Displaying Generator Data on Multifunction Displays (MFDs)

Marine multifunction displays (MFDs) are able to display generator data like AC voltage, AC current, AC frequency and AC power using the NMEA 2000┬« or J1939 network. Fischer Panda Generators equipped with xControl, iControl2 or fpControl can be connected with an NMEA 2000┬« network using the ┬╗Communication Interface CI – NMEA 2000┬«┬ź (fpControl CI-NMEA 2000┬«). In this way, the generator data can be displayed on the MFD. But not all MFDs support all relevant PGNs.

Which generator data can be viewed on which Marine MFDs?

As a generator manufacturer, we are interested in which operating data of the generator are shown on a multifunction display and which operating options the device offers for generators.
To test which generator data can be displayed on current MFDs, we took a closer look at these three models:

None of the devices that we tested interprets the NMEA 2000┬« PGNs for AC information (PGN 127744 to 127749), which are supported by the ┬╗fpControl CI-NMEA 2000┬ź to provide the AC values of the generator. However, because NMEA 2000┬« is based on and compatible with SAE J1939, some MFDs support the J1939 PGNs for electrical data specified in J1939-75.

A detailed documentation of the NMEA 2000® PGNs has to be bought from the NMEA website (https://www.nmea.org).

A detailed documentation of the J1939 PGNs has to be bought from the SAE International website (SAE J1939-75 Generator Sets and Industrial Applications, https://www.sae.org).

Table: In this way the fpCAN related PGNs are supported by the tested MFDs
PGN #ContentFischer PandaLowranceRaymarineGarmin
61444Electronic Engine Controller #1xx
64911Generator Total AC Percent Power x
65019Generator Phase C AC Reactive Powerxx
65020Generator Phase C AC Powerxx
65021Generator Phase C Basic AC Quantitiesxx
65022Generator Phase B AC Reactive Powerxx
65023Generator Phase B AC Powerxx
65024Generator Phase B Basic AC Quantitiesxx
65025Generator Phase A AC Reactive Powerxx
65026Generator Phase A AC Power xx
65027Generator Phase A Basic AC Quantitiesxx
65030Generator Average Basic AC Quantitiesxx
65253Engine Hoursxx
127488Engine Parameters, Rapid Updatexxxx
127489Engine Parameters, Dynamikxxxx
127504AC Output Statusxxx
127512AGS Configuration Statusx
127514AGS Statusx
127744AC Power / Current Phase Ax
127745AC Power / Current Phase Bx
127746AC Power / Current Phase Cx
127747AC Voltage / Frequency Phase Ax
127748AC Voltage / Frequency Phase Bx
127749AC Voltage / Frequency Phase Cx

Supported SPNs

Lowrance HDS7 Live
SPN / Field NameContent
2459Phase C Reactive Power
2467Phase C Power Factor
2455Phase C Real Power
2447AC Voltage C RMS Line-Neutral
2439AC Frequency phase C
2451AC Current RMS phase C
2458Phase B Reactive Power
2466Phase B Power Factor
2520Phase B Power Lagging
2454Phase B Real Power
2462Phase B Apparent Power
2442AC voltage B RMS Line to Line
2446AC voltage B RMS Line-Neutral
2438AC Frequency Phase B
2450AC Current RMS Phase B
2457Phase A Reactive Power
2465Phase A Power Factor
2519Phase A Power Lagging
2453Phase A Real Power
2461Phase A Apparent Power
2441AC voltage A RMS Line to Line
2445AC voltage A RMS Line-Neutral
2437AC frequency Phase A
2449AC current RMS Phase A
Engine oil pressureGeneric Pressure
Engine temperatureGeneric Temperature
Alternator potentialVoltage, DC (Starter Battery Voltage)
Total engine hoursRun time, Engine
WaveformWaveform
Breaker SizeBreaker Size

Raymarine Axiom 7
Field NameContent
Engine SpeedRate of rotation [rpm]
Engine oil pressureGeneric Pressure
Engine temperatureGeneric Temperature
Alternator potentialVoltage, DC (Starter Battery Voltage)
Total engine hoursRun time, Engine

Garmin GPSMAP 722 Plus
SPN / Field NameContent
513Actual Engine – Percent Torque (Engine Load)
190Engine Speed [rpm]
2444Average Line-Neutral AC RMS Voltage
2436Average AC Frequency
2448Average AC RMS Current
247Operating Hours
Engine SpeedRate of rotation [rpm]
Engine oil pressureGeneric Pressure
Engine temperatureGeneric Temperature
Alternator potentialVoltage, DC (Starter Battery Voltage)
Total engine hoursRun time, Engine

Customisation of the display pages

The MFDs come with basic page layouts and display elements. You can assign the data (SPNs) of the NMEA 2000® / J1939 network to these elements according to your own needs.

There are no predefined page layouts for displaying the electrical parameters of the generator. Such pages must be configured by the user.


Note: Not all display elements of the basic page layouts can be assigned all available SPNs. Some basic elements can only be assigned SPNs that contain data from the diesel engine.

Conclusion

A great deal of AC information from the generator can be displayed on the ┬╗Lowrance HDS7 Live┬ź. This is because it supports the J1939 PGNs for electrical data specified in the SAE J1939-75.

Electrical data on a Lowrance HDS 7 live MFD
Electrical data on a ┬╗Lowrance HDS 7 live┬ź MFD

The ┬╗Garmin GPSMAP 722 Plus┬ź displays a basic supply with the most important AC Information (AC voltage, AC current, AC frequency and the voltage of the starter battery (alternator potential)). Furthermore, the device shows the most important data of the diesel engine (rpm, engine load, engine coolant temperature, oil pressure and the total engine hours).

Electrical and engine data on a ┬╗Garmin GPSMAP 722 Plus┬ź
Electrical and engine data on a ┬╗Garmin GPSMAP 722 Plus┬ź

Users of the ┬╗Raymarine Axiom 7┬ź cannot display any AC information from their Fischer Panda generator on the MFD. The Raymarine device only uses two PGNs from the set of PGNs that Fischer Panda supports (NMEA 2000┬« PGN 127488 and 127489). So it is possible to display engine coolant temperature, rpm, total engine hours, oil pressure and the voltage of the starter battery.

Engine data on a ┬╗Raymarine Axiom 7┬ź
Engine data on a ┬╗Raymarine Axiom 7┬ź

Note: The generator cannot be started with any of the three MFDs tested. The original generator control panel is still required.

Download a list of the supported PGNs and SPNs of the tested MFDs related to the ┬╗Communication Interface CI – NMEA 2000┬«┬ź (fpControl CI-NMEA 2000┬«).