A generator control panel is a sort of metallic box that contains Electrical & Electronic Equipment. Despite the various applications of an Electric Panel, we focus our attention to a Generator Control Panel connected to an electric generator. There are two basic version: AMF and Manual Generator Panels.

AMF Generator Control Panel

AMF means AUTOMATIC MAINS FAILURE ; it  si about a controller for the Automatic Control of Standby Generator. You will use an AMF Generator Control Panel where you have to control a generator that is connected to the Mains in a standby configuration. The AMF  controller  manages, in a fully automatic way, the connection assignment of the LOAD to MAINS or GENERATOR.  In this case features all programmable parameters that will allow the AMF panel detecting a Mains Failure and a Mains Restore. The electronic controller  is conveniently tasked with driving the Circuit Breakers. Typical sizes for a generator control panel is in between 10kVA up to 2000kVA. Normally, an AMF Generator Control Panel contains ancillary equipment: battery chargers, control & monitoring via TCP/IP, Modbus RTU serial interface.

What about ATS Panel?  ATS means AUTOMATIC TRANSFER SWITCH (more often called ATS). It is not  exactly a Generator Control Panel but a Control Panel that connects a generator or Mains to your LOADS (house, factory and so on). An ATS Panel is the proper choice in cases where you have to control the 'direction' of the  electricity:  generator-load or mains-load. The ATS panel is less complex than an AMF Panels and more easy to use. It is normally fitted with an ATS controller that manages, in a fully automatic way, the connection assignment of the LOAD to MAINS or GENERATOR. The ATS controller send to the generator control panel a request of start. The ATS controller does not take care about Engine Automation & Protection; this is a Generator Control Panel business.  After sending a start request, the ATS panels simply waits the proper conditions for connecting the LOAD to the Generator. Typical sizes for ATS Panels are in between 10kVA up to 2000kVA. Some simple ATS Panels feature only the power breakers to connect the load to Mains and Generator sometimes only manually operated. These ATS control panels features terminal blocks that will allow you to drive the Power Switches by remote  or, more often by a Programmable Logic Controller (so called PLC). Despite the fact that the power configuration and general arrangement is the same for all ATS control panels , the proper place of an ATS panels it is not on a generator frame. Normally this equipment is designed for wall mount close to the Mains Distribution Box. The controller inside the ATS control panel is able do send the basic commands (Start, Stop, Test and others) to a generator control panel placed in a remote location.   WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT AMF


 Generator Control Panel Equipped with the Be124.

Available sizes: 30-60-100-130-250kVA

Generator Control Panel Equipped with the BeK3              Available sizes: 30-60-100-130-250kVA


We analyze a typical case of  combined generator control panel and Auto Mains Failure Module. 

This is the most complex generator control panel. It includes all features.

(1) Mains Failure Control Module.

This electronic circuit continuously monitors the parameters of the Mains: 
Voltages/Frequency/Phases Power and so on. You can program chosen  limits to these if desired. When the parameters are no longer within the set limits, the Mains Failure Control Module (1), upon 
detecting a failure of the mains for example, can start the engine via the controller (4). You will understand that the converse also applies when the Mains Supply returns within its limits, the Mains Failure Control Module will then stop the engine.

According to the programming routines that you have set, the Mains Failure Control Module will also automatically control the Mains Circuit Breaker (C) and, if it is the case, the generator circuit breaker(D). The parts included in the white dotted line consists of big size wires and terminal blocks. In some cases all this equipment are contained in a separate Electric Panel normally called ATS Panel.
(2) Circuit Breakers Controller.

This electronic board monitors the status of the circuit breakers for the Mains and Generators. The Circuit breakers will connect the Load to MAINS or GENERATOR automatically.

The boards may contain fuses, these are intended to protect the coils of the Circuit Breakers and relays designated to drive the Circuit Breakers (C)(D) directly or via a remotely operated pilot relays (included into  external ATS panel). A feedback message can be generated automatically to inform the user should the failure of a circuit breaker occur.

Circuit breaker are motor-driven for big power generators and are wired in a so called ATS Panel (ATS).
(3) Alternator Monitoring Module.

This module monitors the parameters of the Alternator (G). It performs similar basic functions to the Mains Failure Control Module. This module compares the settings of your parameters with the measurements made by the Alternator Monitoring Module. The result of this comparison will then generate alarms,or proper action according to your needs.

(4) Engine Control Module.

It encompasses all basic functions  required to control the engine in a safe and automatic way. The  internal micro controller continuously combines the requests of the  local or remote controls and the requests of all inputs and ancillary internal Modules.

It compares the internal settings with the sensed measurements on the Engine (E) & Generator(G). It delivers commands on the output connections and ports to keep the  system working in an efficient way.

The modules (F) (G) (M) have a particular design

and special coating to avoid problems with elements, humidity and fungus.

The Engine Control Module includes a user interface able to interact with the user (L).

(H) Inputs/Outputs. This board includes relays and optocouplers able to interface with external programmable controller, switches  or others.

(I) Serial interface. This could be the industrial interface RS485 that allows you to communicate with the Generator Control System using a computer. It could also comprehend a CANBUS interface  designed for connecting engines compatible with the SAE1939 standard.

(L) User interface. The minimum configuration includes display able to provide all necessary information in a digital form. Sometimes analog instruments my be added to guarantee redundancy. Additional  components are switches, function selectors and so on.

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Navigating through the internet you will find some 'Frequently Ask Questions' about a generator control panel (FAQ). The basic keywords are something like these: What is a ATS panel...What size generator to power a house. How much power does a house use. How to connect a portable generator to a house. Connecting Generator to home power. How to use generator to power house. What is a generator control panel...I try to clarify some of the common questions about generators.     

First of all: what an AMF Panel is. An AMF panel (Automatic Mains Failure) is the ideal choice in cases where you have to control a Genset that is connected to the Mains in a standby configuration. The AMF panel is fitted with an AMF controller that manages, in a fully automatic way, the connection assignment of the LOAD to MAINS or GENERATOR avoiding connection MAINS to GENERATOR. The panel includes miscellaneous equipment:  battery charger, electronic circuit boards,  power relays  and terminal blocks. The AMF  controller is conveniently tasked with driving the Power Circuit breakers. The size of the circuit breakers capacity and wires defines the required Power rating of the panel.  Available sizes on the market are normally in the range 10-1000kVA.

A normal house or big villa needs as much as 9kVA of power. This means the following utilities working simultaneously: 1 fridge, 1 air conditioneer (or an electric heater), some lights, an oven,  some tools for D.I.Y., 2 computers, 1 TV set an so on. A 10kVA control panel can fit in a plastic that aesthetically complies with your electrical installation.   A qualified electrician can install the panel in a few hours. We do not recommend to practice D.I.Y. with electric panel and generator. Once the panel is in place you can connect a portable generator also!!!!!

HOME GENERATOR CONTROL PANEL  -  How to prepare your hoem for a Power Outage


When there’s a utility power outage a Home Generator Control Panel turns on your home generator within seconds. EVOLVE 9, for example, is an advanced & compact generator control panel that integrates an Automatic Transfer Switch and an Automatic Mains Failure. This is the ideal choice for an Home Generator connected to the Mains Electricity in a standby configuration.

It features  programmable parameters for total protection of the engine and generator. You can use any style of Engine, including Gas or Gasoline engine & Portable Generators.

Despite the complexity of this generator control  panel, it is one of the most user friendly equipment available  on the market today.

It is the ideal choice for houses and villas where you wish to be in full control of your electricity services. Evolve allows to make the most advanced and friendly Home Generator System for your house.

The installation of a backup generator can provide the total energy you need to supply the house during a loss of power. You can choose to supply only necessary systems until Mains is restored. The Evolve panel is available in 3 sizes: 4kVA – 6kVA  – 9 kVA.  Use a 4 up to 6kVA Generator if you need to run the basic household systems or the submersible pumps only. You can use Gasoline Generator with manual start. 


- It protects your load from over-voltages
- You can program a designated period in the day to run the AUTO mode 
- You can program a timeslot in the day to run a TEST of the engine
- The display indicates Vac, Aac, Hz, Vdc, kVA, kW, kVAr and Power Factor
- It provides an Energy count for both the Mains and Generator
- The Electronic battery charger is fully protected from overload
- It indicates Oil Pressure, Temperature and Fuel Level of the engine
- Control and monitoring is provided via SMS or the INTERNET


                                  > Picture on the right: inside a Home Generator Control Panel >