Blog posts of '2021' 'June'

How An Automatic Transfer Switch Works

If you are installing a standby generator on-premises with a mains power supply, it is a legal requirement to have a transfer switch. This can be either manual or automatic. This avoids the mains power burning out the generator which would be almost certain to happen if the mains power came back on while the generator was running, and it avoids the generator back-feeding the mains which would endanger the safety of the electricity utility workers.

Both types of switches perform the same function, but the automatic transfer switch obviously does it automatically, saving time and restoring power almost immediately. Furthermore, if you have a manual switch, it means that you have to be on the premises in order to start the generator, so if you are away there will be no power until you return and switch over.

There are two types of automatic transfer switches, or ATS, panels. One has mains detection built-in and monitors the mains supply. When it detects a mains failure it will send a signal to the generator to start. When the generator has started it then sends a signal back to the ATS saying that it is available, and the ATS will then switch to the generator.

If the ATS does not have mains detection built-in, this will have to be part of the generator and it will monitor the mains supply. When it detects the mains failure it will send a signal to the ATS to disconnect from the mains and start itself automatically. As soon as it is up and running it then sends a signal to the ATS telling it to switch to the generator.

There are a number of different designs of ATS panels, but usually, a mains failure relay is fitted with two contactors in an enclosure. The contactors are mechanically and electrically interlocked, and a mechanical device called an interlock ensures that the two contactors cannot be closed at the same time. If you have two contactors, A and B, the circuit to close contactor A is wired through the auxiliary of B, therefore when B is closed, it is not possible to energize A. The same is true for B which is wired through the auxiliary of A. This provides the electrical interlock.

When the mains fails and the generator starts, the ATS opens the mains contactor and closes the generator contactor. When mains power is restored, the reverse happens. Since the two contactors can never be closed together, there is always a short break in the supply as the contactors change over.

Keeping The Lights On Even When The Power Goes Down

Almost every home in the country has electrical power, and most of the time we don’t even think about it and how it works. When we need light, we press a switch. When we need to cook, we press another one and turn some more on the cooker as required. That’s it. Simple.

However, in outlying areas the electricity supply can be intermittent on occasion, and although we don’t think much about it, if at all, power outages can happen anywhere at any time for any number of reasons.

Some of us are old enough to remember the 3-day week in 1973/1974 when the miners were on strike at the same time as there were oil shortages. There was insufficient fuel to run the power stations and Prime Minister Edward Heath announced that the lights would go out at certain times of day, and we can remember refusing to be crushed by the miners while we were decorating and continued to paint the lounge walls by candlelight in the evening.

The Christmas No 1 in 1973 was “Merry Christmas Everybody” by Slade, which was ironic, but we buckled down and got on with it. Comedian Bruce Forsyth said on TV “It could come to this”. He struck a match and announced: “Match of the Day!”.

Well, we survived all that, but there is still the possibility of power outages today, nearly 50 years later. This can cause problems ranging from inconvenience because the TV is not on and we can’t watch Corrie or East Enders, to serious issues where power is needed continuously such as in hospitals, for example.

This is why many people invest in stand-by generators so that if the power goes down the lights don’t go out – well only for a few seconds at most.

At Blades Power Generation we provide the best emergency power source in the UK with our range of generators which can be operated either manually or with the use of an Automatic Transfer Switch, or ATS.

When you use a manual switch, it obviously means that you need to be on the premises when the power goes down in order to switch over to the generator.

Using an ATS is the answer if you need to keep the power on even when you are away from your home or business, because it will automatically switch on the generator, which is the best emergency power source in the UK, and the lights are on again as soon as it is up and running, in a matter of seconds.

A Standby Generator Is A Good Piece Of Insurance

What do you do when the lights go out? OK, in this country we have mains electric power, and we don’t have power outages too often, although they can and do occur. However, when the mains power does go down it can often stay down for several days if it is due to a storm and power lines have come down. This happened in the Great Storm of 1987 when some homes were without electricity for two weeks.

It is one thing if the power goes down at home, and quite another if your factory comes to a grinding halt and you have to stop production. That can finish up costing you a lot of money, and it could also lose you, customers. This is why more people today are investing in emergency standby generators that can take over if power outages occur. At Blades Power Generation we have both new and used generators for sale in the UK.

There are basically two types of emergency generators, either standby generators or portable generators. Both provide a supply of electricity off-grid and can provide enough power just to keep the lights on or to run your factory or office. Standby generators are permanently installed outside by a professional such as ourselves, while a portable generator can be stored inside if required, but must be taken outside in order to operate. Standby generators can run on petrol, propane, or natural gas, while portable generators run on petrol.

A standby generator can power everything in the home and can be triggered automatically when a power outage occurs. It will require regular maintenance and will need to be run for 15 minutes every week to keep everything ticking over.

Portable generators do not usually provide as much power, but they can keep the fridge and TV going, and keep the lights on while enabling you to charge your mobile phone and run your laptop. Of course, they need to be moved outside in the event of an outage (unless permanently stored outside) and started manually, so you need to be at home.

At Blades Power Generation we have used generators for sale in the UK and the stock that we have is obviously constantly changing. If you think that investing in a generator is a good idea for your home or business, give us a call to discuss your requirements.

Manual Changeover Switches Available From Blades Power Generation

At Blades Power Generation we are a group of experts who understand that you need to be able to rely on electric power at all times, whether that is in your home, at your office, on your farm, in your garage, or anywhere else. We supply automatic transfer switches that can be either mains to mains or mains to the generator as required.

However, we also understand that you may not need a super-fast transfer to your generator when there is a mains power failure, so we can also supply you with a manual changeover switch if you prefer. We have a range of different manual transfer switches which you can use instead of an ATS. This means that when a power failure occurs, you simply have to throw a lever-like switch to transfer from mains to generator power.

These changeover switches can range from 63 to 3,150 amps and we stock them in different models from manufacturers such as ABB, Bespoke, and Lovato. ABB switches are of compact design and this means that they don’t take up very much space. They have a three-position rotary handle from mains, to off, to the generator. There are also optional extras if you need them, and these are with a rated plug and sockets fitted, LED lights for the main indication, and LED lights for generator indication.

We can also supply a manual transfer switch instead of a manual changeover switch if you wish. A manual changeover switch is wired into your electrical distribution board and allows either all or selected electrical appliances to be powered when there is a power failure. On the other hand, a manual transfer switch is installed next to the electrical panel and can be connected to the circuit as you require.

At Blades Power Generation we can build and install your control panel to any particular design that you need. Every control panel that we design and build adheres strictly to British Standards and incorporates your individual requirements and specification. We use the very latest computer technology to assist in the design and planning.

When we install your control panel it comes with an inspection report and also has an electronic project folder which will ensure that all emails, together with the relative documents and certification are easily traceable in future years.