What is an Automatic Transfer Switch?

An automatic transfer switch (ATS) is a device that senses a power outage, and automatically shifts the power supply from the primary source to a backup source. These switches are continually monitoring your business’ power, waiting for any interruptions or delays from the primary source of electricity. After identifying such circumstances, the ATS instantly invokes a standby power source (most commonly a backup generator), allowing for the supply of electricity to the designated critical functions. Without an automatic transfer switch, there may be long periods without power, which can cause significant disruptions to your business or daily operations. An ATS is the simplest and safest way to minimise the likelihood of costly delays and enhance your productivity during power outages. Regular servicing of the automatic transfer switch is important as well.

Why are Automatic Transfer Switches Important?

Any commercial and industrial entity, large or small, will benefit from an automatic transfer switch. These devices play a fundamental role in the backup electrical supply system. The cost efficiencies, safety and simplicity of these switches ensure a lucrative return on investment for every business. A brief summary of the importance of an automatic transfer switch is as follows:

1. Safety

Handling any source of power must be undertaken with care and expertise, as these practices can yield detrimental results. Employees that manually handle a generator during a sudden outage are at risk of serious injury, especially if it is dark, there is incremental weather, or the generator is in a problematic location. This process can also be quite lengthy, which will unnecessarily increase your business’ downtime and limit the function of your generator. The instantaneous and autonomous nature of an ATS will exponentially reduce the risk to your employees and any other workers on site.

2. Reliability

Many businesses rely on a continuous supply of power for their day-to-day functions. Unexpected power outages can significantly hinder business productivity and prevent some entities from operating entirely. While a generator can help reduce this downtime, the manual connection process will still trigger some delays. These minor interruptions can quickly accumulate, incurring high costs, project delays and potential missed deadlines. An ATS provides an efficient and straightforward switch between power sources, allowing for the critical functions of a business to continue without any delay.

3. Simplicity

The critical functions of a business are selected upon installation of an ATS, which ensures these aspects of the business are the main priority during a power outage. Combined with regular backup generator maintenance and appropriate servicing of the device, you’ll have the peace of mind that your business can effectively manage and overcome any unexpected power outages. The autonomous and automatic nature of an ATS, mean you don’t even need to lift a finger.

Why do you need an AMF panel?

While an automatic transfer switch is vital for commercial and industrial entities, these devices work best with an Automatic Mains Failure (AMF) panel. An AMF panel is responsible for triggering and starting up the backup generators once the ATS senses a power outage. These devices work together to monitor incoming AC mains supply, activate the standby generator when the mains power fails, and make an automatic electrical transfer for the building’s load from the mains to the generating set. When access to the main grid or primary supply is restored, the reverse of this process will happen. The AMF will then trigger the generator to undergo a cool-down period, which will help improve the efficiency and potential lifespan of the unit into the future.

Still not sure?

If you’re still not sure whether your business requires an automatic transfer switch, or if you have any questions regarding the type of device needed for your premise, get in touch with the friendly team at Reactive Generators. Our skilled technicians are always willing to share their knowledge and experience to help you make the most informed and suitable decision.

Reactive Generators

Reactive Generators is built on a commitment to quality in every aspect of our business. Operating across Queensland, we service commercial and industrial clients across Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich. We strive to provide long-lasting and innovative solutions for every client, which is why we only employ skilled technicians and authentic spare parts. We work with every customer to establish their needs, budgets and goals, before providing tailored guidance and purchasing advice. We also offer a comprehensive range of maintenance and servicing options, which we recommend to improve the functionality, longevity and cost-efficiency of a unit. Whether you’re a small, local business, or a large industrial operation, get in touch with our friendly team to experience the Reactive Generators difference.