Generator Monitoring

Generators are a critical part of any robust telecom network design. They are typically third rung in the power ladder. Commercial power is the primary source for normal operation, followed by your battery plant for short to medium term protection and generators for longer term operation without the primary commercial power.

Generators come in all sizes, shapes, power outputs, but they also vary widely with respect to the technology they use to report alarms. Older generation equipment as well as basic models use relays to generate contact closures to report alarms. These types of generators require an RTU (such as the DPS NetGuardian 832A) to collect these contact closure, to report them back to an SNMP alarm master or make them viewable from a web browser. Newer equipment use higher level protocols, typically SNMP to provide more detailed status and alarm information. These alarms could report to your existing SNMP alarm master or a DPS T/Mon NOC. Newer generators may also come with their own administration / management tool. If it does, from a best practices point of view, you should consider this as an element manager layer. As such you should still have alarms forwarded to your NOC or MOM so you have generator visibility as part of your overall network view.


1. Generator Running

Take Care of Your Generators

Will report whenever the generator is running. Why is this alarm important? If the generator is running, chances are very good you have a commercial
power failure. Most companies and NOC managers have experienced a network outage because nobody knew the generator was running,
until it ran out of fuel, causing power failure. The end result, was the site still went down, the only difference is that it went down later and consumed
lots of fuel. Under normal circumstances, this alarm would be used to make sure your self tests (manual / automatic) are working correctly.

It can also be used as a rough indicator of how long the generator had been running so you can estimate fuel levels and better plan fuel runs.
Lastly, whenever an unplanned generator running alarms occurs, it gives you plenty of time to initiate the corrective action notifications to the commercial
power company.

2. Low Fuel

Low Fuel

Most modern generators give you the ability to observe fuel tank levels. However the Low Fuel alarm is the lowest common denominator with respect to fuel levels. When the generator senses that it has low fuel, it will report this alarm. Generally when you see these alarms, you want to act real fast. Depending on your windshield time to your site, and your low threshold warning level, it might already be too late to avoid down time. In cases where you have seasonal site access or have to fly in fuel, you have to have a very high level of fuel level awareness.

3. Oil Pressure

No Oil

Alarms when the oil pressure is low. Machine 101 - Oil protects moving parts. No oil - you will have a generator that will have some very expensive
repairs, or generator that is shut off that takes down your site. Collectively using these alarm elements allows you to:

  • Avoid / reduce the effect of site power failures.
  • Intelligently let you plan Truck rolls for service & fuel.
  • Manage your sites more efficiently and effectively during natural disasters where you have lots of outages and not enough manpower.
  • Save money on fuel, by avoiding waste.
  • Insure your generators are running properly, so they are there for you when you need them. (Confirm the self tests are running)

How to Monitor Generator Alarms

Monitor Generator Alarms, Battery Alarms, Intrusion Alarms, and High/Low Fuel Alarms
Monitor Generator Alarms, Battery Alarms, Intrusion Alarms, and High/Low Fueld Alarms.

How This Application Works:

Equipment Used.

  • NetGuardian 832A G4.
  • High/Low Fuel Sensors.
  • Intrusion Sensors.
  • Battery Sensors.
  • Generator Sensors.

The application features a NetGuardian 832A G4 along with the 19" Wire Wrap Back Panel and the 19" Pluggable Back Panel as options. This version of the NetGuardian G4 will support wide range on each of the power inputs (-24VDC & - 48VDC), giving you dual wide range power inputs.

This version of the NetGuardian 832A G4 comes equipped with 32 discretes, 8 analogs, 8 controls and the ability to ping 32 network elements. There are some minor hardware and software changes between the NetGuardian G2 and NetGuardian G4.

The NetGuardian G4 will be the perfect solution to monitoring your generator, battery, intrusion and low/high fuel alarms at your remote locations and reporting those alarms as an email message to your PC. With the built-in web browser, you will be able to view those alarms at any time, giving you 24/7 visibility to your remote site.

Click Here to Learn More about UPS Battery Backup Monitoring.

Use MODBUS to monitor your generator Output

How This Application Works:

Equipment Used:

Both of these applications will allow the T/Mon NOC to receive the alarm messages, whether it is the MODBUS protocol or the DCPx protocol. It turns those into alarm messages and sends them to your techs via e e-mail, text message or viewed via the web browser. The first option features the MODBUS Interrogator Software Module that will load onto your T/Mon NOC. This solution enables your T/Mon NOC to accept discrete and analog alarms from multiple MODBUS devices, including your generator. The T/Mon NOC will turn the alarm info into alarm messages and report to your techs.

The second option consists of the NetDog 82IP. This solution will monitor your generator's contact closures (discretes) and analog voltage values. It will report those as DCPx traps via LAN to your T/Mon NOC. Installation of the NetDog 82IP will be a breeze with its built-in barrier strip in front of the unit and the included external temperature sensor will enable you to monitor the ambient temperature up to 7 feet away.

Monitoring Propane

Propare Monitoring Propane generators are a common backup power source at a variety of sites. These technologies support monitoring of tank levels, flow rates, run times, and intelligent estimation of remaining run-time.

Sub-Technologies:

  • Propane Flow Rate Monitoring
  • Propane Tank Level Monitoring
  • Accumulated Run Timer
  • Estimated Remaining Run Time Calculation
  • RAM Buffering (for Storing PBX Data)

Products featuring Propane Monitoring:

Generator Monitoring Tech-Brief

Download this Tech-Brief Now

Learn how to reduce the effects of power outages and operate your remote sites more efficiently. These three events need to be monitored to ensure proper operation of your generator units. This tech-brief is a quick primer into the importance of generator monitoring.

Specific solutions for your generator monitoring needs:

  • Avoid/reduce the effect of site power failures
  • Intelligently let you plan Truck rolls for service & fuel
  • Manage your sites more efficiently and effectively during natural disasters where you have lots of outages and not enough manpower
  • Save money on fuel, by avoiding waste
  • Insure your generators are running properly

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Other information you may find helpful regarding generator monitoring:


Client Best Practices: Using Derived Alarms for Generator Monitoring
Monitor Generator, Battery, Intrusion, and Low Fuel Alarms
"Set Up 'Low Fuel' Alerts with NetGuardian Accumulation Timers..."
Use MODBUS to Monitor Your Generator Output, Fuel, & Status
Monitor Your Generator and Building Alarms With the NetDog 82IP G2...
Propane Monitoring
Remote Monitor and Control Your Remote Site Propane Tanks Using a TempDefender

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