number one is the most important connection for an AUTOSTART module. As a matter of fact it detects the engine running condition. Be24 is suitable for a belt driven alternator. If despite all your efforts in checking the connections, you still find 22V it means that the internal belt altermnator is damaged. The alternator may not be able to charge the battery or (it is important to check) the belt is damaged or the shaft of the belt aletrnator does not rotate as it should be. As emergency, you can disable the ENGINE RUNNING DETECTION PARAMETER P3 TO OFF. YOU MAY NEED TO DISABLE P15 AS WELL! Please note that after disabling these parameters, the Be24 will detect the ENGINE RUNNING STATUS only from the MAIN ALTERNATOR (I MEAN 230 OR 400 V). Make sure the L1-L2 connections are secured. Using the auto start in these conditions is not so recommended. In case of trouble to the alternator, the Be24 may not detect the engine running and you can get the starter motor pignon damaged. As option you can connect the terminal ‘1’ together with the terminal ‘3’ that is the oil pressure switch. When the engine is running, the switch opens providing at the same time an information of engine running. It could be a problem with extremely high temperaure. The engine oil pressure may rise to fast and you will not able to get the engine started beacuse when the pressure switch opens, the BE24 terminates the crank immediately. I vividly recommend to check the trouble about the belt driven charger alternator. Bernini

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