Power detection and generator startup remotely (GSM)

I live in a country where the power supply is erratic, and often experience long power cuts. I am also often away from home. So, I have the following setup as a backup supply:

2 x 200w solar panels feeding into 4 x 12v x 230Ah batteries, passing through an inverter to supply power to my electronic equipment (servers, TV’s etc)

I also have a 13KVA generator that I can switch on once the batteries run down.

The generator does have a automatic switchover circuit that can switch on automatically when the power goes down, but I don’t want that to happen as it will run the generator unnecessarily and run the tank empty.

Currently I have a simple alarm remote wired in series to the start switch on the generator to allow me to switch it on and off “remotely” when I am at the house.

What I would like to be able to do is the following:

Receive a message when the main supply goes down (email, SMS whatever is convenient)
Monitor the inverter battery status, email or SMS if it goes below a threshold limit
Remotely switch the generator on/off as needed or desired.
If possible, monitor diesel tank level to prevent running generator empty (automatic cut-off, or remotely if I can monitor level)
Monitor generator status (running or off)

How do I detect the loss of incoming power, as my plugs are still fed by inverter when power is lost?
What is the best sensor to detect and monitor tank level?
What is the right shield to use for GSM?
The connection from generator will have to be wireless
How do I monitor battery levels?
Do I need multiple Arduino’s?
What wireless connector should I use?

Thanks for any advice or questions to clarify

pdupreez: How do I detect the loss of incoming power, as my plugs are still fed by inverter when power is lost?

Current sensor between inverter and batteries?

pdupreez: What is the best sensor to detect and monitor tank level?

Depends on the desired resolution. Ultrasonic, float switch etc.

pdupreez: What is the right shield to use for GSM?

SIM800 works well, where I live

pdupreez: How do I monitor battery levels?

Voltage divider, analog input.

pdupreez: What wireless connector should I use?

nRF24L01 is my favourite, we (I) don't know enough about your setup

lg, couka

Hi,

Couka left nothing behind :) , Hope it helps,

Regards,

Thanks for the info. I will procure the various pieces when I am back in civilization and have a go at making it work. Will feedback in time.

Definitely put an Automatic transfer switch on the utility and generator/solar inverter feeds. Too many people end up backfeeding the grid and killing lineman working on the lines. The 220(or 120) you generate gets stepped up to KV levels at the pole mounted xmfr. Installing a good transfer switch keeps everyone safe, gives you auxilliary contact closure for power loss/regain status, with higher end models offer IP connectivity. But for safety alone, put a CE or UL rated device in before any automation, killing electricians keeps the power from coming back on quicker.