generator control

Generator Control and Monitoring

The SiteBoss can centralize monitoring and start/stop control of generators across all makes and models of generators and automatic transfer switches (ATS’s). Additionally, it can provide real time fuel tank level or gas pressure readings and send alerts for anything that needs attention.

Generator/ATS Control and Monitoring – SiteBoss output control points can be wired to ATS generator relays to remotely start and stop the generator via manual input, or to exercise the generator via a configured schedule. A page in the SiteBoss web UI provides the controls for manually starting or stopping the generator, and also for setting a timed run.

Regularly scheduled generator exercising helps comply with manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations, and more importantly, helps insure the generator will start if/when utility AC power is not available. Exercise schedules can be set in the SiteBoss for a specific day(s) of the week (either weekly or bi-weekly) to start at a specific time, and run for a specific duration.

In some geographic areas the EPA often issues short-notice alerts that generators may not be run on bad air quality days. Failure to comply with such direction usually results in a hefty fine. With the ability to remotely cancel an exercise run on such a day, the SiteBoss can save you the time and cost of travelling to the site to do that, as well as the fine. The SiteBoss supports scripting that can be used to simultaneously cancel exercise schedules across multiple sites.

Generator run times are recorded and logged in a file and can be downloaded from the SiteBoss. The same run time data is also sent to an SNMP network management system (NMS). If a generator fails to start, an email or SNMP alert can also be sent to the local tech (and NMS) to investigate and correct the problem.

In addition to starting/stopping the generator, the SiteBoss can monitor smart generator control modules for engine operation data (fuel level, oil temp, battery voltage, coolant level, etc.) and generator power data (voltage and current on all phases, total power Kw, etc.). This data is displayed in the SiteBoss web UI and can also be sent to the NMS.

SiteBoss scripting can also be used to monitor and control DC generators and battery banks at off-grid sites.

Fuel Level Monitoring (Diesel or LP) – The SiteBoss supports connections to remotely readable fuel sensor dials and gauges with voltage, resistive, or 4-20mA output, or captures and reports fuel level data from smart generator control modules. Remotely readable dials and gauges usually fit existing tank fuel gauge access holes and mounting flanges, making for easy installation.

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Real time fuel level data is important to managers who need to insure generator fuel tanks are filled prior to inclement weather events, before it may not be practical or possible to get fuel to the site. Knowing the fuel levels at multiple sites can help in prioritizing refueling efforts, so the SiteBoss supports scripting that can be used to report current fuel levels from multiple sites.

The SiteBoss can send alerts (email, SNMP traps) when fuel levels drop below configured thresholds. Unusual or rapid decreases in fuel level may indicate a leak, fuel theft or vandalism.

SiteBoss models with built-in wireless modem and GPS receiver aid in the tracking of mobile generator assets.

Gas Pressure Monitoring – Roof-top generators, and other sites, may use piped-in natural gas rather than a tank of propane or diesel. Utilizing a simple gas pressure switch, the SiteBoss can monitor the incoming gas line and send an alert if pressure drops below the level that will not allow the generator to run.

Remote access to generator control functions, including scheduled exercising, as well as fuel level monitoring and other operational data helps managers and technicians ensure that their generators are available when they are most critically needed. Additionally, refueling and generator maintenance resources can be allocated more efficiently resulting in reduced costs and avoidance of potential network down time.

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