Many businesses and organizations depend on reliable, continuous electrical power during blackouts, whether it’s computers running in a data center, life-saving equipment operating in a hospital or clinic, or food staying cold in a grocery store. An automated transfer switch is essential to backup power plans often used with a standby generator. Permanently installed in your building, automatic transfer switches link your standby generator and your most critical circuits. Combining these two sources of electricity minimizes the disruption to vital circuits when switching from the utility grid to the generator.
We’ve compiled a list of the critical factors to consider when choosing Buy Spotify Premium the kind of automatic transfer switch that best suits your requirements.
Type of Automatic Transfer Switch
You must choose the right type of automated transfer switch for your power box. Usually, these are categorized according to how they transition. Generally, the following ATS types are available for selection:
- Open transition transfer switch
- Closed transition transfer switch
- Soft loading transfer switch
- Bypass isolation transfer switch
Open transition transfer switch
As the name suggests, this type of automatic transfer switch establishes a new connection after cutting off the previous one with the power source. Use this switch if your power system is not susceptible to blackouts or extended periods of power loss, like when powering lights.
Closed transition transfer switch
Conversely, closed transition automatic transfer switches maintain the two power sources operational during the switchover. Your devices that are consuming power will operate more smoothly due to this. This switch type is ideal for sensitive applications.
Soft loading transfer switch
The soft loading transfer switch is between the two discussed above. It gradually increases power from the new source while decreasing power from the old one. Use this type of ATS when powering inductive loads like industrial motors.
Bypass isolation transfer switch
Two switches work together in a bypass isolation transfer switch to enable maintenance on the primary service without cutting off power to the loads. This switch works best if the electrical system cannot be left without power for an extended period when switching out a power source.
Amperage is the unit of measurement for electrical current. There is an amp limit on each circuit in your structure, and exceeding that limit will cause a breaker to trip to keep the wiring from overheating and catching fire. In addition, the current rating of transfer switches indicates the overall amperage of all the circuits they will be transferring.
After you’ve determined which circuits you need to keep powered during a power outage, figure out how much power each device on those circuits needs at the moment. Then, select a transfer switch that can handle more current than that rating while providing a large margin for future expansion.
Commercial and industrial buildings’ circuits can run at 208/240, 480, and 575/600 volts, among other voltages. Verify the voltages your circuits and equipment can handle with your transfer switch.
When calculating wattage in an electrical circuit, multiply the circuit voltage by the device’s amperage. Since many generators have wattage or kilowatt ratings, it’s critical to understand the total amperage and wattage of the loads you’ll be powering if you’re attempting to match the generator output to the transfer switch’s current limits.
The transfer time
The transfer time is another factor to consider when purchasing automatic transfer switch equipment. This is how long the switch needs to transition between power sources. Faster is preferable when powering non-inductive loads.
For inductive loads, you want more time to give residual current time to decrease throughout the transition. This can require up to 20 seconds. Certain types of transfer switches are pre-configured with this transitional feature. We advise using these to protect systems and equipment.
Pick between a load center and a service disconnect switch, depending on the type of alternate power supply. A load center transfer switch fits particular backup power sources and can selectively service up to 16 circuits.
For instance, many backup emergency generators cannot supply power to all electrical systems. You want the switch to power preferred loads if you use these. Usually, this is linked to the panel’s designated circuits.
On the other side, a service disconnect transfer switch can be built in situations where a huge generator can power the entire system, should it be necessary. This switch is installed in the space between the main breaker panel and your utility meter.
Type of transfer switch enclosure
The kind of enclosure you require is another factor to consider when choosing an ATS at https://www.ablesales.com.au/. The enclosure, which can be indoors or outdoors, shields the tool from the elements. Enclosures are available in many varieties and are typically NEMA-rated. The most typical kinds are:
- The NEMA 1 indoor transfer switch protects against dust and contact with live parts.
- NEMA 12 provides water, oil, and dust resistance.
- NEMA 3R outdoor transfer switch guards against snow, sleet, and rain.
- NEMA 4: offers defense against corrosive substances, dust, and water.
The kind of enclosure you require will vary based on the intended use. For instance, you will require a NEMA 3R enclosure if you plan to use the switch outside in a damp area.
- Generator compatibility: An automatic switch for a diesel generator, for instance, needs to be able to handle the unique requirements of diesel generators, including high inrush currents.
- Modular design: This feature makes it simple to grow or change your system as necessary.
- Protection from fault currents: Your ATS switch ought to be able to fend off fault currents, which might result in thermal and magnetic stress damage.
- Load shedding: You can use this capability to disconnect some non-essential loads to lessen the strain on your system.
An automatic transfer switch changes your electricity supply to the right source according to the availability and quality of the electric power. However, if the switch isn’t suitable for your kind of application, it could create more issues than it fixes. When it comes to automated transfer switch equipment, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so prospective buyers should consider the factors discussed above before buying one.