Description   AC motor starters are used to turn-on and turn-off electric motors and motor-controlled equipment. They use solid-state or electromechanical technologies, and are designed for single-phase or three-phase motors. AC motor starters adhere to ratings from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).   There are 11 NEMA size ratings: 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. IEC sizes are rated at the...
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Q & A on AC Motor Starters

We asked our users for their input on AC Motor Starters. Here are the results of 53 users familiar with AC Motor Starters.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing AC motor starter design?
9 answers
Answers:
Electronic componentry, higher switching speeds in VF units, integrated circuit-breaker/contactor/overload in lower power ratings, higher voltages in underground mining applications
~Greg M, Sales manager, Melbourne, Australia
1. Energy saving, 2. Necessity of wide rage speed/torque controls in different marine applications, for instance ballast pumps, conveyor drives, ventilation fans
~Engineering, Consulting, Vancouver, China
We see them being replaced with Inverter Technologies as a more precise way to control position.
~Engineering, Process/Production, Dearborn, MI
High density current distributed phase analysis software
~Technical Support, Nth. Adelaide, Australia
Digital current monitoring and networking feed back
~Technical Support, Hawesville, KY
Water flow systems using pumps and switching gears
~Technical Support/Services, Columbia, MO
Solid state technology
~Engineer, Hermosillo, Mexico
Cost , VFD's
~Skip W, Controls engineering tech, McElhattan, PA
VFDs
~Dominic C, General Management, West Chester, PA

Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative AC motor starters?
10 answers
Answers:
Square D, Siemens, and others
~Technical Support/Services, Columbia, MO
Schneider Electric Siemens
~Greg M, Sales manager, Melbourne, Australia
Cutler Hammer
~Technical Support, Hawesville, KY
ABB, Rockwell
~Engineering, Process/Production, Dearborn, MI
Allen Bradley
~Engineer, Hermosillo, Mexico
Rockwell
~Skip W, Controls engineering tech, McElhattan, PA
Square D
~Other, Lapu, Philippines
Yaskawa
~Dominic C, General Management, West Chester, PA
ABB
~Engineering, Consulting, Vancouver, China
GE
~Technical Support, Nth. Adelaide, Australia

Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used an AC motor starter for?
15 answers
Answers:
Three phase Press duty motor application, Directional use for slide adjustment position, Pumps, Fans, Bypass mode on Softstarts, variable Freq. applications
~Engineering, Process/Production, Dearborn, MI
Conveyors, grinding mills, lifting & hoisting, pumping, lighting control, fans, feeding systems
~Greg M, Sales manager, Melbourne, Australia
Chilled water pump motors, AHU fan motors,water pump motors & condenser fan motors
~Other, Lapu, Philippines
3 phase starters up to 4000hp - synchronous starters to 3000hp
~Skip W, Controls engineering tech, McElhattan, PA
All shipboard installations: pumps, fans, conveyor systems
~Engineering, Consulting, Vancouver, China
In Conveyor systems, fan systems and pumping machines
~Engineer, Hermosillo, Mexico
Switches, dead man switch, compressors, pumps
~Technical Support/Services, Columbia, MO
Oxygen compressors, air compressors
~Engineering, Consulting, Johannesburg, South Africa
Conveyors, Chiller, Air Handlers
~Dominic C, General Management, West Chester, PA
Like fan and pump application
~Engineering, Design, Raipur, India
centrifuge water pumps
~Technical Support, Nth. Adelaide, Australia
Tractors mowers vehicles
~Engineering, Other, Newark, Great Britain
Machine tools
~Royal W, Builder/Contractor, Yankee hill, CA
Soft starts
~Technical Support, Hawesville, KY
Mining
~Engineering, Design, Laverton North, Australia

Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that an AC motor starter has been used for.
3 answers
Answers:
Powering of large non-motor load (set of floodlights).
~Engineering, Consulting, Vancouver, China
Three phase by-pass for a Soft start system.
~Engineering, Process/Production, Dearborn, MI
Refrigeration suppressor
~Technical Support, Nth. Adelaide, Australia

Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of an AC motor starter?
2 answers
Answers:
Wrong voltage coil installed, causes plastic to deform from heat ---- have seen OL heaters installed incorrectly on Square D , causing overloaded motor not to trip thermal OL and shut down --- or shocking unknowing repair person after coming in contact with protruding heater elements.
~Skip W, Controls engineering tech, McElhattan, PA
Use of low voltage (24vdc) for seal in circuit, can be a problem with long distances. Normal contacts will glaze over time and build up resistance. This can cause repeated fault conditions and possible cycling of the starter if the contact is passing the latching current.
~Engineering, Process/Production, Dearborn, MI

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
6 answers
Answers:
IEC contacts that can really stand the load rating (as stated) of NEC standards. Most have smaller cross-section.
~Engineering, Process/Production, Dearborn, MI
If solid state starters can work under really bad voltage supply conditions could be good.
~Engineer, Hermosillo, Mexico
Simplicity parameterization and operator-friendly interface.
~Engineering, Consulting, Vancouver, China
Easily torn apart, parts replaced, and reassembled.
~Skip W, Controls engineering tech, McElhattan, PA
usb connectivity
~Technical Support, Nth. Adelaide, Australia
No Harmonics
~Dominic C, General Management, West Chester, PA

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of an AC motor starter?
4 answers
Answers:
You must always give a margin to the size of the starter, around 8%.
~Engineer, Hermosillo, Mexico
Get something that is durable and is user / repair friendly.
~Skip W, Controls engineering tech, McElhattan, PA
Duty cycle is important!
~Engineering, Process/Production, Dearborn, MI
Size Carefully
~Dominic C, General Management, West Chester, PA

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using AC motor starters?
4 answers
Answers:
I prefer to use electromechanical starters because these work better under bad conditions.
~Engineer, Hermosillo, Mexico
Be sure of your duty cycle requirements, the IEC/NEC relationship for load, and current.
~Engineering, Process/Production, Dearborn, MI
Size Carefully
~Dominic C, General Management, West Chester, PA
Ask around -- buy reputable.
~Skip W, Controls engineering tech, McElhattan, PA

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