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What Is A Soft Starter – Characteristics, Advantages, Use, And More

In the electrical field, one of the general terms that can appear is a soft starter, which still confuses even the most experienced electricians in the market. It is because, with the advancement of technology, it was necessary to create specific devices that contain embedded microcontrollers. And it is within this need that the soft starter originated and has its essential use.

But if you still don’t know it or can’t differentiate it correctly, don’t worry because we’ve gathered all the preliminary information on the subject to answer and end doubts once and for all. Find out below what a soft starter is, why to use it on your devices, and its benefits.

What Is A Soft Starter

A soft starter is an electronic device with thyristor bridges (SCRs) that will activate through an electronic circuit. These soft starters will intend to control the starting voltages of motors, as well as their de-energization. That is, they are responsible for increasing the life of an engine by ensuring that it has a type of protection to avoid electrical stress by optimizing the starting current.

The soft starter also contains a bypass counter and a form of protection against possible overloads, ensuring that the electronic device can last for a long time.

Meanwhile another positive point of this device is its easy installation, which reduces the time for assembling the motor and its start-up.

How Do Soft Starters Work?

As its name implies, the soft starter is an electronic device that will develop to smooth the energizing and de-energizing of the motor by replacing the traditional modes of connection, such as star-delta, as well as direct start and compensating switches. By smoothing the motor’s starting and stopping, the soft-starter can also limit the inrush current and avoid current spikes, making possible more excellent protection of the system.

For this starting and stopping to become smooth, it will be necessary to have a reduced starting torque, which will occur through control of the voltage applied to the motor.

These basic requirements for smoothing the motor starting and stopping can only occur when using a voltage regulator, a thyristor bridge (SCRs), and an engine control unit (ECU). But, to bring more practicality to the assemblers, the soft starter is composed of all these elements mentioned, thus allowing the motor assembly to do more quickly. In this way, it is enough to use the soft starter instead of looking for three different elements and implementing the three different.

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The Characteristics Of The Components Of A Soft-Starter

Acceleration and deceleration ramps: the soft starter switches have functions activated by controlling the firing angle of the SCRs, resulting in an effective and gradual output voltage. While for deceleration, can the motor stop in a controlled or inertia way?

Pump control is the characteristic used to apply starts in specific pumping systems.

Kick start: The soft starter will apply a higher voltage to the motor, so there is no more significant effort in triggering the starting loads.

Current Limiting: The soft starter can limit electrical currents by allowing only the current necessary to accelerate the motor load to flow.


More current is needed to use it. There is an example related to this which is that it is useful in cleaning dust. Companies have poor fans in air scrubbers or dust collectors. They also have power, so collecting any dust makes work easier

The Advantages Of Using The Soft Starter In Motors

In addition to the benefits mentioned above (such as its easy installation, more excellent protection for the motor, and smoother starting and stopping), using a starter on your engine can bring other valuable advantages to it, such as:

  • Good energy savings
  • Lower starting current
  • Lower levels of stress on the engine and also on the network
  • Less mechanical wear and tear on the equipment used
  • Overcurrent, undercurrent, and phase loss protection
  • Starting voltage adjustments over a period
  • Electronic start, allowing the current to perform better than the others
  • Voltage pulse inside the starter for loads with a high starting torque
  • analog output
  • HMI
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The Correct Way To Use A Soft Starter In Motors

As it can replace conventional starters (such as compensating switches, star-delta, and direct starters, for example), the starter is an electronic device find in induction motor starters. In addition, cage-type alternating current (AC) can also replace the starting point.

But in addition to the functions mentioned above, other applications of this type of electronic device can be in crushers, air and refrigeration compressors, blowers, fans, grinders, extractors, planes, saws, etc.


The soft starter is an electronic device created to protect motors by controlling their starting voltages and de-energizing, allowing the engine to have a longer life than usual. For this, there will be protected against electrical stress by optimizing the inrush currents. It can only perform these protections by triggering thyristor bridges (SCRs) in an electronic circuit. In addition, the soft starter also has a bypass counter and overload protection.

To provide this protection, the soft starter will smooth the energization as well as de-energization of the motor by being able to perform substitution of traditional starting modes. It also replaces the direct start and compensating switch.

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