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Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro


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  #21  
Old 07-25-2017, 08:53:39 AM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is online now
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

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Originally Posted by I like oldstuff View Post
Man that thing is chock full of nuts! You'll be playing with it for months.
It will keep me occupied for awhile, but some of the features cannot be used on our small Onans such ad electronic governor control as well as AVR control for paralleling multiple generators. My main intent is to use the controller for monitoring the basics and maybe simple controlling based on critical alerts to initiate automatic shut down. These controllers are for 3 phase and 2 wire remote configurations. Our J series Onans are 3 wire remote start / stop.

Today, I want to order an RS485 to USB converter so I can tap into the controller using my laptop / PC. Still I have lots to learn and once I learn enough to be dangerous I will start to unload some of my extra Gencon II Pro controllers to folks on this site.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Old 07-25-2017, 11:41:22 AM
grif grif is offline
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

Gee,,,, how about 8 CCK's,,, or 7 CCK's with the first gen set a diesel for the zero/super low load times....

Rube Goldberg at it's finest!!! You gotta admit, it would be a fun project ;-)
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  #23  
Old 07-25-2017, 12:31:41 PM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

The remote start terminals are IN. Not out. These would eliminate all the controls, such as they are, and make a gen 2 wire start.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:39:56 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

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I may be wrong, but the controller was on a 1 megawatt generator.
I'm thinking larger than 1 megwatt. Sounds very professional, like what a utility might use..

I'ld be careful playing past the 6 digital factory password. It's likely a PLC (programmable logic controller) of sorts and you may have the ability to wipe out it's sub-routine programing, that give it all these features.

If PLC it's likely they took a stock PLC and programed to make it a generator controller. So if you want you likely could wipe out the software and have a basic PLC to reprogram for other uses. Just have to open up the box and see if you can find PLC's manufacturer's name and model # for documentation.

Last edited by len k; 07-25-2017 at 05:48:03 PM.
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Old 07-25-2017, 04:26:08 PM
Gunny Gunny is offline
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

You can use it to run your Onan, but, it'll replace all the controls as it'll do everything. The auto start is an input, yes, it will make it a 2 wire start.

You're going to need some relays as it won't handle the amp draw of the starter relay. Might as well hang another relay for ignition and the gas valve (or fuel pump).

Might run into a snag as these things look fo ra 3 phase voltage. Might be able to either disable voltage sensing or fool it. You will need to add a MPU so it'll know the engine is turning over, when to shut the starter off, where the overspeed point is. Think you can use either oil pressure or output voltage to tel the controller that the engine is running.

Holler at me if you want some help/advice. PM me and I'll reply with me cell phone, call me anytime except after 10 at night.
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  #26  
Old 07-25-2017, 10:50:15 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is online now
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

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Originally Posted by Gunny View Post
You can use it to run your Onan, but, it'll replace all the controls as it'll do everything. The auto start is an input, yes, it will make it a 2 wire start.

You're going to need some relays as it won't handle the amp draw of the starter relay. Might as well hang another relay for ignition and the gas valve (or fuel pump).

Might run into a snag as these things look fo ra 3 phase voltage. Might be able to either disable voltage sensing or fool it. You will need to add a MPU so it'll know the engine is turning over, when to shut the starter off, where the overspeed point is. Think you can use either oil pressure or output voltage to tel the controller that the engine is running.

Holler at me if you want some help/advice. PM me and I'll reply with me cell phone, call me anytime except after 10 at night.
Gunny, once again many thanks... I will be picking your brain shortly, but first I want to become familiar with the controller by going through all the menus and studying all the settings. The manual that I downloaded has some information on the setup, but far from complete so I need to figure things out for myself. I guess what I am trying to say is I don't want to ask dumb questions to waste your time. I hope that any questions I ask will be for clarification on the information I learned or information that was not covered in the manual.

I hope to have learned enough to ask questions in about a week. For now, the controller sits on my desk and is powered by a 12 vdc power supply and one leg of 120 vac. No relays, no nothing else is hooked up (yet).

I will post periodic updates on what I learn in this thread. I would like to keep the discussion in this thread too. I think it can be beneficial to others that want to learn or maybe someone 5 years form now may come across one of these controllers and will find valuable information here.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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  #27  
Old 07-27-2017, 10:07:09 PM
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

Update: Not much to report, but I'm still in massive learning mode (a.k.a. "sponge mode").

I found an online document for the controller that may help. Link is below, but for most folks here it would not be of any interest. Also there is a company in Argentina South America that supports the Wexler products with a fairly decent overview, but everything is in Spanish.

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/vi...ctronic-r-gmbh

Yesterday I found comprehensive technical information on the Communicator module which basically allow an operator to monitor from a PC console up to 8 generators. I WON'T be using the Communicator for 2 reasons: 1) I will be only hooking into one generator at any given time and 2) The Communicator requires Gpanes software to be installed on the PC and I don't have the software which comes on a CD. I have no idea how much it costs, but I'm sure it will be expensive. No, it is not found on the internet for a download. It is specialized software.

Interesting to see how applications between the United States and Europe differ in the grand scheme of things, at least that is what it may have been 15-20 years ago (see attached picture below).

Once I become smart enough (yeah - right) I will be using my Onan LT II ATS Switch that will be connected to my JB. The Gencon II Pro controller will basically monitor and maybe perform certain shutdowns based on detected faults. Lastly and hopefully I can interface into it with my PC either through a direct hookup or through my home network.

OK, back to reading. Maybe one day this will all make sense and all come together.

Johnny
New Jersey
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  #28  
Old 07-28-2017, 04:40:43 PM
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

That should keep you out of the bars and out of trouble for at least a week, maybe 2.

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  #29  
Old 07-28-2017, 06:18:46 PM
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

JC is in absorption mode. He'll be pinging you mid day tomorrow.
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  #30  
Old 07-29-2017, 05:51:12 PM
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

I Like Oldstuff is correct regarding his recent posting ...

Question for those smarter than me (that means everyone here).

I need to obtain and setup two 5 amp current transformers for the controller which I'll find or trade with someone here that may have a few laying around (Yellowlister I will PM you later).

In part of setting up the controller, I need to understand the controller's set up parameters for the current transformers ratio. I read the manual but I ain't smart enough to fully understand based on their example . Please look at the attached picture below and focus on the yellow highlighted text and especially the red underscored text. Can someone here explain better what the text means?

JohnnyC
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  #31  
Old 07-29-2017, 06:06:37 PM
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

^You certainly don't see me making an intelligent reply...
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  #32  
Old 07-29-2017, 07:04:44 PM
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

couple of pages that might help

https://electricalnotes.wordpress.co...t-transformer/

http://www.currenttransformers.co.in...tering-CTs.pdf

I was _intending_ to get around to reading those pages to use a couple of current transformers I have here. Haven't yet had time.

A bit of guesswork below:

I figure the ratio is how the controller figures out what the real current is - an 800:5 CT (Current Transformer) puts 5 amps through the secondary burden when 800 is flowing in the primary =160 (5*160=800. If your CT is only 100:5 amps the ratio would be different = 20 (5*20=100)

The CT always works into a "burden" or a resistor across the secondary. It looks like this controller expects full scale voltage to be .5 volts at 5 amps. That .5V x 5A is 2.5 W burden. (So that .1 ohm resistor needs to be able to handle 2.5W. I'd use at least a 5W and make sure it had plenty of airflow.)

Just looking at that text it almost looks like the burden resistor is internal to the controller (so you may not need to find one) and that is showing the schematic internally behind one of the A51/52 contact pairs. (a61/62 is for a second phase and a71/72 is the third phase)

BTW - for anyone who doesn't already know - _NEVER_ open circuit a CT secondary when the primary is energized. Typically they are shorted when not connected to a burden resistor or anything.

I know that much.

The rest is guessing: The voltage on that secondary will rise VERY high - and you could see arcs and sparks. Think about it - 160 turns on the secondary and 1 turn on the primary. The 1 turn is at 240 volts. The secondary 160*240 volts=38400!. (not really, but you get the idea)

Hopefully someone will reply who has witnessed what happens when CT are left open...

DavidM
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  #33  
Old 07-29-2017, 07:43:22 PM
Gunny Gunny is offline
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

Almost all CT's used for instrumentation rae 5 amp output. Except for some used with Newage voltage regulators.

What input are you looking for? They come in ratios that fit the current you are measuring, 100:5 for example, pass 100 amps through it and you get 5 amps out. Think the smallest I've seen is a 20:5 and they got up from there, they do go big, 2000:5 and they come in all sort of different configurations. Typically the ones you see look like a donut, some are square to go around buss bars, some are flexible, some come apart so you don't have to disconnect wires.

Word of caution or warning with CT's. Be sure they have a load on th e ut put or are shorted if there is current running through them. The are capable of making extremely high voltage with an open secondary, enough to cause injury or death. Injury if it explodes, death from lethal levels of voltage. Be careful with them.

Another note on CT's. When mounting them, look for a dot painted on one side. That side of the CT goes towards the source of the current, like the generator. If you happen to get it backwards, the meter will read backwards, simple swap the wires. They are polarity sensitive.

Don't think I have any small ones, with a JB, you'd probably want to use 20:5 or 50:5. If you have 100:5, you could use them, just loop the wire through it twice and it would read like a 50:5. I'll look Monday and see if I have anything useful.
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  #34  
Old 07-29-2017, 08:28:16 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is online now
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

Thank dmeed and Gunny.

Dmeed, I have to digest the information you posted.

Gunny, I have 3 Onan CT with a ratio of 35/5 and rated at only 1 (one) volt amp. Obviously the 1 V Amp will not work for me. It is the ratio that stumps me and its importance to be correct which I need to read up on. Anyone can throw almost any CT inline, but most likely it will not be accurate unless it is matched for the setup. There are tons of 5A CT on the market with a wide range of prices.

**** Update - FWIW - I just wanted to see what the controller was setup for by the "professionals" during production use. See the attached picture below. I can change the value depending on what CT's I end up with.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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  #35  
Old 07-29-2017, 09:41:53 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

Johnny .....As I recall from school you select resistor to put across secondary to suit voltage your want to see across secondary. Secondary current is proportional to primary current. Seems resistor is the KEY to modifying a current transformer that you have into a different ratio that you want, change the resistor ohms. But I 've never played with current transformers.

If that secondary resistor falls off then voltage across secondary trys to go to infinity , to force a current thru secondary. And the magic smoke escapes. The physics demand a secondary current if there's a primary current. Seems reasonable to put a MOV across secondary in case wires to distant resistor are cut.

Last edited by len k; 07-29-2017 at 10:08:21 PM.
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  #36  
Old 07-29-2017, 10:02:35 PM
DMeed DMeed is offline
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

You can skip that second pdf document - it's just saying that the burden value of the CT should be close to the actual burden the meter imposes for accuracy and protection of the meter. On your meters the burden is 2.5 va, so you would look for CT designed for that value, not CT designed for 10 or 30 va burden.

David M

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If that secondary resistor falls off then voltage across secondary trys to go to infinity , to force a current thru secondary. And the magic smoke escapes.

That is what I was trying to remember - "Voltage tries to go to infinity..." So it's not anything to do with the turns ratio.

David M
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  #37  
Old 07-29-2017, 10:04:30 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

From 1-st link ...Burden sounds like max power ( really VA ) the current transformer can supply into it's load resistor. So that limits how high resistance of the load resistor can be, ei how much voltage you can make out the secondary.

Don;t know if this is an accuracy limitation, or transformer heating limitation.

Last edited by len k; 07-29-2017 at 10:21:01 PM.
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Old 07-29-2017, 11:16:40 PM
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

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Originally Posted by dmeed View Post
You can skip that second pdf document - it's just saying that the burden value of the CT should be close to the actual burden the meter imposes for accuracy and protection of the meter. On your meters the burden is 2.5 va, so you would look for CT designed for that value, not CT designed for 10 or 30 va burden.

David M


That is what I was trying to remember - "Voltage tries to go to infinity..." So it's not anything to do with the turns ratio.

David M
David, lots of interesting info in the first document that will take me 2 or 3 times to read and read again to semi-understand. The main thing as you pointed out I need to look for a CT rated at 2.5 va. I will most likely use a ring core CT since I've used them in the past for other meter applications requiring CT s.

David and Len, as I read from the first document that David posted and I assume you referring to an open circuit situation where danger from an open-circuited CT is twofold. It can produce lethal voltages and so is a very real danger to personnel. The high voltage across the secondary winding could also cause insulation failure in that winding, leading at best to inaccuracy and at worst to burn- out or fire.

Side question: As I am learning, it is obvious that not anyone can or should be setting up these controllers in a professional / commercial / industrial environment. I assume it would be the job of an electrical engineer. Is that correct???? I assume that is one reason why the Gencon II Pro controller requires a special password to access the setup parameters. If a console operator (or whatever their job name is called) had access to the setup parameters and had little knowledge of what he/she is doing, it could lead to a potential disaster. Well, the worst that will happen if I screw up will be either I burn down my garage or electrocute myself to death (maybe both knowing my bad luck).

Back to reading in "sponge mode".

Thanks for all your input - much appreciated.

Johnny
New Jersey
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  #39  
Old 07-30-2017, 01:25:12 AM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

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Originally Posted by JohnnyC View Post
David and Len, as I read from the first document that David posted and I assume you referring to an open circuit situation where danger from an open-circuited CT is twofold. It can produce lethal voltages and so is a very real danger to personnel. The high voltage across the secondary winding could also cause insulation failure in that winding, leading at best to inaccuracy and at worst to burn- out or fire.
Fire and lethal voltages are possible.

Without a load resistor secondary voltages should increase toward infinity. In practice it will increase till arcing thru air ( or surface creepage arc between terminals) allows the current that physics says must flow.

Then as the plastic carbonizes from the heat of the arc the load resistance will drop and the "infinite " voltage can drop a little. Till the current transformer overheats from supplying too many VA ( watts to the arc). Smoke and possibly fire is end result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyC View Post
Side question: As I am learning, it is obvious that not anyone can or should be setting up these controllers in a professional / commercial / industrial environment. I assume it would be the job of an electrical engineer. Is that correct???? I assume that is one reason why the Gencon II Pro controller requires a special password to access the setup parameters. If a console operator (or whatever their job name is called) had access to the setup parameters and had little knowledge of what he/she is doing, it could lead to a potential disaster.
Likely a money issue, pay for access. Just like satellite TV decoder box.

Last edited by len k; 07-30-2017 at 01:59:43 PM. Reason: Fire and lethal voltages are possible.
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:22:27 AM
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Default Re: Generator Controllers - Gencon II Pro

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Originally Posted by JohnnyC View Post
Side question: As I am learning, it is obvious that not anyone can or should be setting up these controllers in a professional / commercial / industrial environment. I assume it would be the job of an electrical engineer. Is that correct????
Both financial and "image" - "don't want just anybody off the street programming one of our boxes and making mistakes and it reflects on our company" ("...we had a gencon box and it burned up our 1.6 megawatt generator"). That multiplier of 800 implies the box was connected to something that could run up to 800*5 or 4000 AMPS per leg. at 120/208 three phase that is something like 1.44 MEGAwatts. (And most of those size generators are higher voltages). WOnder if there is a voltage multiplier or range in there that would tell whether it was dealing with 120 or 240 or 480 or ??

Like anything - recognize my knowledge limitations and know when I need to stop messing around with things that can hurt people and call the people who know their stuff. I can learn these things - if I am willing to put the necessary study into it like you are - and running it on a genset in my backyard is not likely to be a danger to others. But if I'm paralleling a 1.5 megawatt genset with the utility, I would like someone to hold my hand and review my work at least the first couple times to make sure I didn't mess up some critical parameter down on menu layer 37.

As you are finding out - it takes some serious extra reading to understand what some of those parameters do - so yeah - by the time you get it figured out, you'll have some of the training of an electrical engineer in one tiny area <grin>

(and probably the guys from the factory who set these up aren't necesarily engineers - just spent a week or a month at a factory training course explaining all the stuff you are figuring out) - just like the Onan factory training for mechanics...

David M

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Without a load resistor secondary voltages should increase toward infinity. In practice it will increase till arcing thru air ( or creepage distance between terminals) allows the current that physics says must flow.
Len - so when I short the output terminals on a CT together - the current can flow easily (close to zero resistance), and the CT won't overheat or anything (5 amps across .1 ohm is only 1/2 watt burden). It is like totally backward to any other transformer I'm used to.

I put in a generator transfer panel and dropped a couple of CT donuts from ebay over the incoming lines so I can connect them to amp meters to monitor the current. Still got to figure out the burden resistor and meters part (part of the problem is I might be connecting a 7.5KW unit (30 Amps) up to a 48Kw unit (200 amps) to this panel so I almost need two ranges. On a 7.5 kw genset it would barely move the 200 amp needle. ANyway - in the meantime, I've simply wirenutted the ends of the CT leads together to short them. Figuring this out is on my "round tuit" list.

David M
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