Accessorize your generator with…. Two Wire Auto Start Control for solar backup generator.
Solar power is a great idea when the sun’s shining. You can use your appliances safe in the knowledge that your solar panels are collecting power from the sun and converting it into electricity.
But what happens when the weather turns for weeks on end and the battery charge runs out? If you’re off the grid, it’s only a short step to a total blackout. Thankfully, someone already thought of that and invented a range of generators that can be customized to save the day.
The solution is a generator customised with a 2-wire auto start. The two-wire start generator is amongst the simplest remote-start generators on the market.
Here’s how it works:
Solar panels generate power all day, storing it in batteries, and then supply that stored power to your connected home. However when the weather turns and the solar panels are no longer creating energy, your household starts using the power that’s been stored in the battery, and the charge level gets lower and lower.
The two wire auto start is connected from a portable or standby generator to the system control panel, external to the generator. This detects when the deep-cycle battery charge is low and hey presto – it automatically starts up the generator to charge up the battery pack.
Why choose a 2-wire auto start?
A generator with a two-wire auto start option means you get all the benefits of solar power with the peace of mind that there’s backup generator power on demand. So if the worst happens, you’ll never be without power.
Just as when you’re using a generator normally, the generator provides its own safety protection, such as shutoff for low oil level, overheating, and so on. But just because it starts automatically doesn’t mean you should neglect maintenance of the generator. Be sure to do all the important checks on a regular basis: inspect the fuel line for cracks and replace it if necessary. Refill the tank with fresh fuel and run the generator, plugging in some appliances to check it’s working properly. And if there are any problems, take it for repair so it’s ready when you need it most. Each auto-start generator comes with a maintenance guide in the product manual.
Types of generator with 2-wire auto start
A two-wire auto start generator can be complemented by adding a 2-wire auto start controller. This device is required for solar backup generator applications. Another typical extra is a Automatic Mains Failure Panel (AMF) which is used when connecting a auto start generator directly to your house to provide mains backup power. The AMF (also known as an Automatic Transfer Switch) is designed to be wired into your home or office’s main switch board for direct power back up in the event of a blackout…the AMF is not relevant for those running their home with a solar set up.
So just to be clear; for Solar set ups, you’ll need a a 2-wire auto start controller to go with your auto-start generator. For direct back up to mains power (not solar) you’ll need an Automatic Mains Failure Panel (AMF) to go with your auto-start generator. In each case, installation of the generator and associated device is required to be undertaken by a qualified electrician.
Generators with a 2-wire auto start option range in price from just over $2,000 up to around $10,000 depending on the functions and size you need. One manufacturer worth checking out is Pramac, which has a great selection of generators specially designed for 2-wire auto start capability. This is our best selling brand for solar back-up purposes, is manufactured in Europe and renowned for its overall quality. Other options include the Powerlite Remote Start 8kVA generator ; powered by Honda and priced under $4,000.
Another auto-start generator brand which is new to Australia is Generac; these are gas powered generators, and whilst can require additional installation certification from the outset to connect to mains gas, they are starting to gain significant interest in the market; they can be a more cost effective option compared to petrol and diesel and the units self-test automatically. Can be used to backup solar set ups, but mostly chosen for backup to house mains during blackouts.
In summary, the most popular auto start generators for solar backup are the Pramac range, Powerlite (an 8kVA petrol model) and Generac (Gas powered). Pramac designs and manufactures a robust series of generators with all the top-class features required for domestic or commercial backup power, including a large fuel tank and maintenance free brushless alternator. My Generator stocks sizes ranging from 5kVA up to 12kVA in the auto start range, with petrol and diesel options available, using world class engines such as Honda, Yanmar and Lombardini.
Explore more backup generators for sale at MyGenerator.com.au