|Project duration:||~3 months|
|Activities:||Idea, proof of concept, design electronics and firmware, prototyping, production, support & warranty|
|Technologies:||STM32 Cortex M3, OGS/CAN-bus, C, high-current, alternator, engine control, DipTrace, EmBits|
One of the possible power sources of the Off-Grid energy system is a diesel generator pack which can deliver close to 5kW of power. This generator consists of a 'plug&play' motor-set, which is complemented by fuel and oil storage elsewhere in the system. Items such as ventilation and the starter battery are also mounted elsewhere.
The starter battery is not strictly necessary as the engine can be started from the mainbatteries also. However, that requires sufficient capacity remaining. And more importantly, requires the engine to be equipped for 24V devices, particularly the startermotor and the glow-plug. With a separate (lead-acid) 12V we have both the power backup and the ability to use regular engine components.
- Current regulation adjustable between 10A to 150A
- Programmable min/max RPM limits for engine
- Local & remote start/stop control
- Remote programming of setpoints and readback of actual values
- Monitoring of engine parameters for temperature, coolant & oil pressure
- Fuel control and measurement
- Inclination detect to prevent running tipped-over engine
- Acceleration sensor with FFT processing for vibration detection
- Non-volatile voltage, current and other settings
- Firmware control of SOC or voltage based start criteria including maximum runtime and silent hours
- 5A charger for (12V or 24V) starter battery
- 24V/5A boost converter for engine peripherals (during starting)
- CAN-based OGS control® bus to connect with an OGS control® Master
- Graphic LCD and buttons for local monitoring and parameter adjustment
- Optional support for RS232, RS485 and USB connectivity
- Capable of running as standalone system without external control
Contrary to the other devices of the Off-Grid energy system, we have prepared this generator controller for standalone and third-party control also. Using simple control signals or more advanced, using a serial port, systems other than the OGS can work with this generator. Thanks to the display and buttons, all parameters can still be modified to specific requirements.
Because of budget and time constraints, we started off with a minimal version of the generator functionality based on the standard I/O capabilities on the master module.