While the earliest forms of motor starters were simple and bare bone, the new ones have excellent features, a robust built, and serve sophisticated purposes. The new motor starters can be used in many different construction/industrial applications and come in different sizes. When you want to choose a motor starter for your application, you have the below-given types available.
VFD- The VFD or Variable Frequency Drive motor starters are the more premium variety and control the operating of the motor. They can also serve as the starters in motors of smaller size, but will not control the speed in this case. Benefits offered by these starters include proper communication with the building management system, an intuitive and comfortable interface that facilitates automatic control, and use of lesser current while starting. Equipment for surge protection and filters, among others, may also be required for VFD.
Soft Starters- The soft starters can also control motor speed, can avoid the undesired current surges, and will also reduce the wear of the electrical contacts. The soft starters may be used with the conveyor belt and the compressors, among other devices that are cycled frequently and have the on/off operation. The drawback of a soft starter is that it may not offer the same efficiency as a VFD does for partial controlling of speed.
Across-the-line Starters- Motors up to the size of 15 HP may be controlled by the across-the-line starters that may be switched on and off for connecting or disconnecting power to a motor. Because they do not provide any feedback to the electronic management system of the building, they need to be augmented with the power monitors to monitor energy consumption and air/ liquid flow.
Smart Starters- The smart starters are the latest breed of starters and contain many new add-ons and additional features that are integrated with the across-the-line starters. While there is lesser complexity, the starters do possess the safety features that can provide for automated and better building control and management. The new features may include motor protection, built-in metering for power measurement, intuitive human interfaces and other improvements.
Before choosing the starter, you should verify FLA or Full Load Amperage that has been provided on the name-plate of your motor. Also, know whether the line power for the motor is 3 phase or 1 phase. Any starter you choose for your motor should have the current or Amps rating greater than the rating of FLA.
Motor starters can be linked directly (the direct online starter) or may be activated through a remote switch or terminal (remote start terminal). There are also the hybrid varieties like the “remote start terminal and separate control voltage” variety, where different voltages for control power and line power are present. It is always good to choose a starter that can use the voltage information for tracking power consumption and for monitoring the current activity. The new starters can protect the motor during the low or high voltage conditions, and can also reduce the maintenance cost. Also, a good and sophisticated starter has the current sensor and the operator interface that can be used for setting the adjustable threshold, and there will be no need to open the enclosure of the starter.
You can consult a leading supplier of motors and other electronic equipment for industrial uses including motor starters and buy the best motor starter, which will not only save your equipment including motors but will also reduce the maintenance and service cost.