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Basler's new digital gen-set controller.


Basler Electric has introduced its latest advanced digital generator-set controller the DGC-2020. The DGC-2020 is a focused integrated system that is designed to combine rugged construction and microprocessor technology in a flexible product designed for a variety of environmental conditions. The device provides gen-set control, transfer switch control, metering, protection and programmable logic in a simple, easy-to-use, reliable and cost-effective package, according to the company.

Programming the DGC-2020 is through front panel navigation keys and the unit's large LCD display or it can be accomplished with Basler's enhanced BESTCOMSPlus PC software. Either way, the menus make setup and configuration fast and simple, Basler said. Within BESTCOMSPlus, the company has provided a user-friendly programmable logic program that allows the user to meet specifications that previously would have required an additional PLC, Basler said. BESTCOMSPlus is included with the DGC-2020 and provides for remote communications, file transfer and file management.

The DGC-2020 can sense engine parameters directly via analog senders, or it can communicate with the engine's electronic control unit using SAE J1939 CANbus communications. The device offers programmable inputs and outputs and programmable logic, allowing the user to customize the operation of the DGC-2020 as desired. The DGC 2020 also has automatic transfer switch control (mains failure).

"The DGC-2020 utilizes advanced microprocessor technology and leverages the many years of experience Basler has in the gen-set controller market to provide a controller with sophisticated features and functions not found in many top-of-the-line controllers," said Larry Perez, product line manager for the Highland, III., company. "It has a high-end event recorder that takes the guesswork out of what happened to a gen-set. It was developed so that anyone can use it, yet it can provide all the flexibility needed to adapt the DGC-2020 to any gen-set application."

The DGC-2020 controller can be configured by a customer-selected style number, permitting the user to only purchase what is needed, adding to the value of the unit, Basler said. The DGC-2020 can be configured to have eight additional output contacts, an internal RS-485, an internal industrial modem for remote communications and dialing out to a pager when the DGC-2020 detects trouble. The unit also has optional features for enhanced generator protection and an integrated automatic synchronizer.


"The auto synchronizer is one of the most sophisticated auto synchronizer packages available today," Perez said. "It provides for phase angle, speed and voltage matching like most synchronizers and it allows the user to select between phase lock or anticipatory styles."

Among the unit's engine control and protection capabilities include cranking control, engine cooldown sequences, various alarm time delays and engine maintenance features.

As part of the DGC-2020's metering functionality, metered generator parameters include voltage, current, Hz, real power (watts), apparent power (VA) and power factor. Metered engine parameters include oil pressure, coolant temperature, rpm, battery voltage, fuel level, engine runtime and various J1939-supported parameters.

The DGC has an event recorder that provides a record of alarms, pre-alarms, engine starts, engine runtime loaded, engine runtime unloaded, last run date, and many other events that are all date and time stamped to help the user determine the cause and effect of issues related to the generator set. The event recorder is one of the most advanced on the market today. It offers 30 event types and 30 occurrences for each type for a total of 900 individual events.

The unit monitors utility (mains) and determines if it is providing power that is suitable for the loads. If the utility goes beyond predetermined levels, the generator is started and the utility is disconnected from the load and the generator is connected. When the utility returns to acceptable levels for a sufficient time, the generator is disconnected and the utility is reconnected to the load. It also includes appropriate settings timers for establishing stable utility operation.

The DGC-2020's PLC allows custom programming of the various inputs, outputs, alarms and prealarms. It allows these elements to be integrated into a complete logic scheme so that the user can meet even the most complex specification, the company said. The PLC includes the selection of logic gates and timers with drag-and-drop technology to make it fast and simple, said Basler.

The DGC-2020 can communicate to a remote display panel, for example Basler's model RDP-110. This requires only two wires to annunciate all of the alarms and pre-alarms required by NFPA-110 Level I and II.

An optional dial-out modem enables remote control, monitoring and setting of the DGC-2020. When an alarm or pre-alarm condition occurs, the DGC-2020 can dial up to four telephone numbers in sequence until an answer is received and the condition is annunciated.

Basler has incorporated distributed I/O into its design concept for the DGC-2020. Basler's strategy is to allow the I/O to be placed where it is needed and to run limited wiring for communications back to the DGC2020. So the contact I/O module can be mounted with the DGC-2020 in the control panel while the AEM module can be mounted right at the generator/engine to limit the distance the RTD and thermocouple wires have to be run. Enhancement accessories for the DGC-2020 include easily connectable add-on modules such as the LSM2020 load sharing module and the CEM-2020 contact expansion module.

The LSM-2020 provides and allows analog output to a govemor (4 to 20 mA or [+ or -] 10 Vdc), analog output to a voltage regulator, analog output to a load share line, Ethernet communications, generator sequencing and J1939 communications to the DGC-2020.

"Basler has performed countless hours of testing with industry-available governors and load-sharing modules to ensure compatibility and performance," Perez noted. "When the DGC-2020 is equipped with the auto synchronizing option, the LSM module interfaces directly with the voltage regulator and speed governor via analog outputs."

The LSM can also communicate via the Ethernet communications network to sequence the generator online and offline with load ramping. The LSM also offers load demand starting to bring machines online as the load requires them. Once the machines already online reach a pre-defined loading level, the next machine is started, synchronized and loaded to reduce the load on the other machines.

The CEM-2020 contact expansion module adds 10 contact inputs and 24 form C contacts to the contact-rich DGC-2020 capability. It also communicates to the DGC-2020 via SAE J1939 CANbus. The contact inputs and outputs of the CEM can be used in the programmable logic scheme as if they were internal to the DGC-2020. They can be assigned labels by the user as well.

A third module is scheduled to be released in June--the AEM-2020. This is an analog expansion module that adds eight RTD inputs (10 or 100 Ohm), two K-type thermocouples, eight analog inputs for 4 to 20 mA or zero to 10 Vdc, along with four analog outputs 4 to 20 mA or zero to 10 Vdc for driving analog meters. All of the analog inputs can have up to four tripping thresholds assigned to them, and again these inputs are usable in the programmable logic scheme. Users are able to utilize the same model DGC-2020 gen-set controller for simple applications or more complicated applications that require contact functionality or duplication of contacts for remote annunciation.

"The DGC-2020 offers a complete system of environmental hardening," Perez said. "Its design utilizes advanced engineering and design techniques to allow it to operate in the harshest environments.

"The DGC-2020 uses encapsulated construction that has been successfully proven on hundreds of thousands of voltage regulators built by Basler."
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Author:McNeely, Mark
Publication:Diesel Progress North American Edition
Date:May 1, 2008
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