Tactical Generator Monitoring System

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Cyber Research Center, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Publication Date

Winter 2-2018

Publication Title

Proceedings of the 2018 Texas Power & Energy Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


When a reliable grid connection is unavailable, the military uses diesel generators as the primary source of electrical energy in tactical operating centers. While the generators run most efficiently at 70-100% of rated capacity, a recent study showed them to often be running at 10-20% of rated capacity. Suboptimal operation decreases fuel efficiency, increases emissions, and increases maintenance requirements due to wet stacking. The problem is created by a lack of training on proper load sizing techniques by operators and minimal information on power demand profiles. Due to the tactical implications of these posts, the demand profile poses a unique set of difficulties. To solve the problem, a tactical generator monitoring system has been developed to assist on the generator sizing requirements based on ISO 8528 regarding optimal diesel generator operation. The prototype developed consists of voltage and current transducers, a microprocessor, nonvolatile memory for logging data, and an interactive LCD readout. The LCD displays real-time readings of voltage, current, and power, basic load profile analysis, and the recommended generator size for the given application. Based on the recommended size, the operator can increase/decrease load as possible or use a more appropriately sized generator with no additional information on power demand or training on load sizing techniques. More detailed information is logged in nonvolatile memory for offline analysis.

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