OK, I am in the business of automatically starting generator systems, and generator engine
automation. I have designed and installed engine
automation solutions for mission critical industrial generators for a very long time. Long enough to watch the industry evolve.
I also have the Xantrex SW series inverter
compatible with their engine start system. I also have their generator auto start, but have not installed it yet.
In general I have no problem with having a generator automatically start. I do not see a down side to this, and see several up sides.
As far as engine protection goes, the Xantrex solution is compatible with the generator protection circuits you already have in place. If for example you have the standard high coolant
temp, exhaust elbow
temp, oil pressure, etc... the Xantrex unit will not "go around" those systems.
As far as automatically starting generators in general I have not in my career ever seen a generator in a auto start configuration cause any other issues other than not start, which is due to a generator malfunction
. I have not seen a auto start system inadvertantly start a generator, but I have seen them when they break, fail to start a generator.
One of the key benefits as I see it of an auto start generator in a marine
application is unattended operation. If you are away from the boat
, and say tied to a mooring
the generator can get a start signal from a State of Charge meter (Xantrex link is a good example) and run the generator to recharge the batteries
. You can set up the SOC meter to close a contact when the batteries
drop to say 50% and open the contacts when the batteries reach 90% (these are jus example percentages) That way your boat
DC system stays up while you are away.
I am planning on installing my Xantrex auto start simply because as a a transient I may not have power, and my boat uses power all the time for its systems, including the alarm
system. The only reason I have not installed it yet is because I've been debating putting a full engine automation package on my Northern Lights
This will free the wife and I to for example make a trip away from the boat for several days inland, or back to our dirt home and not worry about our boat.