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Topic: Arduino Project to Activate Biogas Electricity Generator on Power Black Out (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


Hello Arduino Enthusiasts!,

I would like to know the feasibility and technical aspects of having a biogas generator switch-on when their is a power black out from the mains electricity grid
Here is the generator, it starts using a key, but i am sure that if the manufacturer provides the circuit diagram or installs a switch instead i could maybe connect this to an Arduino

Biogas Electric Generator >>>Arduino >>>> Laptop <<< Software <<<< Electricity Monitor unit

I already have an electricity energy monitor connected to my PC to show the energy usage in real time

I will appreciate any help on this.


As is so often the case, the question is - why do you need a computer to do this?

You need certain sensors - voltage, current an such; you may need timers and MCUs are useful in this regard; you need control relays and driver modules, but is there some complex decision process that justifies using a microcomputer?


Remember also that when the mains power goes out, so will the power to your arduino, unless it's battery powered. There appears to be a Lead-Acid battery on the generator (for starting). Maybe you could use that to keep the arduino powered during a mains failure.


Usually you are required to avoid a situation where the generator is connected to the grid, and that is achieved by an isolator switch which can connect your load circuit to either the grid, or the generator, but never both. In most jurisdictions this switch would need to be fitted by an authorised installer.

There is a more complex scenario where your generator is permitted to supply electricity back to the grid, in which case you would need a complex piece of electronics between them which would usually be supplied and installed by your electricity distributor. Merely starting the generator is easy enough to do but I suspect is the least of your problems in designing a failover supply.


Probably best to study current commercial hardware that does the same thing. Big ticket items like separating your system from the power company system, monitoring the starting success of your generator, and loading your generator on to your dead system need to be studied and well understood.
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Well the generator has nothing to do with switching from mains to the generator.
So that must be done through other hardware (Transfer Switch) attached to the mains usually right on the side of the mains box.
Give this a read: http://homemadecircuitsandschematics.blogspot.com/2013/05/grid-mains-to-generator-changeover.html
You could supply the starter with an Arduino and a relay. The problem is having the Arduino know when the generator has started so to stop spinning the starter.
If you can get the Arduino to sense that then your set.

Do you have the generator?
If so how do you like it? What's your source of bio gas?
I have a propane generator and really prefer it over my gas or diesel ones.
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