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Softstarter is ‘first’ with pump-cleaning functions

22 April, 2015

At the 2015 Hannover Fair, ABB unveiled a range of softstarters which, it claims, are the first in the world with a built-in pump-cleaning function designed to protect pumps from clogging, overheating and water hammer. It says that the function, built into the new PSTX softstarters, will increase the lifetime and reliability of pumps and associated equipment.

Previously such pump-cleaning functions have been available only in variable-speed drives.

“A wastewater pump can experience clogging, which will reduce the flow and efficiency of the whole pump system,” explains Morten Wierod, managing director of ABB’s control products business. “The PSTX softstarter offers continuous water flow to households and industrial applications as the built-in pump cleaning will help avoid pump jamming and water hammering. We added a pump-clearing feature that can reverse pump flow to loosen up clogging increasing uptime of any pump system.”

The new softstarters are also designed to protect motors from power supply and load irregularities, thus extending their operating lives. “PSTX is able to detect both load and network irregularities and can make diagnostics of the quality of the network,” says Wierod. “It can also assess the time needed for a motor to cool down.”

ABB's new softstarters are designed to extend the lives of pump motors

A motor heating function can keep an idle motor warm and dry in cold or humid environments, thus preventing it from freezing. The PSTX, which is aimed at low-voltage motors with operating currents from 30–570A, can also reduce starting currents by more than 60%, even when fast starts are needed – for example, on scroll compressors. 

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