What is Direct On-Line (DOL) motor starter? Advantages and Disadvantages

A DOL starter is a type of motor starter that is used to start and stop a three-phase induction motor. The term “DOL” stands for “Direct On-Line” and refers to the fact that the motor is started by applying the full voltage of the power supply directly to the motor terminals.

A DOL starter typically consists of a contactor, an overload relay, and a start/stop button. The contactor is an electrical switch that is used to connect and disconnect the motor from the power supply. The overload relay is a protective device that is used to monitor the current drawn by the motor and to disconnect the motor from the power supply if the current exceeds a certain value.

When the start button is pressed, the contactor closes and the motor is connected to the power supply. The motor starts to run and draws a high current due to its initial inertia. The overload relay monitors the current and will trip if the current exceeds a certain value, thereby protecting the motor from damage.

When the stop button is pressed, the contactor opens and the motor is disconnected from the power supply, causing the motor to come to a stop.

DOL starters are commonly used in applications where the motor is not subject to high starting torque requirements or where the starting current is not too high. They are simple and reliable and are widely used in industrial and commercial applications.


  1. Simple and reliable: DOL starters are simple in design and construction, and are therefore easy to install and maintain. They are also reliable and can operate for long periods without problems.
  2. Low cost: DOL starters are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of motor starters, making them a cost-effective solution for many applications.
  3. Easy to operate: DOL starters are easy to operate and require minimal training or expertise to use.
  4. Suitable for most applications: DOL starters are suitable for most applications where the starting torque requirement is not too high and the starting current is not too high.


  1. High starting current: DOL starters apply the full voltage of the power supply directly to the motor, which can cause a high starting current. This can result in voltage drops and other problems in the power supply system.
  2. Mechanical stress: The high starting current can also cause mechanical stress on the motor, which can reduce its lifespan.
  3. Not suitable for high torque applications: DOL starters are not suitable for applications that require high starting torque, as the starting torque of the motor is limited by the available starting current.
  4. Not energy efficient: DOL starters are not energy efficient, as they draw a high starting current that can result in energy wastage. In contrast, other types of motor starters, such as soft starters or variable frequency drives, can provide a smoother and more energy-efficient starting current.

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