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Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS) vs. Manual

| Uncategorized | February 9, 2015

When selecting switch gear it’s critical that you understand the basics.  In this article we will explore the key differences and capabilities between automatic and manual transfer switches.

Automatic Transfer Switches offer Convenience:

An Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) is typically used where a backup generator is installed, supplying temporary electrical power if the main source fails. Not only will the ATS transfer the load demand to the generator, but it will also force the generator to start. This is based on the voltage monitored on the primary source.
The purpose of an ATS is to detect power failures as soon as they occur and to immediately transition from utility power to generator power. This transfer must be done seamlessly and instantly in cases where loss of power can mean life or death, as in the healthcare industry.

Once the installed generator reaches the preset voltage parameters and frequency, the signal is sent by the control system to make the “switch” and transfer the source of power. This automatic operation is a complex system that has been engineered to flawlessly deal with time delays and other factors that play into the process of instantaneous power backup.

There are numerous control systems with specific functions that can handle a large variety of applications and scenarios. It’s a good idea to talk with your electrician in order to determine the type of control system and switchgear you require.

If you already know the type of transfer switch you need, feel free to browse through our inventory. If we currently don’t have listed what you’re looking for, give us a call and we’d be happy to locate the transfer switch you require.

Manual Transfer Switches: Simple Reliability

Manual transfer switches put the operation of the generator in the individual’s hands. In this scenario, should the primary source of power fail, the transfer switch would be manually flipped and power would then be restored through the installed generator. These switches are typically used in residential and light commercial situations, but would not be ideal for industrial settings or healthcare environments.

Many manual units come with features such as mechanical slide interlocks which ensure that only a single power source is powering the emergency power system. Slide interlocks prevent the duplication of energy sourcing. Generally speaking, manual transfer switches are quite easy to install and operate, providing a high level of safety as well as comfort.

Are you in the market for a used manual transfer switch? If so, why not browse through our inventory and see if we have what you’re looking for. If you don’t see the equipment you require, feel free to give us a call and we’ll happily locate your transfer switch for you.

We offer numerous listings of quality used surplus transfer switches.  Take a moment and view our inventory.

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