Thursday, April 7, 2016
When switching from primary to backup power, move over circuit breakers?
Move over, circuit breakers: When it comes to switching from primary power to backup power, it is now possible to use a transfer switch-based paralleling system that incorporates a high-endurance closed transition transfer switch mechanism for switching to paralleling generators, including those of different sizes and from different manufacturers. This type of system not only can offer the increased reliability that paralleling generators offer but can also provide a lot of flexibility for two, three, or four gen-set installations. This could be an attractive option at data centers, commercial and telecom operations, healthcare, government, and educational facilities, oil and gas processes, and other mid-tier facilities. At least one system integrates the power controls, switching mechanism, bus, metering, and user controls into a single UL891 listed switchboard, with the critical components independent and located separately from the engine-generator sets. That system also features a graphic touch screen as a window to metering, event and alarm logs, bus optimization, and load demand applications and can enable managing generators by runtime usage, assigned priority, or load requirement. Using a transfer switch based system instead of a circuit breaker to activate paralleling generators for standby or critical power could, indeed, be an attractive alternative to a circuit breaker. Would you consider such a system?