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Gibbons jargon buster #14: What is a soft starter?

It’s time for another of our jargon-busting blogs explaining some of the phrases we use in our industry. Today we ask “what is a soft starter?”

When an AC electric motor starts, it generates much more torque than it needs to run at full speed. Once the motor is running, this extra force has to go somewhere, which can result in the motor overheating as well as excessive wear and early failure of driven components such as chains, belts, gears and seals. The sudden, rapid acceleration also has a huge impact on electricity supply charges, with high inrush currents drawing many times the normal run current. The solution to this problem? A soft starter.

A soft starter is a device that protects AC electric motors from damage caused by sudden inrushes of power. Soft starters allow a smooth climb up to full speed and are used only at start-up (and stop, if equipped). They are usually fitted with timers to switch the current back to normal level once the motor is running.

Here at Gibbons we offer selection, supply and installation of soft starters for various applications, covering motor currents from 30A to 1,810A. Find out more by calling us on 01621 868138 or you can email and we’ll get right back to you.

Electric Motors

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