Guide to motors and starting


Electric motors are deservedly the most popular prime movers for industry and commerce. Compared with other sources of mechanical power, they're inexpensive, compact, reliable and versatile. As a result of this popularity, millions of motors are installed each year and, except for the very tiniest, every one needs a starter. The manufacture of these starters is the basis on which the control gear industry was built, and motor starters are still at the core of almost every control gear supplier's business.
Starters commonly used today, however, differ from their predecessors. Some types, such as the faceplate starter, have disappeared altogether. Other types, such as primary resistance starters, are fast declining in popularity. In addition, asynchronous induction motors are now almost universal, virtually eliminating the need for the specialised starters used by other types of motor. This supplement deals with a wide range of starting techniques for asynchronous motors, an area where Schneider's engineers have unrivalled expertise. The benefits and limitations of various starting methods are explained and, unlike some ostensibly similar publications, the information presented is right up to date - current, useful and practical data is presented in a clear concise form. Your comments on the contents of this supplement are welcome, as are your suggestions for topics which you would like to see covered in future issues.


" The magnetic field rotates once during each complete cycle of the supply current. It by no means covers all aspects of motor starting but. by far. These windings are fed from the three phases of the mains supply which are. For those requiring further information. . as it turns. and to help them in the design of equipment.The scope of this publication 3 Scope Motors – a few basics Principle of operation This supplement has been written to provide engineers. This arrangement produces a rotating magnetic field which. designers and users of motor starters with a brief overview of current techniques to assist in their understanding. Three-phase asynchronous motors are. and the number of pole pairs (p) which the motor uses. the most widely used type. It is this principle of operation which gives rise to the commonly used term "induction motor. it deals with the vast majority of applications likely to be encountered in industry and commerce. offset by 120° . directly related to the supply frequency (f in cycles per second or Hz). itself. themselves. Motors – a few basics The rotating magnetic field A typical motor has three stator or field windings which are arranged at an angle of 120° relative to each other. tends to pull the motor's rotor round with it. which have synchronous speeds of 1500 rpm at 50Hz and 1800 rpm at 60Hz. nevertheless. Motor speed is. under the influence of a magnetic field. The operation of this type of motor relies upon the creation of an induced current in a conductor which is. a short list of sources is included at the end of the supplement. The motor's so-called synchronous speed is given by: Ns (in revolutions per minute) = 60f / p The majority of motors in use are four-pole machines (2 pairs). therefore.

Slip is always expressed as a percentage of the synchronous speed: slip = 100(Ns . the stator is the stationary part of the motor. It is similar to the stator. the stator and the rotor. The rotor is the rotating part of the motor which drives the machine to which it is coupled.squirrel cage and wound. This is why the motor is described as asynchronous. The rotor must.Nn)/ Ns A three-phase asynchronous motor comprises two main components. There are two principle types of rotor . The magnetic coupling of the windings is arranged to give the required number of pole pairs (and thus synchronous speed) of the motor. since it can only generate torque if there is an induced current in the rotor conductors. comprises a number of coils. Together. an induction motor can never run at its synchronous speed. but is made up of a greater number of laminated sections. and consists of a strong casing (usually manufactured from cast-iron or alloy) into which is fixed a ring of laminated silicon steel sections. The laminations are slotted so as to accommodate the stator windings which create the rotating magnetic field. Motor construction As its name suggests. .4 Slip Slip Motor construction In practice. these form a cylinder which is keyed to the motor shaft. rotate slightly more slowly than the field which rotates at synchronous speed. This can only be the case if there is relative movement between the rotor and the rotating magnetic field. therefore. of which there are three in a three-phase motor. The difference between the synchronous speed (Ns) and the actual nominal rotor speed (Nn) is called the slip. Each of the main windings.

A popular variation is the doublecage. If operated continuously at frequencies of 25Hz or less. giving a wide range of control over speed. voltage reductions decrease speed but. and additional forced cooling should be considered. External connections to the rotor windings are made via these slip rings. allowing additional resistance to be added to the rotor circuit during starting.Motor construction Squirrel cage rotors are. but this effect is limited by magnetic saturation in the windings. These vary both the voltage and frequency of the supply to the motor. These conductors are connected together by rings at each end of the rotor. 5 Controlling speed Varying the supply voltage alone is a comparatively ineffective way of controlling the speed of an induction motor. With inverter drives. No external electrical connections can be made to any type of squirrel cage rotor. Wound rotors have windings similar to those used in the stator. and torque is adversely affected. so that their arrangement somewhat resembles a circular squirrel cage. and the other ends are connected to slip rings. from which the assembly gets its name. the cooling provided by the motor's built-in fan is likely to be insufficient. They have straight conductors set into slots around the periphery of the rotor. which has two concentric cages and offers a higher starting torque than single-cage versions. the most common. Controlling speed . Conversely. the range of control is very limited. standard 50Hz motors can be operated successfully over at least the range of supply frequencies from 5 to 50Hz with only a slight loss of operating torque. This enables the motor's starting current and torque to be controlled. Today. Voltage increases raise speed somewhat. One end of each winding is connected to a common (star) point. by far. again. without loss of torque. the most popular method of speed control is the use of a variable frequency (inverter) drive.

or where supply capacity is limited. while still providing high starting torque. allow starting currents of 1. This limitation is examined in more detail in later sections which describe particular starter types. starting currents are generally between 2 and 5 x FLC. Connected directly to the supply. however.6 Starting current If a stationary squirrel cage motor is connected directly to the supply. with voltage variations having comparatively little effect.5 x FLC or less. these motors have typical starting currents of 5 to 8 x FLC. however. With conventional contactor-based starters. Most of the starters described in the remainder of this publication have been developed specifically to limit motor starting current.reduced starting current means reduced starting torque which may. that inverters. it will typically draw a starting current of 5 to 8 times its normal full-load current (FLC). When using soft starters. some means of reducing the starting current becomes necessary. in some applications. be unacceptable. This is usually done by reducing the voltage applied to the motor during starting. For smaller motors. Often. starting currents need to be reduced. It is worth noting. and various forms of starter have been developed to make this possible. Their speed is largely determined by supply frequency. which control both supply frequency and voltage. this is often acceptable. . but for large machines. Starting current Summary Three-phase asynchronous induction motors are the most commonly used type in industry. there is a problem .

the stator windings of the motor are connected directly to the threephase mains supply.Starters Direct-on-line (DOL) starters With this type of starter.5 1 0.50 0. the peak starting current is between 5 and 8 times normal full-load current. Overloads designed to BS EN 60947-4-1 are based on a starting current of 7.50 0.5 Ins tan tan eo us 2 m o to rc ur M ot or r To qu e 1. 1/L1 3/L2 5/L3 7 1 2 3 4 V 4 -F1 U 2 W 6 M 3 Direct-on-line starter diagram Motor current 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Speed 0 0. Typically. and the peak starting torque is between 0.25 0.75 1 Direct-on-line current/speed characteristics Direct-on-line torque/speed curve 5 6 Starters -Q1 1 2 3 4 5 6 -KM1 re nt .25 0. The motor starts and accelerates in a way determined by its own characteristics.75 1 Torque 2.5 times the motor?s nominal operating torque.5 and 1.5 q Tor ue Load Speed 0 0.2 times normal full-load current.

with escalators and lifts When the limitations of DOL starting are not acceptable.8 Although DOL starters offer a number of advantages. so that the starting current surge does not adversely affect other equipment using the same supply • the equipment driven by the motor is fitted with a gearbox or some other device which will soften the mechanical shock produced by the high starting torque • a high starting torque is needed for example. their use is limited to applications where: • low-power motors are being used. the peak starting torque. low cost and high starting torque. and a number of methods have been developed for doing this. the equipment starts against its full mechanical load. it is necessary to use alternative starting techniques which reduce the peak starting current and. The normal approach is to arrange for the motor to be started at reduced voltages. . including simplicity. Starters DOL starters are not suitable when: • the peak starting current would result in a serious voltage drop on the supply system • the equipment being driven cannot tolerate the effects of very high peak torque loadings • the safety or comfort of those using the equipment may be compromised by sudden starting as. therefore. for example. and the supply capacity is high.

the windings must be rated to withstand the full supply voltage when delta-connected. the supply is first applied to the motor with its stator windings star-connected.5 and 6 Curre nt 2.5 2 1. typically.25 0.25 0. its speed stabilises when its developed torque become equal to its load torque. and a special timer is normally used to ensure that there is a period of between 30ms and 50ms between the opening of the star contactor and the closing of the delta contactor. at the point of torque equilibrium.80% of nominal speed. The star contactor is then de-energised.5 times onn ect ion the motor's 1 nominal operating Speed torque.6 times the in de lt a 5 co normal full-load nn ec current. This allows time for any switching arcs to be extinguished.75 1 On starting. With stardelta starting. 0 0.50 Star-delta starting torque/speed characteristics Star-delta starters Star-delta starter 1/L1 3/L2 5/L3 n tio ct) ire (d Star-delta starting current/speed characteristics -Q1 2 4 6 1 3 5 1 -KM2 2 4 6 -KM3 2 U1 2 V1 4 W1 6 1 3 4 3 The run-up time with the windings star-connected is controlled by a timer which. The transition time from star to delta is also important. and the motor adopts its normal operating characteristics.Star-delta starters This type of starter may only be used where access is possible to both ends of all three stator windings.5 Tor q u e i n de lt a r sta e Tor q u e in qu tor d a Lo (d i re ct ) Speed 0. can be adjusted from 0 to 30 seconds. This timer is adjusted during commissioning to ensure that the star-delta changeover occurs. M1 3 W2 U2 V2 -F2 2 4 6 5 . -KM1 5 1 3 6 2 4 6 5 Torque 9 2. This usually happens at about 75% .75 1 0 0. In addition. Each winding is now fed with the full supply voltage. and the delta contactor energised to deltaconnect the stator windings. As the motor accelerates.2 and 0. and the 4 peak starting 3 torque is between Current in 2 star c 0. the peak starting current current is typically 7 between 1.50 0.5 1 0. as closely as possible.

One solution is to introduce a delay of 1 to 2 seconds during the star-todelta transition. Once the motor has run up and its speed has stabilised.75 times nominal operating torque. Typically. the resistance bank is shorted out. To avoid too large a speed drop during the transition. Unlike star-delta starters. This changeover is normally controlled by an adjustable timer within the starter. Primary resistance starters Starters of this type start the motor at reduced voltage by connecting a resistance bank in series with the motor windings. Primary resistance starters Values of starting current and torque are determined by the values of the resistors used.5 times nominal full-load current. this method can only be used with low-inertia loads. however. the peak starting current will be around 4. this transient must be taken into account in the selection of the device. or which normally start off-load. some form of current limiting may be necessary. If a magnetic shortcircuit protective device is to be used in the starter. particularly for larger motors. during the star-to-delta transition. and the motor becomes direct-connected. however. It is also important to note that. in order to prevent nuisance tripping. . a high transient current is generated. Star-delta starters are particularly suited to machines which do not present a high load torque at start-up.10 Star-delta starters Although the transient produced at the star-delta transition is very brief. and peak starting torque will be around 0. the current can be quite large and. primary resistance starters do not require access to both ends of the stator windings.

ep st To r q u e on te .5 sistance (d i t re ou th wi Primary resistance starters 1 0.5 qu n e on 2 d.25 0.25 0.50 0. s sis tep ta wi nc th e( re si s d ir e ta nc e R1 R3 RV -KM11 RU 2 4 2 R6 R5 1 3 5 R2 R4 R6 Speed 0 0.75 1 M 3 W U V Torque Primary resistance starter 2.50 0. since this also reduces starting torque. but this can be reduced by increasing the resistor values.s 1 st pw ith resistance Load Torq ue Speed 0.s te p wi th o ut -F1 2 4 6 4 3 2 1 on 1s re t. A possible disadvantage is the high peak current at the instant of starting.5 0 Primary resistance starters are especially suitable for applications. Care must be taken. where the load torque increases with speed. however.75 1 Primary resistance starting torque/speed characteristics . 2 To r ct) re 1. such as ventilator fans.1L1 3L2 5L3 Primary resistance starting current/speed characteristics Torque 7 11 -Q1 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 5 Cu rr en -KM1 1 2 3 4 5 6 Cur r ent to n2 nd .

0.25 0. and the line contactor is closed. step n Load Torque 0 0. and the auto-transformer acts as an inductor connected in series with the motor.Current 12 Auto-transformer starters In auto-transformer starters. This peak can be minimised by careful design of the auto-transformer.85 times nominal operating torque. largely because of the cost of the autotransformer itself. the motor is started at reduced voltage which is supplied from an auto-transformer. This transition is normally timed to occur when the motor speed has stabilised at the end of the run-up period.50 0.75 1 Auto-transformer starting torque/speed characteristics 5 6 W2 2 U2 4 V2 5 . 1 3 1. In the second stage.25 0. Typical values for peak starting current are 1. These starters may also produce a Auto-transformer starter current peak at the instant when the motor is switched directly to the Torque supply. This starts the motor with a reduced voltage.5 Tor q p ste ue o n 2 n d. Auto-transformers are normally provided with taps to allow the best ratio to be chosen during commissioning. The starting sequence has three stages.5 Tor q 1 0. so that the motor is direct-connected to the supply. and involves shunting the transformer completely. ue o 1st. the value of which depends upon the ratio selected for the transformer. but tends to be an expensive 3 solution. -KM3 2 4 2 -KM2 U1 2 W1 2 -T1 U3 V3 W3 W U V Auto-transformer starting is particularly used for large M -KM1 motors (above 100kW). for peak starting torque. The third stage then follows almost immediately.75 1/L1 3/L2 Speed 1 Auto-transformer starting current/speed characteristics 5/L3 -Q1 1 2 3 4 4 3 -F1 2 6 5 1 5 6 1 3 V1 2 The starting current and torque are reduced as a function of the reduced starting and run-up voltages (Usupply/Ustarting) 2.50 0. During the first stage.7 to 4 times nominal full-load current and. the auto-transformer is starconnected. the star connection is opened.5 increasing the peak current at the commencement of 2 the first stage of the starting sequence. 7 Cur ren tw it h ou ta uto 5 -tr an s Cu r r e n t o n 1 2 4 sd n t. st ep 6 er rm fo c t) ire (d 3 Current o n 1st 2 1 . ste p Auto-transformer starters 0 0.5 to 0. but only at the expense of 2.

25 .and. it is possible to control the starting voltage and. the starting current. It provides: 13 Electronic soft starters The steadily increasing supply voltage for the motor during starting is produced by a thyristor bridge which. has two thyristors connected back-toback.during starting and stopping.75 VN 1. Note that. each set of thyristors.25 0.75 VN 1.50 0. in each phase.50 0. soft starters do not vary the frequency of the supply to the motor. therefore. by eliminating sudden changes in current . By varying the firing angle of Electronic “soft starter” current/speed and torque/speed characteristics TdB 1 TdC 2. The detailed design of soft starters varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Soft starters operate by gradually increasing the voltage applied to the motor. This technique eliminates sudden changes in voltage which could produce peaks in both starting current and torque. This is fitted with a six-thyristor power-switching bridge which allows complete control over the starting and stopping of a threephase squirrel-cage motor. but a representative unit is the Telemecanique Altistart 46.5 2 M 3 Note: = firing angle of thymistors TdA TN 2 TA TB TC 3 0 0.Electronic soft starters This relatively recently introduced form of starter is rapidly growing in popularity. smooth acceleration. unlike inverter drives.25 0. torque . Electronic “soft starter” 1A lB lC 5 1 4 1 ATS 2 2 IN 0 0.25 • control of the acceleration and deceleration ramps of the motor in such a way as to keep within all required limits on current and torque • thermal overload protection for itself. hence. so as to produce steady. and for the motor which it is controlling • mechanical protection for the machine being driven.

the protective devices of units rated at 18. The Telemecanique Altistart may be bypassed by a contactor at the end of the acceleration ramp. however.5kW/415V and above remain operational. and braking to a complete stop. thus protecting both the starter and the motor. corresponding to a range of starting torques from 0.1 to 0. the contactor being controlled by a contact provided for this purpose. Electronic soft starters .7 times the starting torque which would be produced if the motor were started with a DOL starter. For smaller units. Other features which can be provided by soft starters include controlled deceleration. Even with the starter bypassed. a separate thermal overload is required. This will avoid thyristor heating and losses which occur during normal running. This type of starter may be used with any asynchronous motor.14 The peak starting current may be adjusted between 2 and 5 times nominal full-load current.

om e t) re sis to rs ) -F1 2 4 6 W U V ste p ( a ll r e sis tors ) Speed 0 0. Various sections of the resistance bank are then shorted out progressively until. as in primary resistance starters). the motor is started with a resistance bank connected in series with the rotor windings (NOT the stator windings. st -R1A -R1B -R1C ep 1 0.5 2 4 6 ( al l re sis to rs ) Speed 0 0. Instead.s te p (n o re sis -Q1 2 4 6 1 3 5 to 2n d.25 0.Rotor resistance starters Starters of this type can only be used with motors having a wound rotor to which external connections can be made.75 1 . 2 A1 B1 C1 re s 1. usually via slip rings.75 1 M 3 M K A2 B2 1 3 5 C2 -R2A -R2B R2C Torque 2.5 1 3 5 -KM11 Torq ue isto on 1 st rs) . s rs.5 qu Tor e on 2 n rque wi To Rotor resistance starting torque/speed characteristics rs) esiso ut r tho L -KM12 2 4 6 me so p( ste d. at start-up.50 0.50 0. tep d ir (s ec -KM1 1 2 3 4 5 6 Current o n 1st. there is maximum resistance in the rotor circuit.25 0. This type of motor cannot be started direct on line because the peak starting current at the instant that the supply is connected would be far too high. The starter is designed so that. no resistance remains and the rotor windings are simply star-connected. during normal running. Rotor resistance starting current/speed characteristics Current 7 6 1/L1 3/L2 5/L3 15 Rotor resistance starters Rotor resistance starter Cu rre nt on 3rd 5 4 3 2 1 Curr ent on .

Further. A starting torque of twice normal full-load current.16 Rotor resistance Summary For this type of motor. therefore.5 x nominal torque during starting. The following table summarises the main characteristics for the most popular forms of starter. ideal for high-inertia loads which need to be started onload. . each of which has slightly different characteristics. This is much better than a DOL starter. but where the peak current taken from the supply must be limited. Many starting methods are available. the torque is virtually proportional to motor current. The principle objective of all methods of motor starting is to match the torque characteristics to those of the mechanical load. therefore. Slip-ring motors starters with rotor resistance starters are. while ensuring that the peak current requirements do not exceed the capacity of the supply. produces a starting torque which is twice the nominal operating torque. where 6 x full-load current produces only 1. the values of the resistances and the number of stages can be calculated so as to match the motor characteristics to those of the application.

limit DOL starting to a maximum motor rating. use the table to choose an alternative method of starting. handle the peak starting torque produced. • The installation will normally be fed Be particularly careful to ensure from a stepdown power that the starting torque produced transformer. circuit breaker trip on the highvoltage (primary) side of the transformer. determine satisfied. and the user will need taken. Check that the peak by the method of starting chosen starting current will not initiate a is adequate for the application. Selecting a starter . provided it would draw if started that the mechanical load can direct-on-line. The Regional larger cables or selecting a Electricity Company will normally starting method other than DOL. • Check that this peak starting current is within the capacity of • If any of the conditions are not the supply. the following procedure should be used: 17 • The power for the machine • Check that the supply line will not installation will normally be introduce unacceptable voltage supplied by the Regional Electricity drops when the peak current is Company. If this is a problem. satisfied. DOL starting will provide the peak starting current which an economical solution. If the motor is below • If the above conditions are all the DOL starting limit.Selecting a starter When choosing a starter for a particular application. the to comply with any local choice lies between installing regulations.

were popular for applications requiring multi-speed operation. . Only motors with pole-changing facilities. but even these types could only operate at one of a number of fixed speeds. these methods are fast becoming obsolete as they are replaced by inverter systems. strictly. Speed regulation of While various methods of speed control are possible. which use only conventional components such as contactors and resistors. Inverter technology is so successful that AC inverter drives are now being adopted for many applications where.18 Speed regulation of asynchronous motors While speed regulation. This supplement will. with their inherent ease of speed control. For many years. and those with separate windings. in the past. asynchronous motors This situation changed dramatically with the introduction of frequency inverters which allow the running speeds of standard motors to be accurately controlled over a wide range. therefore. only DC machines. goes a little beyond motor starting. deal principally with speed control by inverter. would have been suitable. the two subjects are so closely related that a brief discussion of speed regulation is included here for the sake of completeness. the scope for varying the running speed of asynchronous motors was rather restricted.

the stepless motor speed variation is possible over a wide range. This provides the system with a high-voltage DC source which is then switched by the output power bridge to produce a pulse train made up of precisely controlled long and short pulses. Reservoir capacitor W V U M 3 Bridge rectifier Transistor output power bridge Main circuit of a frequency inverter . its torque can be maintained over a wide speed range. By retaining the correct voltage/frequency ratio in the supply to the motor. asynchronous motors The AC supply (single or three phase) to the inverter is rectified by a full-wave diode bridge. It operates by using a technique called pulse-width modulation (PWM) to synthesise a sinusoidal waveform. The train of pulses produces a sinusoidal current in the motor. that is used to supply the motor. the voltage and frequency of which can be accurately controlled.The frequency inverter drive 19 Speed Inverter drive operation regulation of This type of drive is intended mainly for use with three-phase squirrel cage motors. and is used to charge the main reservoir capacitors. Since the synthesised supply waveform is very close to sinusoidal. By varying the frequency of the supply to the motor. smooth motor rotation is achieved even at low speeds. the frequency of which can be varied.

fans.6 to 0.5 Tn On or off Star-delta starting 1.20 Summary of characteristics of various starting methods Squirrel cage motors Direct-on-line starting Peak starting Current Peak starting torque Control 4 to 8 In 0. economic starter • Good starting torque/current performance • Possibility of adjusting starting parameters • No break in supply to motor during starting • Good reduction in peak transient currents Disadvantages • Very high starting current and torque • Supply must withstand peak current • Mechanically harsh starting sequence • Low starting torque • Non-adjustable starting parameters • Break in supply to motor leads to severe transient peak current 3 to 7 seconds • Small reduction in peak current • Resistance bank required Run-up time 2 to 3 seconds 7 to 12 seconds Typical applications • Small machines may often be started on full-load • Machines starting on no-load (small centrifugal pumps.6 In 0.5 In 0. etc.2 to 0.3 to 2.) • High inertia machines with normal starting current/torque characteristics .85 Tn 1 fixed step Economic and rugged squirrel cage motor Advantages • Simple starter • Low cost • High starting torque • Simple.6 to 1.5 Tn On or off Primary resistance starting 4.

21 Slip-ring motors Auto-transformer starting 1.8 In for 200 ms 1. 0. where smooth run-up is required.1 to 0.7 Tn Gradual Variable speed drives 1.) .7 Tn Variable Rotor resistance starting <2.) 0. fans. etc.4 to 0. etc.85 Tn 3 fixed step Electronic “soft-starting” Adjustable.7 to 4 In 0. 1 to 60 seconds • Machines requiring very smooth starting (centrifugal pumps and fans. etc. • High inertia machines where a reduction of starting current/torque is required • All machines where speed needs to be varied to improve production and reduce mechanical wear • Machines where energy can be saved by reducing speed (centrifugal pumps.1 to 999 seconds • 3-step : 2.5s • 4 and 5 step : 5s • Machines starting on-load.5 In <2.5 Tn 1 to 5 fixed steps • Good starting torque/current performance • Possibility of adjusting starting parameters • No break in supply to motor during starting • Parameters are fully adjusted during commissioning • Compact • Solid state • Easily adapted to the application • Parameters are fully adjusted during commissioning • Compact • Solid state • Easily adapted to the application • Infinitely variable speed • In-built motor protection • Low starting current • Can cause interference on the supply • Relatively expensive compared to direct-on-line • Good starting torque/current performance • Possibility of adjusting starting parameters • No break in supply to motor during starting • Expensive autotransformer required • Not tolerant to supply line transients • Can cause interference on the supply during starting and stopping • Expensive slip-ring motor required • Resistance bank required 7 to 12 seconds Adjustable. conveyors. 2 In to 5 In Adjustable.

) drives are available for four-quadrant operation. mechanical handling. Inverter drive applications . This protects both the motor and the drive. and they often include a braking facility. For applications where overhauling loads may be encountered (hoists. These can control both forward and reverse (hoist and lower) operations. including those requiring very high torques.22 Inverter drive applications Frequency inverter drives are very easy to use with standard squirrel cage motors. Inverter drives almost invariably incorporate electronic protection against thermal overloads and short circuits. etc. Their torque capabilities allow their use with all types of load. Many drives also incorporate communications capabilities which facilitate their integration into automated systems.

. The torque produced by an asynchronous motor is proportional to the square of the supply voltage.23 Variable-voltage controllers An alternative to inverter drives. As they are much less versatile than frequency inverters. which occur when asynchronous motors are operated under highslip/low-speed conditions. these units offer another method of achieving motor speed control electronically. they are now declining in popularity. controllers Summary The availability of inverter drives has made variable speed operation for asynchronous motors increasingly popular. however. Variable voltage The principle of operation in this type of controller is to vary only the voltage applied to the motor. The motor supply voltage is usually controlled by varying the firing angle of a pair of backto-back thyristors in each phase of the supply. The use of variable-voltage controllers is limited by the high losses in the rotor. These drives are most suitable for motors with ratings of 3kW or less. While other methods of speed control are available. none offers the versatility and performance of frequency inverters. This type of drive operates by regulating the voltage such that the torque produced just balances the load torque at the speed required.

to design a suitable starter. for more complex applications. but designers are also encouraged to talk to their suppliers. There is no better way to keep up-to-date than to talk to an expert supplier which has a strong focus in the control gear market. . and it is intended as an aid to choosing the best starting technique for a particular application. if it is a simple standard type or. perhaps even more important. the next step is either to select an off-the-shelf starter. With the starter type decided. new standards and regulations are imposing new duties and responsibilities on designers. Starters by design Design guidelines for popular starter types are readily found in the literature available from control gear suppliers. Products and methods are constantly evolving and.24 Starters by design This supplement has dealt with the general principles of motor starting.

25 Further information In this short supplement. Further information is. Practical Aspects of Industrial Control Technology This comprehensive and up-to-date 290-page hardback publication is available for purchase from Telemecanique. Power control and protection components This contains technical details and characteristics of motor starting components necessary for the starting methods described in this supplement. It provides proven design and application information covering both electric and electronic products for industry. These publications are available from: Telemecanique University of Warwick Science Park Sir William Lyons Road Coventry CV4 7EZ Tel: (01203) 416255 Further information . a brand of the Schneider group. and it has substantial sections dealing with motor starting and control. however. readily available. is has not been possible to do more than discuss briefly the most popular methods of starting and motor speed control. Telemecanique. offers two invaluable publications which are particularly relevant. GSUK 0244 MAR 98 .schneider.Schneider Limited University of Warwick Science Park Sir William Lyons Road Coventry CV4 7EZ Tel: 01203 416255 Fax: 01203 690209 Internet address: http://www.