Star-Delta Starter Adaption for The Internet Of Things

Star-Delta Starters are used to start larger ac induction motors used in industries, such as Manufacturing and Marine.

Like ‘Direct Online’ (DOL) starters, which are also used for ac induction motors starting (though smaller, lower current motors), Star-Delta starters only turn the motor on and off at a single speed.

With the growth in the internet of things, industries, such as Mining and Marine (who use Star-Delta starter systems) need to consider how to keep their business efficiency as good as their competitors.

Competitors are always seeking a competitive advantage. This can be achieved through cost and efficiency savings, and IOT (Internet of Things) connectivity allows close monitoring of system processes, and so-called ‘machine learning’.

In the case of a Star-Delta motor starter, their area number of outputs that we may wish to measure using sensors.

Firstly, the current being drawn by the Star-Delta starter. This includes both the starting (or Inrush) current, and the FLC (Full Load Current).

Monitoring of the Full Load Current (FLC) for example is useful because an increase in current been drawn through a phase might be due to a break in one of the other phases. This causes what is known as ‘Single Phasing’ to occur.

Single Phasing can potentially damage both the motor windings and cabling from the starter to the motor, due to the current doubling in the two phases still connected.

The motor windings, for example, would not be designed to handle the excess current flowing through the two (still) connected ones, potentially causing damage, expense, and downtime.

The Star-Delta Starter normally has a current limiting device installed, called an Over Current Relay (OCR).

There are three types of OCR, Electronic, Magnetic, and Thermal.

The OCR will detect higher than normal currents, caused for example by ‘Single Phasing’.

When single phasing is detected by the OCR, it will disconnect the three-phase supply going to the induction motor (after a short delay, dependent on overcurrent size).

To be continued………

(c) 2016 Craig Miles

Induction Motor

Star-Delta Starter

Star-Delta (or Wye-Delta)  starter is used in electrical engineering to start larger three phase motors, typically over 4 KW (5 HP).

The Star-Delta starter is chosen, rather than the cheaper D.O.L (Direct On Line) for larger motors, because when a motor is started a surge current is generated for a short initial period. This surge current is typically 5 – 7  times greater than  the normal operating current of the motor, and can cause problems due to the fact that suddenly a large load is appearing on the electrical circuit of your ship or building.

If you started a large induction motor, rated at 50 Amps, then the surge current being between 5 – 7 times that figure, would mean a current appearing on your electrical system of between 250 – 350 Amps. This surge current could potentially cause a ‘blackout’ on board a ship, or at least put strain on the generator.

Even on land, large surge currents are undesirable, and many countries require Star (Wye) – Delta starters to be used to start motors rated above 5 HP or 4 KW.


The Star-Delta Starter basically consists of three contactors, a timer, and an OCR (Over Current Relay).

When the Star- Delta is first switched on, the electromagnetic coils in the ‘Line’ & ‘Star’ contactors are energised. The magnetic field produced by the coils (in conjunction with the metal cores fitted) closes the contacts of both contactors. This allows voltage to flow through the line contactor into one side of each of the three (three phase) windings.

The Star contactor is also initially closed, and this creates a ‘star’ winding configuration, by shorting the other side of each of the three windings together.

Having the motor windings connected in Star means that surge current is reduced when the motor initially starts up.

At motor startup, a timer is also started.  To be continued………………..

(c) 2013 Craig Miles, all rights reserved.