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 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 an 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.