AC drives are very commonly used as they are highly versatile and can be used in almost all the applications. While they do cater to a wide range of applications, it doesn’t mean that they are always easy to install and use. In this post, we’ll have a look at what makes soft starter panels better than AC drives.

The ability of AC drives to work in almost every application has made it a go-to option in the industry. Even if soft starters are ideal for an application, people usually prefer using AC drives. However, this doesn’t certainly mean that AC drives are always easy to install and use.

There are several benefits offered by soft starters which make them an ideal choice for several applications. However, there are three advantages which make them a much better option Let us have a look at what makes these panel a better choice as compared to AC drives.

Cost Savings

Soft starters can offer significant cost savings in many different ways. For instance, these panels feature SCRs (Silicon-Controlled Rectifiers) which are connected to the motor’s AC input line. If we talk about AC drives, they feature several components, like DC bus, diode front end, IGBTs, etc. The more the number of components, the higher will be the cost of running the system efficiently.

Volume Savings

Another important benefit offered by soft starter panels is the volume and physical size savings. Apart from higher cost, the components of AC drive also take up more space. Usually, AC drives are known to occupy almost 400% more space as compared soft starters of the same current. For instance, the width of a 45mm soft starter is far narrower than the width of an AC drive of the same current. The space savings can be highly beneficial for facilities with limited space.

Energy Savings

The soft panels are known to achieve an efficiency of up to 99.4% to 99.9%. Their efficiency of depends on their size and the 3-phase voltage applied. When the starting process of the soft panel is completed, panels with bypass pull the internal contactor, and the current start flowing through the contactor and SCRs are no longer required to function. This significantly increases the efficiency of these panels and reduces the power consumption.

As compared to the purged panels, the efficiency of AC drives ranges between 95% and 98%. This is because, right from the start up, to the running and stopping, components like IGBTs work throughout the process.

While there are a number of benefits offered by soft starters, it is very important to check the characteristics of the application as these panels cannot be used for every application. Some of the most important considerations include the speed control, torque requirements and power distribution. Ensure that these characteristics are thoroughly checked before you go for these. Lastly, choose a company that is known for offering quality products. Most importantly, the panels manufacturer you choose should be able to give you customized solutions as per your specific requirements.