Soft Start (Reduced Voltage Motor Starter)
A motor soft starter is a device used with AC electrical motors to temporarily reduce the load and torque in the power train and electric current surge of the motor during start-up. This reduces the mechanical stress on the motor and shaft, as well as the electrodynamic stresses on the attached power cables and electrical distribution network, extending the lifespan of the system. Soft starters can be set up to the requirements of the individual application. In pump applications, a soft start can avoid pressure surges. Conveyor belt systems can be smoothly started, avoiding jerk and stress on drive components. Fans or other systems with belt drives can be started slowly to avoid belt slipping. Soft starts are seen in electrical R/C helicopters, and allow the rotor blades to spool-up in a smooth, controlled manner rather than a sudden surge. In all systems, a soft start limits the inrush current and so improves stability of the power supply and reduces transient voltage drops that may affect other loads.