SMARTStart | DC Motor Starter

The TCL SMARTStart system for gas turbine DC starter motors is designed to address the issue of ageing starter systems which rely on electro-mechanical timers and DC contactors. Over time and continued operation these electrical devices become unreliable and spare parts are increasingly difficult to source; particularly those requiring 120Vdc operating voltages.

The electro-mechanical contactors control the motor speed by switching resistors in and out, which results in:

  • Start fails due to current peaks and an absence of feedback regulation.
  • Reduced components life due to electric stress.

The Solution

The SMARTStart System uses solid-state components to control the current through the starter to provide a more progressive increase in current (soft start). This greatly reduces the stresses on the starter motor, increasing life and reliability.

The SMARTStart System includes an integrated micro-controller to provide:

  • Programmable current profile during start up.
  • System diagnostics, to detect starter motor faults.
  • Interface with existing control system via hardwired inputs and outputs.
  • Serial communications interface, via an ethernet port.

The system comes with a choice of either a wall mount or floor mounted panel, both of which have a greatly reduced footprint when compared to typical electrical contactor systems. The panel is designed to minimise Installation and commissioning time which can typically be completed in one day.

To provide an operator interface with the equipment a HMI is mounted on the front panel, providing the following features:

  • Viewing of system parameters.
  • Adjustment of setpoints, ramp rates etc.

The SMARTStart System provides a reliable and cost-effective solution for gas turbine DC starter systems, increasing starter motor life and improving system reliability.



Triaxial seismic qualification test programme in accordance with IEEE 344-2013, Recommended Practice for Seismic Qualification of Class 1E Equipment for Nuclear Power Generating Stations.

EMC Tests:

  • Emissions:
    • CISPR 16-2-3:2006 – Radiated Emissions
    • CISPR 16-2-1:2008 – Conducted Emissions
    • CISPR 22:2008 – Telecommunication Ports Common Mode Emissions
  • Temperature tests:
      • In accordance with BS EN 60068-2-1, Low Temperature.
      • Operation of equipment at -5°C
      • In accordance with BS EN 60068 2-2 test Bd.
      • Operation of equipment at 55°C
  • Immunity:
    • EN 61000-4-2:2009 – Electrostatic Discharge Immunity
    • EN 61000-4-3:2006 +A1:2008 +A2:2010 – Radiated RF Immunity
    • EN 61000-4-4:2012 – Electrical Fast Transients Immunity
    • EN 61000-4-5:2014 – Voltage Surge Immunity
    • EN 61000-4-6:2014 – Conducted RF Immunity
    • EN 61000-4-8:2010 – Power Frequency Magnetic Field Immunity
    • EN 61000-4-9: 1993 + A1:2001 – Pulse Magnetic Field Immunity
    • EN 61000-4-11:2004 – Voltage Dips and Short Interruptions Immunity
    • EN 61000-4-16:1998 + A2:2011 Conducted Common Mode Disturbances Immunity

Inside View
Inside View Close
External Isolator
Pulse Width Modulated Start Cycle