A transfer switch, also known as a source switch, is an electrical device used to switch the power source of an equipment, system or load from one source to another. It is mainly used to ensure continuity of power supply in the event of failure of a main source, by automatically switching to a backup or emergency source.
What are the most common uses for a transfer switch?
Transfer switches are commonly used :
In power distribution systems where an emergency power supply (generator, battery, alternative source) is available to take over in the event of failure of the main source (power grid).
This can be essential in critical environments such as hospitals, data centers, industrial plants, etc. where an interruption in the power supply can have serious consequences.
What types of transfer switch are there?
1. Automatic transfer switch: automated operation for optimum convenience
The automatic transfer switch, also known as the motorized transfer switch, is a type of electrical transfer switch that operates automatically. It can be combined with different programs for optimum operation. Its main advantage is that it requires no human intervention, making it extremely practical. The automatic transfer switch ensures continuity of power supply without you having to worry about it.
2. Manual transfer switch: requiring human intervention
The manual transfer switch requires human intervention to activate. You're the one who has to switch on the device to ensure that the power supply is working properly, using the emergency power source. Although it requires manual intervention, the manual transfer switch remains a reliable solution for ensuring an uninterrupted power supply when needed.
3. Remote-controlled transfer switch: no human intervention thanks to electrical control
The remote-controlled transfer switch requires no direct human intervention, thanks to its electrically-controlled operation. It is mainly used to power high-power electrical appliances, requiring a minimum output of 400 amperes.
In short, a transfer switch is a crucial electrical device for ensuring continuity of power supply by switching between a main and a backup source in the event of failure or interruption of the main power supply.