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Transferring Temporary Power Sources - ATS, UPS, and PDUs

Utility power

Temporary power loss can wreak havoc on any household or business. Continuous electrical power becomes more important as people become more dependent on electronics and devices. Many buildings have generators installed for emergency power in case of a power outage. But when there is a power outage, what switches our building's circuits to use the generator power and not the utility power?

An automatic transfer switch (ATS) is a device that automatically switches from a primary power source to a secondary power source when the primary power source has an outage. A typical application is in buildings for transferring power from the utility power to a standby generator. It also isolates the primary and secondary power from back-feeding into one another, preventing potential electrocutions and fires that may occur. An ATS is required when there is a temporary power source installed in the building.

Although an ATS can seamlessly switch between power sources, it may take some time for the standby generators to energize and provide power to the different circuits. This time gap may cause issues to critical electronics such as IT equipment. If this is a concern, it may be time to consider an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and a power distribution unit (PDU). An uninterruptible power supply is a temporary power source, like a battery, that provides a near-instantaneous power supply to prevent power interruptions. They have a short-run time and are used to bridge the time between a power outage and when the standby generator turns on. The power distribution unit is connected to a UPS and performs a similar job to a power strip. PDUs can have many features, such as metering and monitoring power.

Temporary power provides peace of mind if there is ever a power outage. Installing the proper equipment can minimize interruptions or damage to a household or business.

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