DEEP SEA ELECTRONICS PLC

Introduction to Generators and DSE generator controllers

Author: - Colin Greenfield

Deep Sea Electronics Plc Highfield House Hunmanby North Yorkshire YO14 0PH England Tel: +44 (0) 1723 890099 Fax: +44 (0) 1723 893303 email: Sales@Deepseaplc.com

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Introduction to Generators and DSE generator controllers

Deep Sea Electronics Plc Highfield House Hunmanby North Yorkshire YO14 0PH ENGLAND Sales Tel: +44 (0) 1723 890099 Sales Fax: +44 (0) 1723 893303 E-mail Sales@Deepseaplc.com Website www.deepseaplc.com

Introduction to Generators and DSE generator controllers © Deep Sea Electronics Plc All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form (including photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or other) without the written permission of the copyright holder except in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Applications for the copyright holder’s written permission to reproduce any part of this publication should be addressed to Deep Sea Electronics Plc at the address above. Any reference to trademarked product names used within this publication is owned by their respective companies. Deep Sea Electronics Plc reserves the right to change the contents of this document without prior notice.

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Introduction to Generators and DSE generator controllers

Table of Contents
Description 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Page

What is a Generator Set? .........................................................................4 What is a Generator Controller? ...............................................................5 What is a Manual Start Unit? ....................................................................6 What is an Automatic or Remote Start Unit? ............................................7 What is an Automatic Transfer Switch? ....................................................8 What is an Automatic Mains Failure Unit? ................................................9 What is synchronising and Load sharing? ..............................................10 What are P808, P810, Configuration and Communications Software?...11 What are RS232 and RS485? ................................................................12 What is CAN?......................................................................................13

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Introduction to Generators and DSE generator controllers

1 WHAT IS A GENERATOR SET?
• • • • A generator set is the combination of and engine to create power and an alternator to change that power into electricity. The engine turns a shaft that in turn is connected to the alternator. This turning of the alternator creates the electrical power. As there are different types of power all over the world, different generator sets are built to create different forms of electrical power. In England the power is 230v at 50Hz the same as is supplied from your sockets at home. In the United States of America this power is usually 110v at 60Hz. Where ever in the world the generator set is built for, the following diagram shows the general parts and construction of the system.

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2 WHAT IS A GENERATOR CONTROLLER?
• • A generator controller is a device used to monitor, start and stop a generator. Just like any other engine, your car for example, a generator set has a number of things that must be monitored and checked during normal operation. Some of the items that are monitored are oil pressure, engine temperature, fuel level among others. Also just like when you are starting your car you need to control the start and fuel inputs to the engine. These are controlled with automatic switches called relays. Unlike your car, a generator must also check the output of the alternator. This will be in voltage, current and frequency. These connections allow the controller to monitor the output to ensure the generator is operating correctly and is not overloaded. The reason for all this checking is that normally a generator will be in a separate building but unlike your car, no one will be available to check these settings. In your car you would be there when driving to switch off the engine if there was a problem. The below diagram shows different parts of an engine and generator with the monitor and main control links to the DSE module.

• •

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3 WHAT IS A MANUAL START UNIT?
• • • • A manual start unit is the simplest form of electronic generator controller and is one step above a ‘pull start’ generator. This device is almost identical to the controls in your car. The device usually has a key and button to start the generator. If your mains power fails and you need to use generator power, you have to turn the key, to start the generator manually. The 701, 511, 512 and 501 are modules of this type. They only have basic controls to monitor items such as oil pressure and engine temperature. The manual start unit is ideal for stand alone functions and portable generator sets as these would normally have personnel to start and stop the generator. Examples of this are the generators often seen at roadworks.

501

701

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4 WHAT IS AN AUTOMATIC OR REMOTE START UNIT?
• • An automatic start module has all the same features as a manual start The unit is capable of receiving a start signal from an external source. This could be a start switch located inside the factory where the generator is sited for instance. The unit can also be set to start automatically when the mains power or some other input is given to the module. These types of module are often used with an automatic transfer switch discussed later. 5510, 550, 4110, 703, 521 are examples of this type of module. They still have only basic controls but have the advantage of being able to receive a start signal from an external source.

• •

521

550

4110

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5 WHAT IS AN AUTOMATIC TRANSFER SWITCH?
• An automatic transfer switch (ATS) is different to a generator controller as it only monitors the mains and generator power but does not start the engine. The unit normally sits in a monitor panel and has connections to the generator controller. When the mains power fails the ATS gives a command to the generator controller to start the generator set. Once the generator set is up and running the ATS then switches over the power from mains to generator. The ATS will then check the mains to see when the power returns. Once the power returns the ATS will switch over to the mains and then tell the generator to stop. 705, 530 and 4130 modules are ATS units.

• • • • •

530

705

704

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• •

WHAT IS AN AUTOMATIC MAINS FAILURE UNIT?
An automatic mains failure (AMF) module combines the automatic start module with an automatic transfer switch. The module will monitor the mains and generator power like an ATS but added to this is the ability for the module to control the generator as well. The module works like an auto start module in operation. The difference being it can create its own start input from conditions it can monitor. The AMF module is normally used when a backup power system is required for a site. Our own factory has an AMF panel for backup power if the mains power fails. The 5320, 5220, 5120, 555 and 704 are examples of AMF systems.

• •

555

704

5220

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7 WHAT IS SYNCHRONISING AND LOAD SHARING?
• • A synchronising and load share unit is the ultimate generator controller. They come in many forms including allowing up to 16 generators to be combined together and even providing power to the national grid electricity system. The synchronising and load sharing module can also be used in conjunction with a ‘mains controller’ to monitor the mains and act as an ATS for all the generator sets. 5510 and 550 are modules capable of providing multiple generator set systems. 5520, 555 and 557 are single set controllers to allow one generator to act as mains backup and synchronise with the mains supply. 5560 and 556 are mains controller and ATS modules. DSE’s own onsite backup power system uses synchronising and load sharing to allow three generator sets to start up automatically (upon mains failure) or manually (before mains failure) to power the factory. These generators then all connect together on a common wiring. This is then connected ‘en block’ to the factory, supplying our power when there is a power cut. The advantage of this system is that when the power required by the factory is reduced, then the system can stop one or more of the three generators, thereby saving fuel. If the power then rises again it can start the generator again and connect it to the other two.

• • • •

550

556

5510

5560

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8 WHAT ARE P808, P810, CONFIGURATION AND COMMUNICATIONS SOFTWARE?
• Take a look at road going trucks and see how many different types there are. As the engines used on generating sets are made by the same manufacturers (ie Volvo, Scania, Cummins), you can imagine there are many engine types used on generator sets. To allow all our generator controllers to be able to operate with as many engines and generators as possible we have settings in the controller that can be changed by the customer. These settings can then be saved on a computer and sent to the module as a configuration file. The 5xxx, 42xx and other software allows the customer to set these parameters and read and write them to a module. The software can connect to the module by a cable to a computer. The small ‘box’ that allows the computer to connect to the module is the 810 or 808 interface.

• • •

808
Used for ‘older’ DSE products such as 520, 530, 560 etc

Configuration Software 810
Used for ‘newer’ DSE products such as 5200 series, 5300 series, 5500 series etc.

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9 WHAT ARE RS232 AND RS485?
• • RS232 is a connection from the module that allows the unit to talk to a modem. Once connected to a modem the module can send SMS text messages, dial a phone number and can be called up to check on the status of the set. This connection can also be used to connect to the configuration software to allow the unit to have settings changed. RS485 allows the module to be connected on a cable to many other devices. These devices can be other controllers, building management systems and computers.

• •

RS485 multiple generator set link

RS232 fixed line modem and GSM modem line.

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10 WHAT IS CAN?
• CAN is a communication link, similar to the previous types, but is designed to pass information very quickly and securely between a generator and the controller. The system passes all the information on oil pressure, engine temperature, fuel consumption, engine speed and much more. The offshoot of this is that a controller using CAN only requires a twowire connection to the engine. If you compare that to the picture earlier in this publication (see below) the advantages of reduced wiring can be seen. The controller can even start and stop the engine with the CAN link by just telling the engine to start and stop. This is similar to the control your computer has over your printer telling it to print and stop printing remotely.

• • • •

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Introduction to Generators and DSE generator controllers

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