Control Panel of the Generator
What is a Generator Control Panel and How It is Used?
A machine requires a user interface to display its parameters, control its operation efficiency and, if necessary, to intervene. Conditions such as overheating of the machine, decreasing speed and increasing speed are generally due to weather conditions and wear of parts. In electrical machines such as generators, these changes are prevented from damaging the generator by generating an electrical signal.
Additional information about generators and their components can be found in the article “How Generators Work”. These signals are processed with a microcontroller to control the performance of the machine. Many of the machines in urban environments (such as signal lamps and automatic doors) are completely self-managed by such controllers. These machines have sensors that detect changes in physical properties such as heat and speed and produce signals accordingly. Modern generators also have similar sensors to detect changes in various parameters. These sensors are used to control the generator via a control panel.
What is a Control Panel?
Visually, a control panel; It is a set of signs and images that make the measurement of various parameters such as voltage, current and frequency through indicators. These indicators are usually placed on a corrosion-resistant metallic housing to protect against rain and snow. The dashboard can be mounted on the generator body for small generators. When mounted on the generator, bumps and vibration resistant supports are used. Industrial generator control panels are large enough to be completely separated from the generator.
Control panels are usually equipped with auxiliary switches and switches to operate the generator, such as the closing button and the trip switch. Keys and indicators are usually grouped on the basis of functionality. This makes the dashboard useful by minimizing the possibility of an operator accidentally making an incorrect selection.
How does it work?
The control panel is a microprocessor structure that provides the management of the machine by feedback after processing the information from the sensors. Such as; overheating temperature, low / high speed, low / high oil pressure. Typically, a temperature sensor in the generator detects heat and sends this information to the microprocessor on the control panel. The microprocessor then takes the necessary measures to regulate the machine’s performance in situations where the oil pressure is too low or the coolant temperature is high. In industry, this function of control panels is becoming increasingly important. The microprocessor or microcontroller is programmed to receive and respond to sensor inputs via the circuit in the control cabinet.
The control panels can be combined with the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) to provide uninterrupted power. ATS detects this condition when the network is off. After detecting, it sends the signal to the control panel to start the generator. Depending on the type of generator used, the control panel activates the sparking plugs (for diesel) in the set time period. Then it starts the generator by cranking. When the Diesel Generator reaches the optimum speed, the starter is deactivated. Afterwards, the ATS closes the generator contactor and supplies the plant without interruption.
Custom Control Panels
Control panels are usually designed by the manufacturer of your generator. Common features of today’s control panels include: continuous digital readout, large character LCD displays, oil pressure and water temperature sensors, setpoints and special message options, remote start capability, and so on.
In addition to these common features offered by the standard panel, special control panels are made to meet the specific requirements, and automation requirements to be followed. Special panels are very popular in industrial and residential type generators.