Starters using compressed air instead of electricity provide many benefits over conventional starters, especially within a specific range of engine sizes.
It’s called a small engine starter, but there’s nothing small about the power packed into SS100 Series air starters from Ingersoll Rand, Davidson, N.C. It can start engines up to 10 liter displacement. Okay, compared to the giant engines commonly found in mining equipment, 10 l may seem small. However, compared to electric starters, the SS100 Series is a fraction of the size. This feature is especially important in meeting Tier IV requirements, which make engine compartment space more precious than ever.
Advantages over electric
Because it’s powered by compressed air, the SS100 holds several advantages over its electric counterparts. Electric motors build up heat, so they can only be used for short duty cycles to avoid overheating. Air motors, however, do not build up heat because it is carried away by the compressed air stream. Not only that, but if excessive torque overloads the motor, it simply stalls instead of burning out.
Electric starter motors also pose potential safety hazards unless they are specified with explosion-proof enclosures that make them even bigger, heavier, and more expensive. Exposure to water can also be a problem with electric motors. Air motors, on the other hand, can operate completely submerged in water. Furthermore, they can even use compressed natural gas in lieu of compressed air.
The modular design of SS100 Series air starters allow flexible mounting options so they can fit a range of engines, thus reducing equipment complexity and inventory costs. The air starters have one frame and multiple 360° rotating flange options, so they are easy to install and can be manipulated to fit most small engines.