Top 10 Tips You Should Know Before You Use Generac’s Power Zone® Controller
1. The Power Zone’s 7-in. color touchscreen display provides run time status at-a-glance, providing quick and immediate access to the most critical generator and engine parameters. Alarms and warnings are easily identified.
DeWall: When viewing the home screen, a large green indicator lets you know the unit is ready or operating normally. When something does occur, you will see the indicator change to a large yellow exclamation mark, and one of the value bars will change to yellow. Clicking on the alarm icon takes you to more in-depth information about what is going on and why.
2. The new control platform includes “pre-event” history functionality, in which it archives critical engine and alternator data before a fault occurs. This makes monitoring the system and root cause analysis easier.
DeWall: The Power Zone allows you to set up friendly reminders by calendar date, by engine operating time, or by both for the critical items. It can also set a “general service reminder” for items not already selectable. When it comes to monitoring the system, there is no PC software or app required. Any connected device only needs any standard web browser and connection to the controller.
There are multiple connection methods – WiFi, Bluetooth, LAN and Web server — all of which put monitoring and control within easy reach of any mobile device or PC. On both the Power Zone display and local and remote monitoring devices the screen and navigation are exactly the same. You will not need to learn how to find information or navigate through two separate methods.
The Power Zone can also be set up to automatically send alerts through an e-mail service. Constant connection to a monitoring device is not necessary because the Power Zone will contact you when it needs your attention.
3. A self-help solution with built-in manuals provides critical information on demand to help reduce maintenance and repair times and improve overall performance.
DeWall: Many times customers are not able to locate their paper (or printed) manuals or they are not located near the generator/Power Zone when they need them. The controller’s Help menu stores these manuals, and they can be viewed at the Power Zone display or through any connected device – locally or remotely. Having them at your fingertips saves you time and frustration, and because they are in Adobe PDF format, you can search them and find the information faster than having to thumb through a paper manual.
5. Designed for the future, the Power Zone has the ability to monitor and control other equipment beyond your generator.
DeWall: The Power Zone has more I/O on the main controller than any competitive controller currently on the market. Generac also has expansion modules available, so if you run out of I/O, you add more. All the I/O is easily configurable and with the built in PLC, setting up and controlling more at site is a breeze.
6. When the gen-set is installed in a MPS configuration, the Power Zone can manage paralleling, automatic transfer switches, and is expandable.
DeWall: The Power Zone controller thinks about what is the most relevant information the user needs and how it can communicate that information. It also can be programmed to monitor the load and the generators on the bus, and provide load shed or permissive the automatic transfer switches. The advantage in the Power Zone “thinking” is it presents the relevant information and load control to you in an intuitive and concise manner.
7. When designing the Power Zone controller, Generac had end users in mind. Ease of use was always in the forefront of their thinking.
DeWall: The top feature on the controller that will save you the most time is the ability to connect quickly to your controller through wireless connections. You will no longer have to search for the key to the enclosure, open the door, and bring the display out of low power mode before you can use it.
8. Among the many features of the Power Zone controller, it’s easy to overlook some that are particularly useful.
DeWall: You may be overlooking the controller’s ability to store information. Manuals are also loaded onto the controllers and are viewable through a connected device. The notes section can be particularly powerful, since users can enter notes/comments into the controller when they check the unit or when they perform some maintenance. It’s information that tends to be recorded in a notebook or on someone’s device — both of which can be lost or not readily accessible to everyone. Dealer information can also be stored on the Power Zone, which gives you a single place to look for this information.
9. If you are torn between what generator to go with for your power needs, the Power Zone controller can sway your decision.
DeWall: Generac is always leading the industry in controls, technology, and innovation. The Power Zone has been designed to be informative and easy to connect to. Anyone who interacts with the Power Zone tends to find that their life has been made simpler with the device.
10. The best advice for those who have never used the Power Zone controller before is to give it a try.
DeWall: Try it – you will like it.