Electricity, and the motors that use it, can have some unique properties. One of those properties is a current spike as you initially start up an electric motor with a (relatively) large payload to move. That situation exists with electric automotive cooling fans. Although you might not perceive any issue from the outside, Maradyne’s team has not only identified the issue, but found a solution in “Smart Start.”
“In this case, let’s take a 225-watt motor on a 16-inch fan. Typically, you’ll see an inrush of power that can be as high as 80 amps for about half a second,” explains Maradyne’s Kent Hart. That power spike might not hurt the motor, but it can cause all kinds of havoc in an amperage-limited automotive electrical system. To combat this, Maradyne has developed logic, which they are building into its Smart Start line of fans.
“On that same 225-Watt 16-inch Smart Start fan, the current inrush peaks at 20 amps over a second and a half, drops back down, then goes back up to 20 amps before dropping back to 15 amps. It then stays there over a period of seven seconds. You don’t get that inrush of current, and when amperage is really tight, you won’t go blowing a fuse,” Hart says.
Besides potentially damaging a relay, that current spike could pull current from other critical systems if you were using a charging system close to its maximum capacity. “When the fan is running at standard speed, it’s not fluctuating and is running at the rated amp draw. But that initial startup creates that amperage spike,” Hart relays.
Maradyne says this technology is aimed at anyone who is already using up most of the amperage available in their system and will work in any applications using an electric fan. The Smart Start line is so new that the display only arrived at the SEMA show on day two, so you’ll have to watch Maradyne’s website for the full release information.