tslewis99 avatar image
tslewis99 asked

Alert when generator is manually started

I’m looking to receive an alarm from VRM when a user cranks the generator manually. In my case, the mains for the generator are wired to the Quattro AC IN-2.

In the VRM all installations overview page a generator that is running manually looks like this:


We see that the generator is outputting 432 watts but the CerboGX says it is stopped.

Normally when stopped we should see Zero watts:


So, my question is how do I setup an alarm condition for generator voltage and or wattage at AC IN-2 when the CerboGX shows stopped? Not sure if there is something “canned” that with work or if I need to access the API of the portal and do something custom.

My Victron rep says it is not currently possible and that I should be able to do this with Node-RED. I have installed V2.82-large-30 and have enabled Node-RED. I followed this example and confirmed that Node-RED is working:

Does anybody already have a flow to accomplish this or can tell me how to do this with Node-RED?



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1 Answer
jwfrary avatar image
jwfrary answered ·

Possibly not the answer your after but, have you looked at @Kevin Windrem's generator connector, it would change the cerbo status to running, though would require some physical wiring to the digital input of the cerbo.

That could be set to alarm as well or using one of the other inputs as well.

You could use a relay in the output of the generator control relay to turn off the alarm function when the cerbo has started the generator automatically.

Think that Solves your issue!?

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I do not believe Multis or Quatros have any voltage sensing on the AC-2 input when it is not the active input.

The stock Venus OS has a generator digital input which feeds into the "Detect generator on AC input" alert system. An alert is raised if there is no AC input on the generator input. That's probably opposite what you want.

My GeneratorConnector package monitors the generator digital input and adds stopped/running text to the generator icon in the Generator Overview page. It also syncs up the manual run/stop state of the GX device with the state of the generator digital input. That is, if that input goes from inactive to active, Manual Start is activated. Going from active to inactive will cause Manual Start to be deactivated. A warning message is also displayed in the Generator Overview STATUS area if the generator should be running via one of the automatic run conditions but the digital input says it is not.

Since Manual Run/Stop is synchronized to the generator digital input this may give you the status in VRM you are looking for but I'm not sure if an alert can be generated from that.

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I’m going to look at your package and see if it meets my needs. I realize now that the one thing I didn’t make clear is the manual start I’m trying to alert on happens from a remote start device or key switch and not from a manual start request from the Cerbo. When this happens the Generator system locks out control from the two wire Cerbo relay. I am using Cerbo relay 2 in manual mode with some downstream circuity as a way to remotely shutdown the generator and reset the lockout putting the Cerbo back in control of the generator.

It seems in order to use your package that I need to do more than just detect voltage at AC-2. For this I need to provide run logic to the Cerbo digital inputs. Do you have a recommendation for a 12vdc to 3v3 opto-isolator?

Also, I plan to do more testing on the AC-2 sensing capabilities of the Quattro. In my screenshot above where it shows generator stopped but clearly there is wattage on AC-2 makes me think that newer versions of the Quattro may have added this functionality. However, if the generator is running from an external source and shore power is available on AC-1 then no wattage is going to be shown on AC-2 but voltage might be there and I can find this out possibly by using Node-red.

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To feed the digital input, you could just use a relay.
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