Regency Logo

Regency Generators Knowledge Base

What is a Manual Transfer Switch (MTS)? How does it work? What does it do?

What is a Manual Transfer Switch MTS panel?

A manual transfer switch panel, or MTS panel, is a type of transfer panel used with a diesel generator to switch between the mains and generator in the event of a power failure. Using the manual transfer switch requires you to turn a handle or alternative lever to switch between the mains and the generator and to start the generator manually.

Why is an manual transfer switch MTS panel important?

A transfer switch (either manual or automatic) is required in every country when installing a generator at premises with a mains supply. It is required by law for good reason. A transfer switch avoids:

  • The mains power coming into contact with the generator, which would almost certainly burn out if this happened.
  • It stops the generator from back feeding the mains when its failed, endangering the lives of electricity utility workers.

In terms of importance, both the manual and automatic switch perform the same transfer switch function, however the automatic transfer switch ATS panel does the process automatically, saving time and reducing the power outage length.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a manual transfer panel?

Here is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of a manual transfer panel over an automatic transfer switch.

Advantages of a manual transfer panel

  • Cost - the Manual transfer panel is much cheaper than an automatic panel.
  • Control - the automatic switch will cause the generator to start even if you aren't home - unless you remember to turn off the generator.
  • Wiring - there are no control cables needed, just the electricity supply cables.

Disadvantages of a manual transfer panel

  • You need to switch it every time the mains fails and you want to run the generator.
  • You need to start the generator manually each time.
  • If you aren't nearby, you cannot start the backup power.
  • It takes longer - the automatic panel can react as soon as the mains fails.

Article: 157, Version: 1