Medium voltage soft starters play a big role in two major water pumping contracts throughout the Middle East as part of long term infrastructure developments.
1.3MW soft starters are being used in five giant irrigation pumps in a huge development scheme by the Ministry of Water agricultural in northern Iraq, and six 3.3MW units for foul water booster pumps in Egypt’s El-Abour Sanitation Project.
“Reliable food production and sanitation are absolutely fundamental for large scale economic development,” says Stuart Harvey, Managing Director of Softstart UK. “We are helping put in systems with life expectancies of 25-50 years, from which whole generations of people will benefit enormously as they build a modern, sustainable and secure standard of living.” All the soft starts will be certified by Lloyds before dispatch from the UK and are due for installation and commissioning in September and October. The Iraqi units are fitted with load brake disconnects and fuses and line and bypass vacuum contactors, while the Egyptian ones also have load brake earth switches and power factor correction.
A soft start briefly reduces the load and torque in an electric motor during startup. This contains the mechanical and electrodynamics stresses on the motor and associated equipment to prevent surges and spikes resonating through the electrical distribution network. It also cuts shock loads in the driven mechanical equipment, while in water distribution pipework, a soft start will reduce pressure surges and air entrapment which in large systems can lead to devastating water hammer effects.