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Launch of the next generation of soft starter

February 2010

ACP&D Ltd are pleased to announce the launch this


month of their new next generation soft starter called
the SinuMEC.

The SinuMEC is
a Sinusoidal Motor Efficiency Controller for constant
speed, variable load AC motor applications.

This multifunctional controller not only gives the motor


a soft start and soft stop but it also improves energy
efficiency, reliability and reduces operating expenses
by controlling the voltage supplied to the motor at all
times and automatically.

The SinuMEC employs voltage control technology that


benefits more than frequency control and goes beyond
soft starter's. The SinuMEC is quite simply the next
generation of soft starter for the 21st Century.

There are a number of features which the SinuMEC provides the end user and these
are:

• Harmonics-free motor startup – Provides reduced motor startup at typical 2x


nominal current. Theright Voltage technology starts the motor harmonics-free for
less failures and fewer mishaps, which are typical in SCR-based starters.

• Reduced maintenance and downtime - Reduction of the motors operating


temperature by up to 10 deg C.

• Reduction of energy consumption - By minimising the motors internal losses give a


saving of up to 20% of the motors rated energy consumption.

• Reducing conduction losses - Losses on electrical wires and transformers are on


average 12% of electricity consumption. The SinuMEC reduces the current by up to
50% thus reducing up to 75% of the losses. This brings additional kWh savings of up
to 9%.

• Harmonics filtration – The SinuMEC filters out up to 60% of the existing harmonics
both to the motor and to the whole network. Harmonics are one of the most common
causes for energy losses, electrical network failures and fires.

• Power Factor Correction – Improves the power factor(PF) on the motor itself and
reduces the amount of capacitors required by central PFC systems. Unlike PFC
systems that improve the PF for the utility company, the SinuMEC improves PF also
for the facility itself. It can improve as high as 60% of the power factor, which
provides saving in investment of equipment and energy losses.

• Motor Protection – Protects the motor from operating under network failure or
internal failure conditions.

Following the launch this month of the SinuMEC ACP&D Limited will be able to supply
off the shelf from the begining of March 2010 onwards

New Zealand soft starter specialist, AuCom, launched in May the latest
addition to its line of products, the EMX3. The anticipated new soft starter,
supplied locally through low- and medium-voltage motor control equipment
company CHI Control Components, introduces adaptive acceleration control,
and is purported to be the new generation of soft starting technology.

The EMX3 features a new soft start technology dubbed XLR-8 Adaptive
Acceleration Control. This has a high level of control over a motor's
acceleration and deceleration profiles. Using XLR-8, the soft starter learns the
motor's performance during start and stop, then adjusts control to achieve the
best performance possible.

The EMX3 is designed for a great degree of flexibility and is equally applicable
in scenarios that involve things like conveyors, bands saws, ball mills and
compressors, but it has very important applications in pumping across
industries, from mining to construction, to agriculture.

Pumping presents a number of scenarios that require specialist attention in


order to reduce transients such as water hammer. By applying the EMX3's
XLR-8 adaptive acceleration control, greater influence over start and stop
profiles become possible, owing to the possibility to choose either an early,
constant, or late deceleration or acceleration.

In a scenario with high back-pressure, such as high head, the soft starter can
stop damaging shock waves that are caused by nonreturn valves. A late
deceleration stop will have very slow control of motor deceleration of the flow
to no-flow transition, followed by a rapid deceleration mitigating reversal of the
pump.

When stopping a pumping scenario that has low head and a high flow rate, the
fluid's momentum creates a low-pressure state behind the pump. The nonreturn
valve is slammed shut and shock waves are sent out as the low-pressure state is
equalised. By selecting a long, uniform deceleration, fluid momentum will
naturally dissipate.

The third scenario is an open pumping system, specifically lifting water from a
dam of some kind to a channel through a pipe system without a nonreturn
valve. Upon stopping, water drains back through the pump causing it to spin in
reverse. An initial quick, then subsequent slow deceleration stops water being
pumped but still keeps the pump rotating in a forward direction, while water
remaining in the pipe work drains back through, leaving the pump primed for
the next start.

A positive response comes from a specialist in fluid dynamics at the University


of Canterbury in New Zealand Dr Pedro Lee, who gives his opinion after
testing the new product, "Severe transient events in pipes are often caused by
the sudden shutdown of pump stations. The magnitudes of these transient
events are governed by the complex interaction between the pump deceleration,
check valve closure profile and the nature of the pipeline. AuCom's XLR-8 soft
starter component can cater for this interaction through a self-calibration
procedure, and can determine the best possible deceleration profile of the pump
impeller to lessen water hammer events in all piping systems."

Soft starters, like most technologies, are maturing as more sophisticated units
perform soft start and stop functions with greater control, more protection and
detailed feedback. As technology has improved, soft starters have made use of
a variety of methods for the control of motor starting and stopping. Each type
of control uses a different primary control parameter.

When talking soft starter technology developments over the years, the first
breakthrough came in the form of Timed Voltage Ramp, which controls voltage
by influencing start current, start torque and subsequently acceleration. Next
came Constant Current, a component designed to control current, and most
recently, Torque Control, which controls torque. Until the development of
XLR-8 Adaptive Acceleration Control, none of these technologies have been
capable of directly controlling acceleration itself.

The EMX3's XLR-8 Adaptive Acceleration Control, a technology developed


entirely by AuCom, influences start current and subsequently start torque in
order to control acceleration.

"The distinguishing factor of this new soft starter, is that with its XLR-8 feature
it takes most of the guesswork out of the application of the soft starter," CHI
Control Components marketing director Rob Hare explains.

"The XLR-8 is different from other soft starters because it speeds up or stops
the motor in a controlled manner. By using intuitive starting, which allows the
soft starter to apply the last starting parameters on the latest start, the XLR-8
accelerates the motor in the most favourable way for its particular application.
This means that the more times the motor gets started, the better the start
becomes for the particular application."

Using XLR-8, the soft starter actually learns the motor's performance during
start and stop, then adjusts control to achieve prime performance. The operator
is only required to input a few criteria, such as the current used on the motor.
The soft starter intelligence then allows it to assume variables in the
adjustability of the device being started.

The EMX3 starter is among the smallest in its class, saving installation costs by
decreasing space requirements. New design features make the EMX3 capable
of quick set-up or more customised control. The design of the EMX3 allows for
multiple units to be mounted side by side, or in a bank of starters owing to
flexibility in cabling options. Internally bypassed starters further reduce the
overall size of the soft starter.

Another key difference the EMX3 has against other soft starters is the control
keypad. While many soft starters are becoming increasingly feature-rich and
subsequently confusing, AuCom has taken steps to ensure that commissioning,
operation and fault finding are still quick and easy, with one electrician
commenting that it is "amazing to work with".

The EMX3 gives real-language feedback messages on its large liquid crystal
display screen, removing the need to look up codes to understand motor status.
With real-time metering displays and a 99-place event log, which records time-
stamped details of operation and performance, it is easy to track motor
behaviour. "We based the platform on a common cell-phone interface," said
AuCom business development manager Ian Cartwright at the launch of the
EMX3 in Johannesburg in May. "If you can use a Nokia, you can use our
system. In response to the skills shortage, we have tried to make things simple
and easy to understand. On that premise, we copied the general look and feel of
the Nokia interface."

The keypad also clearly indicates motor operating performance and current by
using real-time graphs. By using a remote mounting kit, the keypad can be
mounted on the enclosure exterior.
The option of remote-control of the keypad means no need for separately wired
accessories. The keypad replaces an amp meter, volt meter or power meter and
also shows the number of hours run.

The removable keypad makes programming simple on sites with multiple soft
starters, as the keypad can be lifted off the soft starter and plugged into any
other EMX3 to download data. Alternatively, AuCom's WinMaster software
can be used to control, monitor and programme the EMX3 from any desktop
computer.

Built-in monitoring and indicators and extensive on-board input and output
functionality reduce the need for space and cost of external equipment, as well
as simplifying installation.

Edited by: Esmarie Swanepoel


oft starter: A generation of electric motor power control
Date Published: 17th August 2006

Author: Ariel
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Now it is possible to apply the power of soft starting to even the smallest of applications. Over the years, the
engineering and electronics industryhas developed a range of soft starters for a range of applications. Many areas have
benefited including marine, oil & gas and heavy industry. Now there is a new motor added to the family, the miniature
analogue soft starter that incorporates a single thyristor to start a single phase squirrel cage induction motor.
What is a Soft Starter?
Technically, a "Soft Starter" (when in the context of to AC electric motors) is an electronic device that reduces the
torque in the power train of amotor. In practice this is mechanically a clutch, fluid drive, magnetic coupling or shot
coupling. Electrically a soft starter can be any control system that reduces the torque by reducing the voltagein, or a
device that causes a change in the motor connection.

The soft starter can employ solid state devices to control the current flow and therefore the voltage applied to the
motor. In theory, soft starters can be connected in series with the line voltage applied to the motor, or can be
connected inside the delta loop of a delta connected motor, controlling the voltage applied to each winding.
A new range of AC electric motor soft starters provides the means to reduce the wear and tear caused by conventional
direct-online starting, and reduce the peak demand currents that can impact electricity bills.
Two types of soft starters are offered: an intelligent soft starter with complete motor control – devices such as these
offer a high level of programmability to maximize the starting characteristics for particular applications or industry;
many low-cost units are now available from a variety of manufacturers such as Solcon Industries, in forms
configurations for simple stand-alone connection or retrofitting inside existing motor cabinets. This type of module for
controlling three-phase AC induction motors prevent the torque surges that can cause mechanical damage, and the
generation of shock waves in the system being driven - such as a "water hammer" in the case of a pump for example.

They also limit the large inrush currents that can cause voltage drops and impact electricity bills, by increasing the
peak starting current that the electricity network has to supply.
Generations of Soft Starters

New generation Solcon soft starters tend to have the following features and characteristics:

• Reduced inrush current & mechanical shock


• Soft, smooth step-less acceleration & deceleration
• Solcon Unique features: Pump Control Program, Dual Adjustment, Slow
• Speed with Electronic Reversing, Energy Save, etc.
• Torque and current starting & stopping characteristics

Third generation, Medium Voltage, digital soft starter, is designed for use with standard MV asynchronous and
synchronous motors. This highly sophisticated soft starter ensures smooth, step-less acceleration and deceleration,
eliminating high inrush current and damaging mechanical torque on startup and mechanical wear on stopping. The
HRVS-DN is available as a stand-alone product or as part of a complete system including Line and/or Bypass
Contactors.
For more information on HRVS-DN and additional products such as Load Break Switch, Motor Protection Relay, Digital
Multimeter and more, visit www.solcon.com.

A sample of a Motor Soft starters

A motor soft starter is a device used with AC electric motors to temporarily reduce the load and torque in

the powertrain of the motor during startup. This reduces the mechanical stresson the motor and shaft, as well as

the electrodynamic stresses on the attached power cables and electrical distribution network, extending the lifespan of the

system.[1]

Motor soft starters can consist of mechanical or electrical devices, or a combination of both. Mechanical soft starters

include clutches and several types of couplings using a fluid, magnetic forces, or steel shot to transmit torque, similar to

other forms of torque limiter. Electrical soft starters can be any control system that reduces the torque by temporarily

reducing the voltage or current input, or a device that temporarily alters how the motor is connected in the electric circuit.

Electrical soft starters can use solid state devices to control the current flow and therefore the voltage applied to the

motor. They can be connected in series with the line voltage applied to the motor, or can be connected inside the delta (Δ)

loop of a delta-connected motor, controlling the voltage applied to each winding. Solid state soft starters can control one

or more phases of the voltage applied to the induction motor with the best results achieved by three-phase control.

Typically, the voltage is controlled by reverse-parallel-connected silicon-controlled rectifiers (thyristors), but in some

circumstances with three-phase control, the control elements can be a reverse-parallel-connected SCR and diode.

Another way to limit motor starting current is a series reactor. If an air core is used for the series reactor then a very

efficient and reliable soft starter can be designed which is suitable for all type of 3 phase induction motor [ synchronous /

asynchronous ] ranging from 25 KW 415 V to 30 MW 11 KV. Using an air core series reactor soft starter is very common

practice for applications like pump, compressor, fan etc. Usually high starting torque applications do not use this method.

[edit]Applications

Soft starters can be setup to the requirements of the individual application. In pump applications, a soft start can avoid

pressure surges. Conveyor belt systems can be smoothly started, avoiding jerk and stress on drive components. Fans or
other systems with belt drives can be started slowly to avoid belt slipping. In all systems, a soft start limits the inrush

current and so improves stability of the power supply and reduces transient voltage drops that may affect other loads.