Engine Generator Control

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An engine generator

Remote management of the engine generators is a very important app for installers and maintainers. You can setup an AirQ based application in a simply way. Knowing if an engine generator is on or if there are some anomalies is very useful for maintainers.

For instance you could detect:

  1. If engine is on;
  2. if network is up (and engine generates electricity).

You may also control:

  1. engine ignition;
  2. engine shutdown.

Usually an engine generator provides a control switchboard. You can turn on the engine by holding a button until engine starts, because button is linked to a starter motor. Another button is used to turn off the engine.

You could set up alarms, for instance send an SMS to mobile number if engine doesn't generate electricity.


Required Stuff

We need following things to setup this application:

  • N° 1 AirQ 300 board with Li-Po battery;
  • N° 1 AirQ 200 control unit;

Since you will AirQ 300 board, you can get power direcly from engine battery. If you need, you can add in stuff list N° 1 DIN Rail swtiching power adapter too.

Step by step instructions

Next paragraphs will show how setup both hardware and software.

Hardware setup

A Board 300 setup scheme

First step is the AirQ 300 board setup. You have to place the board close to or in the engine switchboard. You can place the board on a DIN rail if the switchboard provides it.

You have to link:

  • power supply (ground and +12V) from the switchboard to the board;
  • Relay 1 to the ignition button;
  • Relay 2 to the shutdown button;
  • IN1 to engine ON alarm;
  • IN2 to network ON alarm;

Finally, AirQ 200 control unit must be installed close to a network outlet using an UTP cable and powered up using a switching power adapter.

Software setup

After hardware setup, you have to configure software for control unit setup and define system behaviors and alarm logic.

In order to configure software, you have to access to Pingu application, provided by the control unit. Pingu is a web application, so you can access to it by a browser typing in the address bar:

The first screen is the login, for the first time use admin for user name and console for password.

After login, dashboard is showed. In the dashboard you can see real-time system status. You can see a box for every component you've installed.


In sensors boxes you can see the last data detected and the last detection time. For control board box, if you have installed hardware as described before, if you click on relay1 button, the siren turns on and in1 turn to green; clicking another time on relay1, the sirens turns off and the in1 turn to red.

If you go in Setup page you can set a lot of configuration parameters, like Pingu user and password, system language etc...

Assign names

You can assign names to the sensors, to the board and its inputs and relays.

To change the names of the AirQ 300 board:

  • Click on Name it and insert a name, for example engine;
  • click on IN1 to assign name engine ON;
  • click on IN2 to assign name network ON;
  • click on RELAY1 to assign name engine ignition;
  • click on "RELAY2" to assign name engine shutdown.

Define system logic

For alarms and complex behaviors of the application, you need to use Pingu rules. Since the switchboards commands are buttons and AirQ300 board relays are bistable (its behavior is like an interruptor), you have to define a little of logic to use relays as buttons. On the switchboard, the ignition button is linked to a starter motor. If you hold ignition button, the starter works in order to turn on the engine. When you release the button, the starter stops. During the button hold, the engine must start, else there are some problems. This behavior is like ignition of a car.

After hardware installation and basic configuration of Pingu, if you click on Relay 1 from the dashboard, the starter try to ignite the engine and if you forgive to turn off the relay, the starter continue to works, so you may break it. You can define special behavior of Relay1 by some rules definition. Suppose that the starter in worst case turn on the engine in 5 seconds, you would define this behaviors:

  1. If Relay1 is on, turn off it after 5 seconds;
  2. if engine is started, turn off Relay1;

Point one ensures that when you click on Relay1, application try to turns on engine. Point two ensures that Relay1 turns off if engine is started within 5 seconds. In terms of rules:

  1. Expression: if <BOARD>.<RELAY1>=True; action: <BOARD>.<RELAY1>=False DELAY 5 seconds.
  2. Expression: if <BOARD>.<IN1>=True; action: <BOARD>.<RELAY1>=False.

In the add new rule box, you have to define a rule name, an expression and an action.

rule name definitionBoard selectionRelay selectionComparison operator selectionBoolean value selectionBoard selection for the actionRelay selection for the actionBoolean value to assign5 seconds delayAdd rule buttonEngine rule1 1.jpg
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Expression: if engine is ONAction: turn off Relay1Engine rule1 2.jpg
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Since shutdown is a button too, you have to define a rule for Relay2:

  • If Relay2 is on, turn off it after 5 seconds.
Expression: if Relay2 is onAction: turn off Relay2 after 5 secondsEngine rule1 3.jpg
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Rules are also used for alarms definition:

Send SMS (text message) to mobile number if engine doesn't generate electricity

You can check if engine doesn't generate electricity if engine is on but network is down. You have to define a rules composed by:

  • Expression: if engine is on and network is on;
  • Action: send SMS to mobile number.
Part 1 of expression: if engine is onPart 2 of expression: if network is offsendSMS actionClick on icon to show SMS details popupSMS detailsEngine rule2 1.jpg
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Data observing

Pingu application offers to you a lot of utilities for data observing. Read Pingu documentation for complete informations. For example, you can observe status history of door:

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