It is impossible to imagine a world without electricity. Commercial, industrial and residential premises heavily rely on this source of energy for their day-to-day activities. However, often issues such as power outage lead to loss of productivity and discontinuity in business operations. For such occurrences, businesses are equipped with a secondary source of power, such as UPS and diesel generator (DG) sets.
There are times when companies need to improve the efficiency of their alternate power source to get uninterrupted power supply. Hence, it is essential to adopt the Internet of Things (IoT) to monitor the health of DG sets by tracking critical parameters.
35–55% of companies in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia own diesel generators which can bring about a potential economic impact of 25–100 billion annually in 2025. – McKinsey & company
Factors that need to be monitored
Load – Distributing load in a correct manner is critical for DG sets to run optimally. If the DG runs on less than optimal load, it causes carbon buildup, leading to a reduction of power-producing capacity.
Fuel usage – To maintain the overall efficiency of a DG set, it is important to monitor fuel usage. The quality of fuel and its consumption affects the performance of DGs. Also, tracking fuel usage allows a company to detect fuel theft.
Battery status – Batteries provide starting voltage to DG sets. It is difficult to start the DG set if batteries deteriorate. Therefore, monitoring and maintaining them is of utmost importance.
Smart Diesel Generator Monitoring Solution
Diesel generators have become a vital part of almost every business infrastructure. For seamless business continuity, DG sets play a crucial role by providing back up during power failures that may result in lost productivity.
Advanced analytics for performance optimization
Here’s how DG monitoring and analytics work:
An IoT controller that provides a two-way communication is integrated with the generator. The controller acts as a gateway that transfers data between the generator and the IoT system. This data is continuously monitored and analyzed to spot any sort of anomaly, allowing maximum uptime. Predictive maintenance (PdM) algorithms can be run on the data collected for companies to take proactive measures when the DG set malfunctions.
With DG set monitoring, when an anomaly is detected, an alert or notification with a detailed description of the error is automatically generated by the IoT system and is sent to the admin or maintenance team. This helps them to understand the root cause of the malfunction and enables them to sort the issue before it reaches critical stage. This ultimately allows them to reduce downtime and run the operations smoothly.
Following factors help to optimize the performance of the generators:
Enhancing overall efficiency
Tracking fuel consumption and comparing it against the energy produced and operational hours helps organizations to understand the generator’s overall efficiency. The DG will need maintenance if it’s producing lesser energy compared to the fuel consumed. Instead of waiting for a breakdown, companies can analyze the pattern of energy usage against fuel consumption for a particular period of time. If the analyzed data suggests that the consumption is higher compared to the energy produced for a longer period of time, organizations can carry preemptive maintenance. This eliminates the need to replace the DG set when it entirely breaks down. As a result, companies observe an increase in the up-time and the overall life of the DG set.
Understanding load patterns
Monitoring and analyzing load patterns allow companies to make a savvy decision on the number of DG sets requirements. For instance, if a company has multiple DG sets, they can track the load on each of them to distribute the equal load based on the usage. Also, they can choose when to leverage a single DG and when to engage multiple sets.
Making diesel generator monitoring smarter
Leveraging analytics and IoT will not only help companies that use DG sets but also enable generator manufacturers and providers to offer an improved quality product. With IoT-enabled DG monitoring solution, operations or maintenance teams can get real-time insights and control of their asset. This offers them the following benefits:
- Capture real-time data
- Monitor generators at multiple sites remotely
- Record fuel usage
- Analyze asset performance
- Send alerts via email and SMS in case of any anomaly
- Proactively understand maintenance needs and machine condition for billing
- Visibility of the health parameters of DGs across locations
Softweb Solutions has an IoT team with expertise in the field of asset monitoring and advanced analytics. With our in-depth industry knowledge, we can discuss your current challenges and offer solutions specifically designed to address your needs. Feel free to contact us to discuss our IoT and analytics solutions.