Starting systems for industrial engines

Large industrial engines can generally be started in 3 different ways:

  • An electric starter, linked to the ring gear or on a toothed flywheel
  • An air starter, also linked to the ring gear or on a toothed flywheel
  • An "air in head" distributor-start system. This system distributes compressed air in the right order into the cylinder head so that the engine is set in motion.

Air Starter, electric starters and distributor starter

For many years Hatraco official distributor for TDI Tech Development, the US manufacturer of air starters for industrial reciprocating engines and gas turbines. The superior quality and starter technology is based on developments in the aviation industry. That is why TDI makes the best air starters in the world today. TDI air starters are available for reciprocating engines and gas turbines and are used in various sectors such as:

  • Oil and gas
  • Gas Turbines
  • Marine
  • Industry
  • Mining

Air Starters are used to an increasing extent while bringing the following benefits:

  • Ideal for applications in hazardous areas (no high electric currents start, no sparking hazard risks like with batteries)
  • Ideal for use on ships. Independent of charged batteries. Always multiple starts available from the tank with compressed air even during a total power failure.
  • Prescribed in certain marine applications like fire pumps for safety.

Meanwhile, the electric starter remains by far the most used device for cranking up industrial engines. Hatraco recently added the electric starter program of Bosch to the program. Bosch starters are used by many OEMs and Hatraco brings the Bosch starters also to the industrial engine aftermarket in Europe. Hatraco also supplies control systems for large integral compressors. This type of large compressor engines are slowly being phased out in Europe. The special feature is the "integration" of a piston compressor- and gas engine in one single machine. Some engine pistons are diverted to become a compressor piston to boost the pressure of (usually natural gas) in a pipeline. The motor runs on the same medium as it is pumping. On this type of integral compressor "air in head" starting systems are very common. Altronic has given this somewhat old-fashioned distribution system a "facelift". The mechanical distribution system has been upgraded with an electronic control similar to an ignition system principle. More details can be found in the section of Altronics Safe Air system.