Generator Commander – Every engineer’s dream

The idea of the Generator Commander was born in 2005. Back then six different devices were needed to perform tasks related to excitation, synchronisation and protection. What if one smart device could do all the above? I knew it was possible – I just didn’t know how. Then one day I had it: Excitation connected to the protection relay would save the trouble of performing many tasks twice. I remember being awake until 4 AM, trying to think of reasons that could scrap the idea. Well, I found none. My idea received interest, but technology wasn’t quite there yet – not until 6 years later.

In 2011, I suddenly received a call from Juha Arvola at Arcteq. Technology had caught up, and the world was ready for a revolution. As our team at VEO joined forces with Mats Wahlen, Arctec and RD Velho, a completely new concept was made. We designed the Generator Commander for tough circumstances and chose components that can take a lot more than is required of them. I want to mention Arcteq’s completely redesigned protection relay and smart wizards – the Generator Commander simply wouldn’t be the same without them. I also dare to say that the Generator Commander has the best cyber security functionalities on the market. Personally, I don’t think hackers even know all the things they could access in the energy industry – yet. Well, at least we’re prepared.

“At best, the Generator Commander can make testing about 50 % faster and save 86 % of space.”

New products are often met with a bit of caution, but I’ve been thrilled to see how well the Generator Commander has been received. VEO has the most experience of installed Generator Commanders so far, but I expect this to change. Arcteq’s global deliveries officially begin on 1 June 2017, but the demand so far has exceeded our expectations. I think the exceptionally easy installation is one part of the success. While traditional solutions can feature devices by several different manufacturers, our product only needs one set of measurements. So, instead of testing each device separately, the Generator Commander only needs to run one test. At best, the Generator Commander can make testing about 50 % faster and save 86 % of space. Also, savings in material and shipping are significant. In other words, the biggest change is that the Generator Commander tends to leave customer cabinets quite empty!

Each engineer dreams of leaving an electrical footprint. When it comes to the Generator Commander, we have done just that. There’s not a product quite like it on this planet. No one else has managed to do what we’ve done. But we couldn’t have done it alone – when we combined our know-how with Arcteq and Sveapower, we were able to make history. What I like most about the Generator Commander is, that it’s like a box of Lego blocks – we’re still free to add all kinds of features and update the software. Previously this has been next to impossible in our industry. The main task for this year will be to extend the Generator Commander to static magnetising Excitation, which means that it will work for all kinds of machines.

Hannu Erkkilä, Sales Manager, Excitation