With the continued growth of “off grid” electrical systems, appliances that have a high electrical starting current have become a bigger issue for designers of these systems. Off grid solar and generator systems typically have a much smaller peak current capacity than electrical systems that are connected to the power grid. The lower peak current capacity of off grid systems is problematic when it comes to staring high inrush current appliances such as air conditioning, refrigerators and other devices that use electric motors. All of these types of electrical loads typically require a much higher current to start than they require once they are running. The higher current requirement of these types of loads requires that off grid systems be sized large enough to handle the large inrush of current required to start loads with a high starting current.
But there is good news. Many manufacturers are not offering “Soft Start” technology that can lower starting current of high starting current appliances by as much as 70%. The soft start technology will allow appliances such as air conditioners to operate on off grid systems and generator systems that previously did not have the ability to provide the high inrush current that these types of loads require.
Main stream manufacturers of heating and cooling systems are now starting to offer soft start technology as a field installed option. If you are planning an off grid or generator system, you will want to make sure you seek out manufacturers that are offering soft start technology.