The motor market is blessed with variety, you get a plethora of different motor types and sizes. All share the same drill but are meant for different purposes, depending upon the size and capability. Alongside the motor one thing which comes in direct relation is the motor starter, you need to pick the right motor starter to create a cohesive unite and complete the set.
While choosing the starter, you need to consider your motor size and the purpose. With these things clear, you can make a sound judgment for the right motor starter. However, just like motors, there is a diversity of starters out there too, here are some of them-
Just like the name, soft starters are known to be steady and calculative. They gradually speed up the motor to prevent any major surges. This soaks up the immediate current flow, reducing the possibility of wear and tear. This type of starters is largely used for on/off devices, for example, a compressor or conveyer belt. Soft starters are sensitive to the atmosphere they are placed and the power quality they get. Compared to a VFD it functions the same way and matches the cost too but delivers less.
Variable Frequency drivers-
Ideal for equipment demanding a complete speed control a variable frequency driver is capable of controlling the motor speed during the start, stop, and during the running time as well.
Across-the-line motor starter-
Also, known as the most basic form of motor starter, this type doesn’t regulate the amount of current but just connect or disconnect the power. They are typically used in on/off devices and motors limited to 15 hp power. They are not capable of proving any feedback to the building control system, one needs to buy extra equipment like power monitors to track the feedback.
Smart starters are an improvement or a pinch of innovation in the starter market. They identified the weakness of the conventional starters and merged it with high performance and cost-efficiency by keeping things simple. Typically, smart starters are a revamped version of the across-the-line starters. So, they are meant for motors running on a single speed and use the principles applied in an electric starter minus the complexity. It doesn’t need any additional hardware and is built-in with a number of safety features and built-in communication, to make them work as a part of the automated building control system.
Regardless of what starter you pick, there are certain points you need to incorporate for a healthy Building-level-automation system. If your starter is prone to an irregular voltage supply, the sudden start and stops of the motor heat up the starter and may damage the motor parts.
Motor starters, when mated with the right equipment, can help you monitor the energy usage and make plans to cut costs. Motors don’t need to run for long spans of time using occupancy sensors, timers along with starters will help you plan out the running time.