Introduction – Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS)
The 2012 power blackout of northern and eastern India was a very serious affair. Half of India’s population or 9% of the world’s population was affected. The majority of the country had no access to the power supply and came to a standstill.
South Asia’s largest airport, IGI Airport in Delhi was stalled for a record 10 hours. Despite being the third-largest producer as well as consumer of electricity, India’s power system has largely been considered unreliable. With demands surging supply, there is a massive overhaul needed in the energy sector. Industries were the most affected ones. Unable to switch to a secondary source in time to prevent getting sucked into the outage, industries suffered huge losses. Trains were stranded for hours, medical operations halted and miners stuck in mines were just a few problems. But a certain CESC, the flagship company of RPG Group, with the help of load sensors, avoided being involved in the outage. Quick thinking coupled with fast switching ensured that Kolkata had the power supply. This is where fast switching between sources is necessary.
Auto Transfer Switch Ensuring Uninterrupted Supply
When the main power supply is lost, the source can be switched to an alternative one using an ATS. Auto Transfer Switch also provides additional security along with controllers. The switching operation takes place automatically. Transfer switches, basically, are of two types – open and close transition.
In open transition, the switch first breaks the connection with the existing source and then connects with another. Such switching is achieved by motorized ATS as well as solenoid based ATS. Motorized ATS offer additional switching options along with a controller which avoids manual operation. Motorized ATS requires at least, on average, 3 seconds to start up and get synchronised with the load which is exceptionally high in certain applications. Motorized ATS can be used in schools, offices, data storage centres, police stations and many such places where a low-cost switching option is required.
But the time delay caused due to switching action is significantly high, especially where a continuous supply of power is required. To solve this problem, closed transition based switches are used which first establishes a connection with the secondary source without breaking away from the utility source. But for this to happen, the source parameters must be in synchronization. Only then can switching be achieved.
Solenoid switches have a switching interval of less than 100ms. There is a complete change in architecture when compared with the motorized version and hence, the cost is high but provides highly efficient switching as well as zero drops in supply. But it should be ensured that there is no back feeding happening during the absence of sources. These solenoid based switches can be used where a small amount of delay causes a considerable effect.
Elmeasure India Pvt. Ltd is one of the few Indian firms supplying solenoid based ATS. Competing against global giants, Elmeasure India offers ATS at an incredible ampere rating of 16-6000A which, none of the other manufacturers provides.
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Elmeasure India has been truly living up to its motto of ‘infinite possibilities’ by offering unique solutions to ever-growing obstacles in the energy sector.