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Using EasyStart in Applications Other Than Air Conditioning

Concepts expressed in this article are intended to provide information and guidance for applications that are not typically supported by Micro-Air. This information is intended for OEM's, and volume suppliers of single-phase motor driven products and not for single use applications.

EasyStart can be used for non-air conditioning purposes but there are many technical considerations. These applications require your understanding of the nature of the operation for the motor you are trying to adapt. This document describes some of those systems and the considerations for adapting EasyStart.

Motors used with EasyStart must be single phase, AC line operated, and CSCR (capacitor start, capacitor run) motors. We have adapted some CSIR (capacitor start inductive run) motors but EasyStart will not work on ISIR (inductive start, indictive run) motors. Motors with stages such as two speed compressor motors, work fine with EasyStart. Multiple motors in a single application each require its own EasyStart. EasyStart also requires a motor with at least 3 amps RLA.

EasyStart works best with air conditioning systems because they use an orifice to equalize refrigerant pressure. This means the motor starts unloaded and uses the start surge just to spin the motor up to speed quickly. Since the system builds pressure slowly, EasyStart controls the start time to reduce the start surge. It optimizes motor start characteristics to provide the best low current start.

Starting unloaded is the first requirement for using EasyStart on a different motor. Some refrigerant based systems use expansion valves that hold pressure against the compressor so the motor starts with a load. This can include ice makers, refrigerators, freezers, soft serve machines, water ice machines, and more. These systems require the full starting torque of the motor to be used against the held pressure so current cannot be reduced. A bleed port or bypass valve could be added in these systems if it would not adversely affect the operation. We recommend contacting the OEM for the system before making such modifications.

EasyStart connects directly to the windings of the motor to control it. This means applications like completely contained submersible pumps or well pumps cannot be adapted. Some well pumps do have capacitors mounted above ground, so these systems can be adapted to use EasyStart. Micro-Air has adapted washdown pump motors, RO pumps, and dive pumps successfully with some engineering work we've been hired for by the manufacturer/end user.

EasyStart will only allow a certain amount of time to occur before declaring a start to have failed. An adaptable motor will have a typical start occur in less than 300mS. We measure these at Micro-Air using a current probe and an oscilloscope. If you are not certain about your application start times, we recommend using that method to be sure EasyStart works for you.

Customers often ask about the possibility of using EasyStart with an air compressor. Many air compressors have an unloader valve which would seem to meet the requirement of starting unloaded but that's not the only requirement. Many such compressors also use a design that includes a large flywheel. That design creates a long startup time and mass for the motor to move during the start. The energy required to move the mass often requires the full motor starting torque, making it impossible to reduce the starting surge. Still we have succeeded on installing EasyStart to a few air compressors. The current reduction can be lower though because of the starting energy required.

Connecting EasyStart requires that you can identify the run winding from the start winding in the motors. Installers should have an internal schematic of the motor in order to make the correct connections. The run winding is always connected directly across the AC line in operation and the start winding is connected through a run capacitor. Any start circuitry such as a PTCR, hard start, start relay, or centrifugal switch will need to be disconnected for EasyStart to operate properly.

Connections for EasyStart are:
  • Black: Connect to AC Line HOT or L1.
  • White: Connect to AC line neutral or L2.
  • Brown: Connect directly to run winding and nothing else. The other side or end of this winding should connect to line hot or L1.
  • Orange: Connect to start winding side of run capacitor.

Can Micro-Air help?
Custom wiring diagrams, modifications, and engineering are time consuming and expensive. Micro-Air cannot provide assistance for adapting single use applications outside of standard air conditioning systems.

Manufacturers and volume users can submit a sample of their requested electrical application for our evaluation and pricing for engineering and manufacture of an optimized solution for them. Low priced adaptations may be available for certain applications in which we have some experience. You can always contact us with a request.