We’re all reliant on the national power grid for a majority of our power supply. This is not always the case for industrial power generation requirements because these properties are based in remote areas with little access to onsite grid solutions. This means that there is a huge need for reliable energy supply for many of Queensland’s businesses and work sites. When grid reliability and access to power sources are issues, you will need your generator to kick in as soon as possible. Many in-built mechanisms do the working of kicking it in when you need it. Things like an automatic transfer switch and control systems/panels are some of these mechanisms that assist in this process and we’ll explain some of the technicalities below.

What does a generator control paneldo?

The control panel is essentially the motherboard that works towards ensuring the automatic transfer switch’s (ATS) efficiency and effectiveness. It is the monitoring system that first detects instances of a power failure and then initiates the mechanism’s procedure to kick in the generator supply. It is also designed to monitor voltage frequency within the generator and continuously controls the unit’s ability to precisely provide the right amount of power needed at all times. The ATS is only one of several other features in the panel system that work cohesively to make that seamless switch to generator power. Here is more detailed information about the role that the control panel plays:

1.  Detecting voltage drops

As briefly mentioned, the control panel works as a monitoring and detection system. One of the main features is the work of maintaining continuous voltage levels. It is designed to alert you to sudden drops and complete failures. Your control panel is configured to have a set failure point at different phases and these settings are driving the sensors that determine and convey voltage and frequency data from the generator. Before the ATS does its work of initiating the generator, the control panel will detect if it is able to accept the load by calculating the minimum voltage required to power your needs.

2.  Ability to delay ATS activation

Your control system also has the capability to delay the activation of the automatic transfer switch. Sometimes, power outages are brief false alarms that only last for a short set of seconds and the system needs to detect these. All power grids, and that’s across the world, are known to have momentary dips and false voltage drops now and then. Some brief outages are not going to last, and it wouldn’t be a good thing for your generator to start the load transfer process unnecessarily. The system is so advanced that it is able to delay the system for only a couple of milliseconds. There is also another delay function for when it’s time to switch from generator power to utility power. With modern remote monitoring applications, you can control this process too. The common setting allows for a delay of up to thirty minutes before you switch back to the power grid.

3.  Routine system testing

Your control panel is also running regular tests at all times. That means there is an automated function that plays a key role in the regular maintenance of any backup power system. There are also manual testing capabilities that are simple enough to carry out. You can use your control panel to simulate a power outage with a manual switch that helps you to test all the functions. This can include your generator’s time delays, load capacity measures, and that contact points are working effectively. Contact points are alert systems on the panel that will inform you of any issues or concerns that need the assistance of a professional. There are many other tests that can be performed, and manufacturer guidelines will have much more information about this. You should also consider a controller and we have a more detailed guide about what it does.

Our last bonus tip of information is much less technical than the abovementioned information because all you need to do is call us and we’ll take care of everything. Reactive Generators has a 50-year track record of good service and innovative power solutions experience. Even though we’re an old company, we take the initiative to fine-tune our skills in modern applications and generator tech. We can be your new local generator specialist in Toowoomba, Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast. Our number is (07) 3710 8212 and we’re available anytime to service clients in and across Queensland. For more information on our services, you can explore our range of expertise on our website!