What is the difference between standby, continuous, and prime power ratings?
Standby – used in emergencies such as power cuts. The purpose of a standby power generator is to provide emergency power when the main source of power is interrupted. The recommendation for this level of power is to be used for short periods of time (ie, during power cuts) and to have regular maintenance and testing carried out to ensure the generator is fully functional in the event you need to use it.
Prime – used when there is no utility source of power. They are designed to have an unlimited usage time to provide continuous uninterrupted power. Prime power generators have the flexibility to be set to maximum power at a variable load for an unlimited number of hours.
Continuous – used to provide a continuous power supply to a constant load. These have a base load rating. They are not designed to deal with variable loads or overloads. Bearing in mind that prime power generators are usually programmed to include a small overload buffer for short periods.
What does an Automatic Transfer Switch do?
These can be a critical part of your power set up for back-up power.
An automatic transfer switch (ATS) switches from standard utility power to your generator automatically when the utility power is interrupted. The ATS is designed to recognise an interruption in the power and then activate the back-up power (generator). They also work in reverse so that once the utility power is fully restored, the switch shuts the generator down and allows the utility source to continue.
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