What is the difference between ATS and AMF panels?

Generator Control Panel - Vital Power

Standby diesel generator power is vital for plenty of businesses – from data centres and universities to hospitals and distribution centres. Backup generator power for use in an outage or power cut is particularly popular thanks to the smooth and hassle-free transition between mains and generator sources. For this to happen, critical power systems use panels – ATS panels and AMF panels. But what are they, and what’s the difference? Read our blog to find out…

What is an ATS panel?

ATS panels (Automatic Transfer Switch panels) are a standby generator control system part that helps to automate the process of switching power source from the mains to the generator. Having an ATS panel means you don’t need to manually change the supply in the event of a power cut or outage. The ATS panel system will automatically detect when there has been an outage, and switch when it needs to, lowering the risk of disrupting any processes when the power goes out.

ATS panel systems monitor the mains A/C power supply and transfer the load to your generator in the case of a mains outage. When the mainline power is restored, ATS will then automatically transfer the load back, saving generator power.

What is an AMF panel?

AMF panels (Automatic Mains Failure panels) are sometimes referred to as ATS panels. Like ATS systems, AMF panels monitor the incoming power supply from the mains and automate the switch to the standby generator source in the event of an outage.

Having an AMF panel in place means users won’t have to manually manage the switch to standby generator in an emergency, which can lead to data loss or major disruption.

ATS vs AMF panels - Vital Power

What are the differences between ATS and AMF panels?

So, both AMF and ATS panels switch the electrical load from the regular mains supply to the backup generator. So what’s the difference between the two?

The main difference between the two types of generator panels is the way they’re started. ATS panels use a volt-free contact system with the mounted set control panel to start and stop the generator. However, AMF panels have a dedicated generator controller with alarms for stop, start, water temperature, fuel oil pressure and full level.

However, in many cases and in many systems, the terms ATS and AMF are used interchangeably. For that reason, it’s always worth having a member of the Vital Power team provide recommendations and regular check ups for your critical power set up.

If your generator system has a Generator Control Panel, we’d typically recommend using an ATS panel for switching to generator power. If your generator doesn’t have its own Generator Control Panel, an AMF is required to maintain proper usage.

For more help on which control panel and standby generator system you require, get in touch with our team.