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:
- by using a remote switch to start and stop the generator
- by connecting a computer via twisted pair cable
- by using a RF remote control
- by connecting a modem to a GSM network
- 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.
Simulating engine running condition of AMF controller
After making an AMF panel, you are required to simulate engine running conditions for AMF controller (example BEK3..BE142 ETC..). This will allow you to test the INPUTS/OUTPUTS that control the engine. The AMF controller inhibits the starter motor when the engine starts running. When the engine is not running, the voltage of the terminal D+/WL of the belt charger alternator, connected to the input (JI-3 for the BEK3 controller), is 0V. When you activate the fuel solenoid output (JC7), the JI3 terminal provides current to excite the alternator (a few hundreds milliamps). This current flows into D+/W.L. terminal. When the starter motor begins to turn, a small dc voltage starts to appear on the D+/W.L terminal. When the engine starts running, the voltage of the D+/WL terminal increases; the range to terminate the crank is in between 6V up to 10V. The default parameter for [CRANK VDC] is 8.0V. For a 24V battery, we recommend that you set the threshold to 16V. For a safe use, make sure that the green ENGINE RUNNING LED on the front panel is off during all of the starting attempts. The charger alternator voltage (in other words the D+/WL voltage) can be displayed in the engine menu. In addition, BeK3 monitors the generator for disconnecting the crank motor. For this reason, the insertion of switches or breakers in series to terminals #JA5-6-7 is not recommended; the BeK3 will not detect the engine running condition from the generator voltage or frequency. See [CRANK VAC] and [CRANK HZ].
When you test your panel, in factory, sometimes, not having the engine, you are required to simulate the charger alternator. Follow the instructions.
A) Connect the JI3 to battery minus via a switch; when the switch is closed, you simulate a 'NOT RUNNING ENGINE
B) Before 'starting' the engine (MANUAL mode or AUTO mode) make sure the switch is closed.
C) Activate the start; the BEK3 will energize the FUEL SOLENOID OUTPUT (terminal JC7) and will immediately activate the START OUTPUT also (terminal JC4).
D) Open the switch; the JI3 terminal will reach the battery voltage (via the internal pull up resistor) providing an 'ENGINE RUNNING STATUS'.
E) The BEK3 will turn on the green indicator 'ENGINE RUNNING'and deactivates immediately the START OUTPUT (terminal JC4).
BE72 KEY FEATURES
> 30A dc Key-switch for manual start
> Short circuit proof solid state outputs
> Din size 72, 40mm depth, shock-proof
> Full 3-year warranty, cost effective
> -30°C up to +70°C operating temperature
> 5,5 to 36Vdc operating voltage range