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Engine driven fire pump controllers can be considered to be every bit as complex as electric fire pump controllers, but without the extensive circuitry and wiring requirements. Nor do they contain the electrical power that the electric pump controller uses.
The engine driven pump controller is arranged to operate on the voltage that is supplied by the engine batteries. Normal power is only required to keep the batteries charged, and for some of the control circuits that start the engine in an automatic staring fire pump installation.
Most engine driven fire pumps are started with a drop in pressure switch that monitors the fire protection system pressure. However, air starting is allowed, as is starting the pump remotely.
One big advantage that an engine driven fire pump, with its associated controller, has over an electrically driven pump - the electrically driven pump is very dependent upon its power source to operate. An engine driven pump is totally self contained, and has no reliance upon outside electrical power sources.
© Hughes Associates,Inc. 2012