Product Exclusive: Soft starter technology matches profiles, loads
GE Consumer & Industrial ( www.geelectrical.com ) announced its latest soft starter. The ASTAT XT soft starter is designed to reduce mechanical wear and tear, and lower peak energy charges associated with motor loads for pumps, fans, compressors, material handling, blowers, chillers, conveyors and machine tools. The new soft starter features sophisticated pump and torque controls, and a 16-line alphanumeric backlit LCD display with remote mount option.
Soft start vs. traditional
Traditionally, reduced-voltage starters have been autotransformers, wye/delta or part winding electromechanical starters that reduce inrush line current vs. across-the-line starting. However, the ASTAT XT soft starter uses advanced digital technology to do the same thing, and to protect and better control motors.
Pumps, fans, blowers, chillers and other industrial equipment have different and specific load profiles. Reactive components do not allow reduced-voltage starters to accommodate diverse load characteristics. The ASTAT XT soft starter uses advanced digital technology to protect and control motors by precisely applying acceleration and deceleration that match specific load profiles. This advanced microprocessor-based control translates to reduced mechanical wear on the motor and load as well as energy savings.
The ASTAT XT soft starter’s sophisticated controls enable pumps to avoid overpressure at the end of the acceleration phase, and suppress water hammering at the stopping phase. Its torque controls produce results close to linear speed without tachometer feedback.
The ASTAT XT soft starter’s backlit LCD screen delivers full parameter descriptions in two rows of 16 alphanumeric characters each. The screen displays the selected function and setting and/or monitor values. Arrow keys allow parameters to be selected or changed. Functionality of the multilanguage (English, German, Italian, Spanish) display includes:
• Data readouts that display line voltage, motor current, etc.
• Fault diagnostics such as overload, overvoltage and undercurrent
• Statistical data such as elapsed run time, fault recording, trip event, etc.
• Parameter settings such as acceleration time, starting voltage and motor FLA.
Other features of the ASTAT XT soft starter include Modbus RTU, factory-installed DeviceNet or optional Profibus DP communication networks; inline or inside-delta operation to easily replace Y/D starters, allowing the unit’s rating to be reduced by as much as 1.5 times; and a generator supply to help minimize the negative effects caused by the generator voltage fluctuations during starting.
The ASTAT XT soft starter delivers reliable performance and smooth acceleration for standard ac motors from 8 A to 1,400 A, and 230 V to 690 V.
It offers motor protection with IEC Class 10 or Class 20, and NEMA Class 10, Class 20 and Class 30 overloads. The soft starter is both light-duty and heavy-duty rated with a maximum ambient temperature rating of 50 C.
All ASTAT XT models from 950 A up must be operated with a bypass contactor. Also, the ASTAT XT Soft Start’s built-in bypass terminals allow easy installation of an external bypass contactor. The soft starter has a standard warranty of 18 months and is UL, cUL and CE approved.