A Worlds first for motor control?

06 March 2017

Fairford PLUSS, a patented technology from Fairford Electronics, allows two or more small soft starters to work together to control larger power motors. This is said to result in increased operational life, cost savings and improved system reliability for thousands of soft starter applications.

Soft starters are often used to control the initial voltage to motors for a jerk free start in industrial applications to ensure there is no jump in energy requirement or mechanical stress. In industry alone, 75% of all energy is used by electric motors in applications such as HVAC, chillers and freezers, mixers and pumps, so, according to the company, this technology will enable massive energy reductions.

Fairford PLUSS can also be applied to thyristor-based power controllers such as solid state relays and applications ranging from electrical heating to the control DC link voltages in motor drives.

The system requires soft starters to be joined with a communications cable. The PLUSS software on each soft starter then synchronises each starter to operate alternately on each cycle of the input power. One soft starter takes the load for one half of the cycle and the other soft starter takes over on the rest of the cycle, effectively swopping the load between the two starters up to 100 times a second. The more soft starters are connected with the technology, the greater the load sharing.

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