A motor starter is basically an electrical device used to safely start and stop a motor. It’s similar to a relay; however, it also offers protection against low voltage and overcurrent. A motor starter can be electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic; they are used across a wide range of applications such as commercial, agricultural and industrial and are crucial for the day-to-day operations in these sectors.
Main Functions of a motor starter
- They are used to safely start a motor
- They are used to safely stop a motor
- They are used in Reversing a motor’s direction
- They provide protection against low voltage and overcurrent
Components of a Motor Starter
- A motor starter essentially consists of two components that are used to start and protect the motor.
- Electrical Contactor: Its function is to power the motor on/off by breaking contact terminals.
- Overload protection circuit: its purpose is to protect the motor from overload by sensing the current and breaking power supply.
How Motor Starters Work – Manual Starters Vs. Automatic Starters
It’s a control device that’s used either manually or automatically switching on the motor. It makes it safer to switch electrical motors on/off as it works by breaking contacts. The manual starters that we see in smaller motors are mostly hand-operated via lever, which is moved either in the off or on the direction for starting or stopping the motor. The downside to these manually operated motors is that they need to be switched on again manually in case of a power failure.
In comparison, automatic starters consisting of electromechanical relays are able to work independently whenever current flows through the contactor coils, resulting in the energizing and production of electromagnetic fields, which either pulls or pushes the contacts to establish a connection to the power supply.
Types of Motor Starters Based on Starting Methods & Techniques
- Full Voltage or Across the Line Starter– They connect the motor directly to the power line offering full voltage. However, the motors that make use of such starters come with low power ratings as they don’t create any huge voltage drops in the power line.
- Full Voltage Reversing Starter– These starters consist of two contactors which are mechanically interlocked with swapped phases for both forward and reverse directions. They are mostly used where the motor is required to operate in both forward and reverse modes.
- Multispeed Starter – These types of starters can run the motor across pre-selected speed limitations as per the application it’s designed to serve.
- Reduced Voltage Starter-This is the most common among all starter types. It works by reducing the voltage while the motor is starting to reduce the volume of current to pass through, which could damage the motor’s windings and create voltage
Find Your Way Forward by Collaborating With a Service Provider
A motor starter is a crucial piece of hardware, and it can be a challenge to get a high-quality product unless you are aware of the associated technicalities. Therefore, it’s important to partner with a reputed electrical company if you are looking for the highest-grade motor starters that are currently in use across industrial, agricultural, and commercial setups. Now, that you are aware about the importance of motor starters and its inner workings, hopefully you will be able to make an informed decision and choose a motor starter that’s of the right design and type for your preferred application.