Back feeding is the stream of electrical energy in the opposite direction of the commonly accepted or traditional power flow. This reverse flow might happen intentionally or by chance, depending on the source of the power. Back feeding may pose unexpected obstacles to electricity grid equipment and service personnel if it is not prevented (in unintentional back/reverse feeding) or correctly performed (in the case of intentional back/reverse feeding).
When there is a power failure, several people pull out their small generator and connect it into a dryer source or some other unapproved procedure to generate electricity for the items in their household while the power supply is out. This can endanger not only your house, as well as those operating on the power lines in your neighbourhood. Back feeding enables unfiltered electric power to circulate through switches, which can overburden a few appliances or devices on those circuits.
There are three main types of back-feeding:
- INTENTIONAL BACK/REVERSE FEEDING:
The increased use of wind turbines and photovoltaic systems has increased the number of customers who may generate more electricity than those who consume all through peak generating situations. The additional power generated may also be fed back into the power grid if the consumer’s electric power supplier allows it.
- UNINTENTIONAL BACK/REVERSE FEEDING:
When power from the generator is allowed to flow over the existing electrical line in the absence of a circuit breaker, unintentional back-feeding may occur. Since an electrical transformer can operate in both ways, the electrical energy produced on the consumer’s premises can be fed back into the transformer.
- INTRINSIC BACK/REVERSE FEEDING:
Back feeding of this type happens when the power generator on its own becomes the consumer. This is common when an electrical power plant is closed down or functioning at such a low capacity that its parasitic load exceeds its generation capacity.
Installing a transfer switch seems to be a great way to stop the reverse feed. A circuit breaker prevents one home wiring or specified circuits from being connected to the power grid and the generator simultaneously, preventing back/reverse feed.