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 enterprises.

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.

Monitoring of Power Generators from FleetZOOM

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.

Questions about FleetZOOM Generator Monitoring?

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