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Automatic vs Manual Transfer Switch: Making the Right Choice for Your Solar Backup Power Generator

Posted 9/8/23 | Filed under Solar Education | Comments (0)
We all know the importance of reliable electricity. Obtaining power directly from the outlets on your solar or alternate fuel generator to run your home appliances and devices is certainly an option. However, it is not without its drawbacks. An increasingly popular set-up is the implementation of a Power Transfer Switch.

There are two main reasons you may want to consider this option in your backup power journey.

1. Location: Eliminates the need to move heavy appliances and run extension cables throughout your home. You will be able to leave everything exactly where it belongs and simply supply power to it through the normal connection method. This really comes in handy when considering items such as Lights, Fans, Pumps and HVAC Circulation Fans.

2. Automation: In certain cases, such as sensitive electronics or medical equipment, the power must be uninterrupted to operate safely.

To seamlessly transition from the main power supply to generator power, you need a transfer switch. Two common options for transfer switches are automatic and manual models, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Today we'll explore the key differences between automatic and manual transfer switches and help you make an informed decision for your backup power system.

Manual Transfer Switch

A Manual Transfer Switch requires physical action to switch from the utility power supply to generator power. It provides more control to the user but demands timely action during an outage. Here are the key features of a MTS:

Increased Control: Manual systems provide users with direct control over when to switch to generator power. This can be advantageous if you want to manage generator runtime efficiently or prioritize specific circuits more effectively.

Lower Initial Cost: Manual transfer switches are more affordable than their automatic counterparts, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious individuals or businesses.

Simplicity: Straightforward to install and operate; Manual options are a good choice for those who are less knowledgeable when it comes to electrical engineering and overall technology, as you will not be using smart devices or APPs to manage your power.

Limited Automation: The downside of a MTS is that it relies on human intervention. If you're not present or fail to switch to generator power promptly during an outage, you could potentially encounter some issues.

Click Here to View one of our most popular Manual Transfer Switches specifically tested for use with the Ecoflow line of products.

Automatic Transfer Switch

An Automatic Transfer Switch, as the name suggests, operates without physical intervention. It is designed to monitor the power supply continuously and switch to the generator automatically when a power outage is detected. Here are the key features of an ATS:

Seamless Transition: One of the primary benefits of an ATS is its ability to switch between the utility power and generator power seamlessly. This ensures that critical loads are not interrupted during an outage.

24/7 Monitoring: ATS systems monitor the utility power supply round the clock. When they detect a voltage drop or power loss, they initiate the generator automatically, eliminating the need for any manual action.

Remote Control: Some ATS models come with remote monitoring and control capabilities, allowing you to monitor the status of your generator and switch it on or off remotely.

Higher Cost: The convenience of automatic operation comes at a higher cost compared to manual transfer switches, including installation and maintenance. In some cases your electrician may require special certifications through the manufacturer to perform a safe install.

Click Here to View the Ecoflow Smart Home Panel Automatic Transfer Switch for the Ecoflow line of products.

Click Here to View the Mango Power mPanel Pro Automatic Transfer Switch for the Mango Power line of products.

Choosing between an Automatic Transfer Switch or a Manual option for your backup power generator depends on your specific needs and budget. If you feel comfortable controlling which items receive power and when, the manual transfer option is likely the more sound choice.

Remember to consult with your electrician when dealing with hardwired power and as always, we are just a phone call away (877-548-3387) and are happy to offer our expertise on all of your Home Backup Power needs!
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