Generator Monitoring Information
Banks, hospitals, data centers, commercial buildings and municipal water and wastewater
pumping stations all depend on reliable power for their operation. When utility power
fails, commercial standby power generators provide backup power to many types of essential
A FleetZOOM emergency generator monitor ties into the generator control panel which provides settings for the mode of the
generator. Electronics inside the generator control automatically start the generator
when power fails. Once the generator has reached operating RPM and the generator control
unit determines the unit is "ready to load," the automatic transfer switch will disconnect
the building's load from the utility power grid and connect generator power to the building.
Most generator installations include a remote annunciator panel that displays the status of
the generator and generator switch. Signals displayed on the remote annunciator
can be monitored remotely with a FleetZOOM equipment monitoring unit.
In some cases, such as hospitals and other public facilities the NFPA and fire code mandate
the use of a generator annunciator panel visible to a staffed location inside the building which serves
as their remote generator monitor.
Because power is critical to
many operations, a backup generator monitor and continuous real-time status and alarm information from the generator is
a necessity for a business or enterprise to function. Facilities managers directly benefit
from the FleetZOOM generator monitor for their standby generators with improved reliability, reduced generator
maintenance costs and fewer issues with backup power.
Commercial standby generators vary in size, but generally, large enterprise backup power generators
range from 100 kW to 2MW, with 200 kW to 500 kW being the most common. Larger backup power
requirements are met by generator paralleling. With a paralleled power generation system, multiple
generators are synchronized at the generator control. They are wired together (in parallel) so
their power output can be multiplied. It only takes two generators to create a paralleled system,
but systems with up to eight generators are common for large data centers.
Any FleetZOOM genset monitor can be tied together with
both the generator annunciator and the network control that manages the paralleled generators.
Paralleled generator systems are complex so continuous status monitoring by facility
maintenance personnel is essential to reliable operation.
Although most of these larger gensets are Diesel generators, natural gas is used at some
installations. Natural gas does not provide as much energy from combustion as Diesel, therefore
the same size engine operating on natural gas will not be able to provide as much power output
as the Diesel generator.
An FleetZOOM device used as a Diesel generator monitor works the same as the natural gas version, but FleetZOOM
devices used for Diesel generator monitoring can also report fuel level if a level transducer is installed, or report
low fuel through use of a digital input if a low fuel level switch is installed
in the fuel tank.
Preventative maintenance for gensets is another important reliability and longevity
boosting practice for generators. Most local generator service companies offer preventative
maintenance agreements, or PMAs for generator maintenance.
PMA agreements are a
big part of any good generator management program, and are tailored to each generator application and involve scheduling
oil changes based on generator run time and the time between oil and filter changes. Other
maintenance, such as Diesel fuel treatment, emissions testing, load testing and scheduled engine
maintenance are often included.
Centralized monitoring of service intervals with automatic
reminders, based on both run time and calendar date, are important
components of the generator monitoring system offered by FleetZOOM. Coordinating these services is
especially beneficial for mobile generators. Savvy generator owners often request that their generator service
company incorporate generator remote monitoring service into their preventative maintenance agreements.