Donated transfer switches boost power generation curriculum

Published 07.28.2022

Corporate Relations
Student News
Faculty & Staff
Diesel Truck, Heavy Equipment & Power Generation
Engineering Technologies

Fidelity Power Systems, a Fidelity Building Services Group company, has donated three KOHLER® transfer switches to help support the electrical power generation: diesel emphasis curriculum at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Fidelity Power Systems is one of the nation’s largest distributors of KOHLER generators and power systems, providing services to commercial, industrial and residential facilities throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

Standing between two of the three KOHLER units donated by Fidelity Power Systems to Pennsylvania College of Technology are (from left) Fidelity's Ryan Hannigan, operations support, and Charlie Hicks, vice president service operations; and, from Penn College, John D. Motto, diesel equipment technology instructor; and Elizabeth A. Biddle, senior corporate relations director. “This donation gives true real-world experience to our EPG students because the switches are hooked up to utility power,” said John D. Motto, diesel equipment technology instructor. “This is as ‘real world’ and as safe as possible as you can be with this kind of technology.” The switches are being used in two courses: Power Generator Theory and Operation and Power Generation Systems.

The largest of the switches (800 amperes) is what senses the power coming into a building – and, when the power goes out, it’s what tells the generator to start. To safely repair most transfer switches, Motto explained, power has to be shut off. This unit is an “isolation bypass switch” that can be safely worked on while power is flowing through it, technology that is integral in hospitals and other facilities where maintenance of electrical power is crucial.

Fidelity Power Systems’ donation includes a 600-amp switch, characterized as a standard transition model, and a smaller one that is the most common version sold by the manufacturer. All are compatible with the KOHLER generator in the Schneebeli Earth Science Center’s power generation lab, maximizing students’ education in troubleshooting, operation and maintenance.

“We thank Fidelity Power Systems for this donation and technology to expand the learning for our electrical power generation students,” said Elizabeth A. Biddle, senior corporate relations director. “Partnerships like this help take our curriculum to the next level, staying on the cutting edge of technology.”

For more about electrical power generation and related majors in Penn College’s School of Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.