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A DIY Softstarter with Arduino Nano
Each inductive load, such as a motor or a transformer, produces an inrush current at startup that increases as the power of the device increases. This is because at start-up only the very low resistance of the windings is seen, before the flux created opposes the passage of current.
This current spike could cause the home circuit breaker to cut out due to the high current produced. This is the problem Great Scott encountered after buying his new variac.
In this project we will see how to create a softstarter so that our motors, variac or transformers start “softly” and not trip the circuit breaker. The project is based on an Arduino Nano that controls a triac via an optocoupler and its driver. The board is built on protoboard and is powered by a small 220VAC-5VDC power supply module.