Restaurants, hospitals, buildings, factories, schools, and government facilities all have something in common. All of these have backup generators to ensure that the electricity remains on during their operating hours. The continuous power helps a lot especially in hospitals as there are patients who undergo surgeries, give birth, or are placed inside MRI machines.
The public sector and big businesses all have a backup supply in case a blackout happens. A small component in their electric panels is often tied to a generator. This might be a small accessory, but it’s very powerful. This is the ASCO automatic transfer switch from providers like primapowersys.com/asco-automatic-transfer-switches that are fast-acting. So, what do these switches do?
Introduction to ATS
ATS means an automatic transfer switch, and it can come with mechanisms that are either automatic or manual. These two will kickstart the generator and start the generation of electricity when a blackout happens.
The ATS’ role is to send signals into the generator so it will kick in, and it’s going to automatically transfer the flow of the electricity to a pre-installed generator without any interruption. People in the buildings may experience some seconds of darkness, but these handovers do happen smoothly.
They may seem like a clear winner because everything is pretty automatic, but the addition can depend on many factors. A manual transfer may require a person to head to the generator’s location and connect transfer switches manually. However, many companies have found that the ATS is a more convenient and safer option.
Another thing to consider is the location. Some of the building owners may not have the budget for them, the appliances that the energy is powering, and the overall electricity demand. In countries prone to seasonal power loss in the summer, a trusted generator service company that can help you install the ATS will be worth it.
The switches should be the correct size, and they should be an accurate fit into the switches and can handle the generator’s load. They also require maintenance from time to time. Know more about the switches on this page here.
Operations of ATS
Aside from transferring the electricity to a backup generator, ATS may also work as a command for the machine to start. They monitor the voltage of the main supply and trigger the backup when it’s needed. The result will be a smoother transition to temporary power. The transition modes may be the usual Closed Transition (CT) or Open Transition (OT).
As an example, there’s a residence that has a backup generator with an automatic transfer switch. When a blackout occurs, the generator system will automatically start because of the ATS. Once the switch has detected that the generator is turned on and ready for the provision of temporary power, the electric utility of the house’s connection will be broken, and the generator will be connected to the home’s electrical panel.
Types to Know
Open transitions are often the break-before-make types of transfer switches. It breaks first the contact it has with one power before it reconnects to the other. There’s the prevention of the feedbacking of the emergency equipment back to the main utility line. With an ATS, there’s a split second of interruption when the power transfer begins.
Other examples of open transitions are the three positions on circuit breakers that operate manually. The off switch is located in the middle part, the utility power is on the other, and the generator is on one side. Learn more about electric generators here: https://www.britannica.com/technology/electric-generator. This requires the individual to do a disconnection and a full power off before making another.
A closed transition transfer switch is the opposite of the open variety where the rule is to make-before-break. This is often utilized in typical emergencies, and there will always be a need to break the contact of one source before the power is transferred into another.
Transfers may occur for other reasons than the typical power loss. Some of the outages may be considered inconsequential, especially if everything took no longer than ¼ of a second. However, know that some of the loads may be affected by even the slightest loss of power. Also, some of the operations may benefit from the transferring of loads without any power interruption. For these kinds of applications, transfer switches can be provided, and they will work efficiently.