Generator Monitor

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jonoxer
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Re: Generator Monitor

Post by jonoxer » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:18 am

one for the highly contraversial 'Early Morning TV volume control'
Ooh, *that* sounds interesting! Great idea. I'd like to know what the controversial bit is: does the system include a non-lethal automatic retaliation? ;-)

Perhaps the detector could be combined with an IR transmitter that sends a "decrease volume" command to the TV, so if the sound goes over a certain threshold it's trimmed automatically.
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Jon

agronaught
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Re: Generator Monitor

Post by agronaught » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:45 am

The contraversy is simply the childrens perception of it... they already complain about the viewing limitations that have been implemented to cater for the youngest without mum or dad's intervention ;) The biggest issue is how much stuff is broadcast without full classifications :/

The idea was to combine a sensor, ardy and IR LED to ramp down the volume as you mentioned. Simple but effective, I also have a need for an IR repeater and may fit it in the same project... Once my 3D Printer conversion and new kitchen have completed anyway :/

Cheers
Jason.

LukeW
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:14 am

Re: Generator Monitor

Post by LukeW » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:33 am

I'm impressed that the Freetronics electret microphone module uses only a single op-amp.

When I interfaced an electret microphone to an Arduino once before, it involved a lot of stuffing around with analog electronics, and ended up using two BJTs as an input preamplifier stage, followed by an LM358.

Anyway, there is also a project I'm involved with at the moment which will involve monitoring the state of a diesel generator.

I don't know yet exactly what model of generator this is. Is it a "common" thing across lots of generator models to provide a relay output which is closed when the generator is running? If that's widely available on many generators then that will be very useful.

What I was just going to do anyway was to use a 5V switchmode power supply connected to the 240VAC power output from the generator, and simply watch that with the microcontroller.

sawtellda
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Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:47 am

Re: Generator Monitor

Post by sawtellda » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:56 pm

LukeW wrote: I don't know yet exactly what model of generator this is. Is it a "common" thing across lots of generator models to provide a relay output which is closed when the generator is running? If that's widely available on many generators then that will be very useful.
Most installations will offer some form of run indication, and more often than not you can get indication of auxilliaries on changeover contactors. Most of the new installs use a PLC so you can get any output you desire (specify and pay for).

The liason involved with getting a status contact can be a marathon however.

All too often
- The provided run contact has been monopolised by other systems.
- A status contact for Automation has been forgotten and the contractor wants mega-bucks to program one.
- The logistic of cabling within Form-3 or HV switchboards can cost a fortune to be done ina safe and compliant manner.
What I was just going to do anyway was to use a 5V switchmode power supply connected to the 240VAC power output from the generator, and simply watch that with the microcontroller.
That or an appropriate voltage relay. However the same gotchas as above apply in finding the appropriate point of connection. Wiring in without voiding warrantee etc.

A reliable contact is a always going to be the best indication. But the microphone option offers a great (and assumadly very reliable) alternative solution that can be installed without reference to other parties. A great lateral solution, particularly with a freetronics board now available off the shelf.

agronaught
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Re: Generator Monitor

Post by agronaught » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:12 am

I believe most fixed (modern) generator installations can cater for an 'engine run' relay, it probably comes down to how well you get along with the Tech's who maintain it for you. In my case I have major service in the next few days and the tech is happy to configure and connect the relays... as long as have the conduit/cable etc ready. I'm also planning on putting a resistor across the relay contacts for open/close/line fault detection.

I've just wired in the Freetronics microphone sound input module and it works... nice and simple. The final sensor will be installed with the hard wires/contacts as the primary sense and the microphone as a secondary/backup sensor. I love little modules like this as it allows me to focus on the final result rather than the niggling details... although the details can be fun too ;)

I've implemented an averaging function to trigger an alert if the sound pressure exceeds a preset threshold for more than 5 seconds, and the same for dropping the alert state. This seems to work well for 'debouncing' random loud noises, redicing false positives.

If anybody wants the sketch please let me konw.

Cheers
Jason.

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jonoxer
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Re: Generator Monitor

Post by jonoxer » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:36 am

Hey @agronaught, I haven't heard from you so I have a feeling you may not have seen this post yet:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14#p299

Merry (early) Christmas!
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Jon

agronaught
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Re: Generator Monitor

Post by agronaught » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:28 am

Thanks Jon, I'm rather stoked... I can't remember the last time I actually won something :) albeit entering does improve the odds a little :lol:

One final pick of the unit installed:

Image

I look forward to the next comp if you hold one Jon. I suspect there may be more entries from the Sydney Hackerspace for a start :)

hreginald
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:47 am

Re: Generator Monitor

Post by hreginald » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:54 am

agronaught wrote:This is possibly as simple as an arduino project can get.

I have an emergency generator at work which works well, automatically starting on power outages etc. The problem is that the generator is on level 27 of the building, and access during a power outage requires a trip to the sub basement to get a key from security (19 levels) and then back to level 27... a lot of stairs. I also wanted a way to remotely check the generator status and to monitor the run times so we can keep track of the diesel usage without the costs associated with full remote telemetry.
...
That is exactly what I need for my work. I am also planning to buy one because recently we had some outages. So I now decided to try a generator rental in order to bypass the time until I find a cheap offer for a generator. The next thing I will then do will also be such a tracking. This would actually be very useful although I am not sure how this will work but one step after the other.

effgee
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Re: Generator Monitor

Post by effgee » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:47 am

agronaught wrote: to prevent the kiddies from waking me up in the morning ;)
and how did that work out for you ? In my house all it would mean is that I was woken by the screaming about the TV not working, rather than the TV itself.

Great idea, though.

dache
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Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:18 pm

Re: Generator Monitor

Post by dache » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:34 am

Hello, This project is really interested and i would like to do it for my house generator!
Is it possible possible to get the source code as well as any diagram that could help?

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