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In today’s rapidly advancing electrical landscape, the demand for seamless power transition is more crucial than ever. The Medium Voltage Automatic Transfer Switches (MVATS) stands as a beacon in this realm, ensuring constant power supply even in the most demanding environments. Dive deep with us as we explore the intricate workings, benefits, and considerations surrounding MVATS.

What is a Medium Voltage Automatic Transfer Switch?

Medium Voltage Automatic Transfer Switches are specialized switches that guarantee an uninterrupted
power supply by automatically transitioning between primary and backup power sources. They’re
particularly vital in settings that can’t afford even a second of downtime, such as:

  • Critical care medical facilities
  • Large-scale data centers
  • Industrial complexes
  • Telecommunication hubs

At the core of the MVATS is its innate capability to assess the health and status of the primary power
source. Should any inconsistencies arise, the switch swiftly and automatically redirects power from an
alternative source. To illustrate, picture a stormy night when suddenly there’s a power outage. Imagine
if your home had a mechanism that seamlessly transitioned to a backup generator, ensuring your
reading light remained uninterrupted. This is the basic function of an MVATS, albeit on a grander and
more intricate scale. Spike Electric Controls; Medium Voltage Transfer Switches operate within a range
of 1,000 to 38,000 volts, or 1kV – 38kV. Such systems necessitate protection relays and additional safety
measures that a typical residential home with a backup generator wouldn’t need. Undoubtedly, it’s a
more intricate system, but our Medium Voltage Automatic Transfer Switch experts are on hand to assist
with your system setup and clarify any technical nuances you might find challenging.

  • Voltage Classification: Medium Voltage; typically encompasses systems with voltages between
    1kV and 38kV. MVATS are designed to handle these voltages, ensuring the safe and consistent
    transfer of power.
  • Automatic Operation: Built-in sensors and controls in MVATS continuously monitor the health
    of the primary power source. Any irregularity, be it a dip, spike, or complete outage, prompts
    the system to switch to a backup source.
  • Vacuum Circuit Breaker: The MVATS utilizes circuit breakers to make this switch safely.
    Specifically, the ABB UL-listed ANSI vacuum circuit breaker AMVAC is an esteemed component
    in this arena. It interrupts the power arc in a vacuum, ensuring minimal wear and tear, increased
    longevity, and superior performance in power switching scenarios.
  • Functionality: The SEL 700GT+ relay is a part of the SEL-700 series, which are designed for
    comprehensive protection, integration, and control functions.
  • SEL 700FT+ Controller Manufacturer: It’s manufactured by Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), known for their advanced and reliable protection and control solutions.
  • Seamless Switching: It can monitor the status of primary and backup power sources, and make decisions for switching between them.
  • Versatility: Works with various types of power sources, including utility feeds, generators, and renewable sources.
  • Monitoring: Continuously assesses the health and status of the connected power sources.
  • Customizable Settings: Can be tailored to specific transfer schemes, ensuring the ATS responds appropriately to various conditions.
  • Advanced Protection Relay: Offers protection functions for generators, motors, and transformers against issues like overcurrent, undervoltage, frequency deviations, and more.
  • Safeguard Equipment: By continuously monitoring electrical parameters, it can detect and act upon abnormalities, safeguarding expensive and vital equipment from potential damage.
  • Swift Response: In the event of detected irregularities, the relay promptly trips the system or raises an alarm, ensuring minimal damage or downtime.
  • Communication: Integrates seamlessly with other devices in the system, allowing for coordinated protection and control.

In Summary:

  • The SEL 700GT+ relay is not just a protective device; it is also a versatile controller, especially
    suited for managing and safeguarding medium voltage ATS systems.
  • Leveraging this relay means benefiting from precision, adaptability, and the assurance that
    comes with advanced engineering solutions from a reputable manufacturer like SEL.
  • By understanding and effectively utilizing the SEL 700GT+ relay in an MV ATS setup, operators
    can ensure smooth power transitions, minimal equipment wear, and enhanced system

How MVATS Operates

Unlike their manual counterparts, MVATS use advanced control systems to monitor and decide when a
switch is necessary.

  • Control System: Typically microprocessor-based, it continuously monitors the primary power
    source’s status.
  • Swift Response: In case of an outage, fluctuation, or any irregularity in the primary power source, the system instantly switches to a standby source.
  • Return to Normal: Once the primary source stabilizes, the MVATS system can be set to switch back automatically, ensuring minimal intervention and downtime.

Prime Benefits of MVATS

Embracing MVATS in your electrical system offers a plethora of advantages:

  • Reliability: Ensures continuous operation, especially critical for establishments that require 24/7
  • Safety: Reduces risks associated with power interruptions, such as equipment damage or fire
  • Efficiency: Automated switches guarantee quick transitions, minimizing operational disruptions.
  • Longevity: By preventing prolonged exposure to unstable power, MVATS can extend the lifespan
    of sensitive equipment.

Selecting the Right MVATS

If you’re considering integrating an MVATS into your system, it is imperative to make an informed

1. Voltage & Current Rating: Ensure the MVATS is suited for your system’s voltage and can handle
your equipment’s load.
2. Compatibility: The switch should seamlessly integrate with your primary and backup power
3. Feature Set: Prioritize features like swift automatic switching, remote monitoring capabilities,
and fault detection.
4. Budget: With varying models and capabilities, identify what functionalities are essential and
align with your budget.

Investing in Quality: The Spike Electric Controls Edge

When selecting an MVATS, it is crucial to prioritize quality. With Spike Electric Controls, you’re not just
investing in a product but a commitment to excellence. And given the significant role MVATS play in
ensuring smooth operations, it is equally vital to engage with a professional electrician for the

In essence, Medium Voltage Automatic Transfer Switches are the unsung heroes in the background,
ensuring our modern world, driven by electricity, never skips a beat. With the right MVATS, you’re not
just ensuring uninterrupted power but also safeguarding your valuable equipment and maintaining
operational efficiency. Choose with foresight, and power your future seamlessly.




Written by: Cole Attaway

Cole Attaway is the founder and CEO of Spike Electric Controls. Spike’s mission is to improve the accessibility and delivery of industrial electrical gear for clients nationwide. Spike solutions result in reduced unplanned downtime, less overtime, and greater operational efficiencies.

The highest quality at the quickest speed.

Spike can deliver the same name-brand electrical gear in a fraction of the time.