The Role of Automatic Transfer Switches in Ensuring Seamless Power Supply

Automatic Transfer Switch

Inside view of an ABB 800A automatic transfer switch

As the rate of power outages increase, businesses seek optimal backup power solutions. For some, even seconds without power could be detrimental.

Look at Apple—in 2015, a 12-hour outage cost the company an estimated $25+ million. Based on the company’s revenue from the previous year, the losses came to around $2,054,794 per hour. While this tech giant experienced immense financial losses, depending on your industry, you could face other issues, including compliance and legal concerns, even damaged equipment.

Companies of all sizes install backup power systems to enhance reliability and safety and avoid unexpected downtime. A standby generator is one common solution, which is when the value of an automatic transfer switch (ATS) comes into play.

If you want to achieve seamless power and the peace of mind that comes with it, here’s what you need to know about the power of an ATS.

What Is an Automatic Transfer Switch?

An automatic transfer switch is a self-acting power switch that helps ensure a continuous power supply from one or more sources to a connected load circuit.

In most cases, the sequence of events is as follows:

  • The normal utility power fails from an extreme weather event or another unexpected situation.
  • Once the power fails, the automatic transfer switch shifts the load to the emergency power source—typically a generator. So, an ATS automatically transfers electrical loads from a preferred power source once voltage or frequency varies from preset limits.
  • When utility power is restored, the automatic transfer switch automatically returns the load from the emergency source (generator) to the normal power source (utility power).

While this is the most common sequence, other setups exist, especially in remote installations. For example, a transfer switch can be installed between two generator sets. If these generators need to provide power 24/7, they can share run time.

Benefits of Using Automatic Transfer Switches

When investing in an automatic transfer switch, you can benefit from greater reliability, assurance, and productivity. When you choose the right automatic transfer switch for your application, you’ll enjoy:

  • Increased reliability: If you lose power, an automatic transfer switch ensures you minimize downtime and get the most out of your generator. Unlike a manual switch, an automatic transfer switch will instantly and safely switch your power source to your backup generator.
  • Ensuring uninterrupted power supply: Even a minor power outage can significantly reduce productivity and profitability in industrial and commercial settings. When a reliable backup power solution and an ATS are installed, the transition happens within seconds.
  • Protecting equipment from power fluctuations: Sudden power loss can damage sensitive equipment and machinery.
  • Greater safety: Handling any power source during an outage can be dangerous, especially when employees are trying to manually start a generator in the dark. An automatic transfer switch eliminates this risk and handles this step for you.

Businesses That Benefit the Most From an Automatic Transfer Switch

Any business that wants continuous power will benefit from a backup power solution involving an ATS. However, certain industries and businesses often require this approach to ensure they remain operational at all times, including:

Each business and industry has unique considerations. Data loss or security concerns are sometimes the top priority, whereas other businesses are focused on preventing financial setbacks. Regardless of the reason, an ATS helps prevent uninterrupted operations.

How to Choose the Right Setup for Your Business

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when choosing an automatic transfer switch and other backup power components. You need to consider the specific power requirements of your commercial or industrial operation.

For example, you must know your generator’s size and capacity, the electrical load you must support, and whether you require a partial transfer switch or a whole-facility solution. It’s best to consult with an expert power supply team for this process.

Global Power Supply Is Here to Help

At Global Power Supply (GPS), we have ATS solutions for every need. We offer sizes ranging from 200 AMP to 5000 AMP across the top brands, including ABB and ASCO. There are also different types of automatic transfer switches, including contractor ATS, breaker-based ATS, and bypass isolation switches.

With two decades of experience, we help businesses implement complex power supply solutions.

So, whether you require a backup generator and ATS system or something more comprehensive, we have over $25 million of in-stock inventory and access to comprehensive power equipment services. We are on top of the latest trends and technology, helping businesses stay ahead of the curve.

Contact us to learn more about the available critical power equipment and associated solutions today!

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