MV Soft Starter System for Sylvinite Mining in Spain


Highlighting the successful implementation of the DriveStart – MV (medium voltage) soft starter system in a mining facility located near Barcelona city, specifically in Suria. The mining operation involves extracting sylvinite, a valuable mixture of potash and salt. The application of interest is a fan that is critical for ventilation and maintaining a safe working environment deep within the mine.

Project Overview:

The project’s main objective was to provide a reliable and efficient soft starter system for the 3200KW/449A/5Kv motor used to drive the fan in the underground mining operation. Due to the mine’s depth, reaching 840 meters underground, an elevator and a further 190 meters of travel by vehicle were required for access to the installation site.


  1. Underground Installation:The most significant challenge was to ensure the seamless installation of the DriveStart soft starter system underground. This demanded careful planning, logistics, and adherence to stringent safety protocols.
  2. Environmental Conditions:Underground mining environments are known for their harsh and unforgiving conditions, including high humidity, dust, and varying temperatures. The soft starter system needed to withstand these adverse conditions and perform optimally.
  3. Electrical Compatibility:Ensuring the electrical compatibility of the DriveStart system with the motor and other equipment was crucial for achieving a smooth and reliable startup of the fan.


To address the challenges posed by the unique mining environment, the DriveStart soft starter system was selected for its advanced capabilities and adaptability to the specific requirements of the mining industry. The DriveStart system is designed to provide smooth acceleration and deceleration of the motor, reducing mechanical stress and electrical disturbances during the startup process.

The following steps were taken to implement the solution:

  1. Pre-installation Testing:Before transporting the DriveStart system underground, extensive testing was conducted above ground to verify its functionality and electrical compatibility with the 3200KW motor.
  2. Logistics and Transportation:The DriveStart system, motor, and other necessary equipment were securely packed and transported to the mine entrance using appropriate transportation methods, considering the weight and size of the components.
  3. Underground Installation:A team of skilled technicians and engineers supervised the installation process underground. Safety measures were strictly followed during the installation to ensure the well-being of personnel.
  4. Electrical Integration:The DriveStart system was expertly integrated with the 3200KW motor and the fan to guarantee smooth communication and operation.
  5. Testing and Commissioning:Comprehensive tests were performed to ensure that the DriveStart soft starter system functioned optimally in the demanding underground conditions. The system’s performance was thoroughly monitored to detect any potential issues.

Results and Benefits:

The implementation of the DriveStart soft starter system yielded several positive outcomes for the mining facility:

  1. Reliable Motor Startup:The DriveStart system provided a smooth and reliable startup for the 3200KW motor, reducing stress on the motor and other mechanical components.
  2. Energy Efficiency:The soft starter’s advanced control algorithms optimized the motor’s energy consumption during startup and operation, leading to energy savings.
  3. Reduced Maintenance:By mitigating electrical and mechanical stress during startup and operation, the DriveStart system contributed to extending the motor’s lifespan and reducing maintenance requirements.
  4. Enhanced Safety:The efficient operation of the fan due to the soft starter system ensured adequate ventilation, improving the safety and well-being of mine personnel.


The successful implementation of the DriveStart soft starter system for the 3200KW motor used to power the fan in the underground mining operation near Barcelona exemplifies the adaptability of modern technologies to challenging industrial environments. The efficient and reliable operation of the fan is essential for maintaining a safe and productive mining operation, and the DriveStart system has proven to be a valuable asset in achieving this goal. The client can now continue its mining activities with increased confidence in the performance and longevity of their critical equipment.


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