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Thread: Generator ATS issue

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Generator ATS issue

    I have a customer that I installed a Siemens Generator ready panel when they built, I explained the advantages of being prepared and saving money on the install even if they choose to buy a generator later...... I have sold many of these.
    The ATS is built by Generac. Well this home owner called, they had bought a 12 KW Kohler generator..... I say no problem, only to find that the Kohler generator is not a match to the Generac transfer switch.
    Neither Kohler or Generac is willing to help, I assume this is not the first time this has come up, and I am now faced with calling all my customers and informing them they can only buy Generac................
    Has anyone built a work around for this?
    Tony
    OK Contractor.

  2. #2
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    Not I... but generators are not my thing. Hopefully, someone that has done a workaround weighs in....

    In the meantime, can you furnish make and model numbers of the ATS and generator (better yet links to product documentation).
    I will have achieved my life's goal if I die with a smile on my face.

  3. #3
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    The biggest opportunity for incompatibility in an ATS is if it is required auto-start the generator.
    The basic design can range from all the intelligence in the generator to all the intelligence in the ATS as well as anywhere in between.
    Units like hybrid battery inverters that have to work with a variety of generators can be configured to work with a variety of control schemes. But a proprietary design does not need that flexibility.
    There is no overall standard for the interface design, just for the results.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Depending on the actual incompatibility, could be a simple as adding a simple relay between the two (i.e. generator wants a contact closure and the ATS provides a 12 volt signal, or generator wants NC contacts and the ATS is NO).

    Actual product info would help.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyEEINC View Post
    I have a customer that I installed a Siemens Generator ready panel when they built, I explained the advantages of being prepared and saving money on the install even if they choose to buy a generator later...... I have sold many of these.
    The ATS is built by Generac. Well this home owner called, they had bought a 12 KW Kohler generator..... I say no problem, only to find that the Kohler generator is not a match to the Generac transfer switch.
    Neither Kohler or Generac is willing to help, I assume this is not the first time this has come up, and I am now faced with calling all my customers and informing them they can only buy Generac................
    Has anyone built a work around for this?
    Welcome to the world of non-standard residential grade generators and ATSs. The issue is as GoldDigger said, it depends on the proprietary design as opposed to the commercial world where everything is standardized with the smarts of power sensing always in the ATS and using 2 wire start.
    If you have the ATS I suspect you have, it is a just a "dumb" switch in that it has no smarts in it and is just an electrically operated switch. That means you have to use it with the genset it was designed for as the power sensing is in the genset and the signal to operate the ATS comes from the genset. Problem is though that this signal to operate the ATS is usually proprietary and designed to work to work with certain manufacturer/model equipment.
    Oddly, most of these low end, resi grade gensets (and I think the Kohler model you have) that do the power sensing in the generator can be converted to standard 2 wire start for use with a standard ATS. How ever, the inverse is not usually the case as in you situation-you cant use a proprietary ATS with a 2 wire start generator (in your case you would end up with no "smarts" to sense power outage) or a proprietary genset of a different brand.
    All that said, there may be a kit from either Kohler or Generac to make this work. Some research will be in order. All this proprietary nonsense in the resi genset world would be laughable in the commercial world.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by texie View Post
    Welcome to the world of non-standard residential grade generators and ATSs. The issue is as GoldDigger said, it depends on the proprietary design as opposed to the commercial world where everything is standardized with the smarts of power sensing always in the ATS and using 2 wire start.
    If you have the ATS I suspect you have, it is a just a "dumb" switch in that it has no smarts in it and is just an electrically operated switch. That means you have to use it with the genset it was designed for as the power sensing is in the genset and the signal to operate the ATS comes from the genset. Problem is though that this signal to operate the ATS is usually proprietary and designed to work to work with certain manufacturer/model equipment.
    Oddly, most of these low end, resi grade gensets (and I think the Kohler model you have) that do the power sensing in the generator can be converted to standard 2 wire start for use with a standard ATS. How ever, the inverse is not usually the case as in you situation-you cant use a proprietary ATS with a 2 wire start generator (in your case you would end up with no "smarts" to sense power outage) or a proprietary genset of a different brand.
    All that said, there may be a kit from either Kohler or Generac to make this work. Some research will be in order. All this proprietary nonsense in the resi genset world would be laughable in the commercial world.
    I totally agree and you can add industrial world to your last sentence.
    Am I in shape?? I get plenty of exercise pushing my luck!!

  7. #7
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    Depending on the specific model generator/ATS combination, this may be an option.

    the KGC-1 by PSP Products.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smart $ View Post
    Not I... but generators are not my thing. Hopefully, someone that has done a workaround weighs in....

    In the meantime, can you furnish make and model numbers of the ATS and generator (better yet links to product documentation).
    Not sure which one he's talking about.

    http://gens.lccdn.com/GeneracCorpora...Spec-Sheet.pdf

    http://gens.lccdn.com/GeneracCorpora...l_GenReady.pdf

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