Living Off-Grid 101 - Automatic Generator Start

Written by: Randy Anderson, Technical Sales & Training Manager

Our topic today is the Automatic Generator Start Module or AGS. So what is the purpose of the Automatic Generator Start Module? Well, the main function of it is to start and stop the generator, based on battery voltage. So if the voltage gets low on the battery, it will signal the generator to start. When the batteries reach a certain state of charge it will signal the generator to stop. It will also operate on the standard charge, or battery monitor, if that's in the system. So it'll measure depth of discharge versus just voltage.

One of the other features of the AGS is a Quiet Time feature. This feature is designed so that the generator is not starting, during the middle of the night. Typically you would set it up so that the generator doesn't start between midnight, 6 o'clock in the morning. You don't want it to wake people up in the camper or the cottage, so you program it to be quiet during those hours. 

Another feature of the Automatic Generator Start is the exercise feature. This feature engages or starts the generator periodically, depending on how you set it up, once a week, once a month, while the system is unattended or not in use. It allows that generator to start, make sure it will run, function and that everything is working okay, instead of it sitting there being idle. 

And typically on this Automatic Generator Start Module, which is a Schneider Xantrex unit, it communicates to all the other Schneider components on the system, via Xanbus network. The components are all connected together via a cat 5 cable, which talks directly to the inverter, the generator, the system control panel, battery monitors, and charge controllers, so that they're all working together as one in the system. 

If you have any more questions on the AGS or other components in an off-grid system, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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