Generator Monitoring Information (cont'd)
Due to the size of the engines used in typical commercial backup gensets, a large generator
battery is required. In fact, most of the larger gensets require multiple banks of generator
batteries to start the genset. If the batteries are not in top form, the generator will fail
to start. This happens more frequently than some facility managers would like to
Emergency generator monitoring systems like the FleetZOOM devices will watch the generator batteries which are
essential for reliable starting of the genset when it is needed. This degree
of standby generator monitoring goes beyond simple voltage monitoring.
Ideally the monitoring of the
batteries should be done continuously, but specifically while the generator is starting,
so a determination can be made by an intelligent remote monitoring unit of battery
strength. With genset monitoring, generator maintenance personnel can be notified at the first sign of weakness during
engine cranking so the batteries can be replaced if needed.
It's amazing that typical
backup generator systems costing hundreds of thousands of dollars fail to meet the needs
of their owners simply because batteries are not properly maintained, but this is a common
failure point in emergency power systems.
Monitoring battery status 24x7 is essential
to reliable standby power availability that is ready for utilization at any given moment.
An emergency generator remote monitor like the FleetZOOM FZ300 will cover the batteries, status, power, and report
any alarms should they occur.
Maintaining warm engine coolant and oil temperature for standby generators while the engine
is off is essential for their reliable fast loading in emergency situations. Most people
understand that high coolant temperature when it comes to your car is a bad thing, but on a
standby generator, low coolant temperature is equally as bad because in some cases the
generator won't be able to start fast enough to take over the emergency load within the
amount of time it was designed to do.
Low coolant temperature is a key fault to watch
for on gensets and you'll usually find that signal shown prominently on
the generator remote annunciator. Most standby generators have a block heater powered from utility line power. This block
heater keeps the entire engine block, including coolant and oil, at an elevated temperature
so the engine can be utilized at full rated load within seconds after starting.
If a generator's block
heater fails, the engine will endure much greater mechanical wear during startup, causing
more costly overhauls, and even worse, there is an increased chance the generator won't
wont' start at all, or won't start fast enough to meet the needs of the emergency power load.
The FleetZOOM remote generator monitoring system immediately notifies generator operators about these overcrank or "fail to start"
conditions. In most generator installations a low coolant temperature alarm is
displayed on the generator monitoring panel and notifies generator operators when the block heater has failed and no longer maintains
the engine block at elevated temperature. This is another important status signal that a
real time, continuous generator monitoring system that FleetZOOM provides keeps tabs on, and immediately notifies
generator maintenance personnel of the issue.
The use of a standby generator monitor adds more life to power generation equipment and reduces maintenance costs. A
complete standby generator installation is a complex system, both in terms of mechanical and
Common preventable, or easily corrected, problems include low fuel level,
dead or weak batteries, block heater failure, leaving the generator in manual start or "not in
auto" mode. All of these conditions can be continuously monitored with
the FleetZOOM wireless generator monitoring kit. If any of them occur, alarm generator maintenance personnel immediately
are alerted so problems can be addressed before the generator needs to provide backup power.
With the web based generator monitoring software that is part of FleetZOOM service, generator owners can keep tabs on
their generators in real time, 24x7x365.
With so many preventable and easily resolved issues that impact
standby generator reliability, it makes sense for genset
owners to utilize wireless generator monitoring. FleetZOOM provides a complete system
for the remote monitoring of generators that provides continuous real time monitoring and instant
notifications at the first hint of a problem with your genset.