As you may know, I’ve been doing field and lab testing on a number of different SoftStart products over the last two years. I also designed and built a High Rate Data Logger (HRDL [“hurdle”]) so I could watch how the SoftStartRV reduced the inrush current during the compressor starting cycle. This was a real eye-opener for the industry, since HRDL could create slow-motion videos detailing how RV air conditioner compressors work and why they can trip portable generators.
That’s why the SoftStartRV units were built. They reduce the inrush current by more than 50 percent. That reduces stress on the electrical system each time the compressor starts up, which can be up to a dozen times per hour.
What about residential central air conditioners?
I’ve had dozens of inquiries on the availability of a SoftStart controller that could be used on a 240-volt central air conditioner. This would allow for a smaller 240-volt generator to power a house air conditioner during an emergency power outage. Why is that important? Well, electrical blackouts are getting to be more common due to hurricanes, flooding, fires, and even planned rolling blackouts.
This is the latest SoftStart product from NetworkRV. It can be installed on any 240-volt residential air conditioner compressor up to 6 tons. Installation is as simple as the SoftStartRV and a little safer since you typically don’t have to climb up on the roof of your house to reach the compressor. Installing the SoftStartHome should take less than 30 minutes as long as you’re handy with electrical wiring. I’m now reviewing no-splice installations and will be creating videos on the procedures.
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Does it work?
Yes, it certainly does. Here’s a first HRDL data showing how the SoftStartHome lowered the inrush current from 74 amps down to 24.86 amps. That’s a current reduction of 65%, and stops the loud bang every time the compressor starts up.
Plus, it appears that SoftStartHome could reduce kWh usage a bit. I’m still gathering data and crunching the numbers, but there is significantly less watt-seconds of energy used during each starting cycle, which could add up to a few dollars’ saving on your electric bill. Don’t quote me yet, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Find out more and purchase a SoftStartHome HERE.
Let’s play safe out there….
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com.