Working of relays

May. 23, 2017

What is a relay?

We know that most of the high end industrial application devices have relays for their effective working. Relays are simple switches which are operated both electrically and mechanically. Relays consist of an electromagnet and also a set of contacts. The switching mechanism is carried out with the help of the electromagnet. There are also other operating principles for its working. But they differ according to their applications. Most of the devices have the application of relays.

Why is a relay used?

The main operation of a relay comes in places where only a low-power signal can be used to control a circuit. It is also used in places where only one signal can be used to control a lot of circuits. The application of relays started during the invention of telephones. They played an important role in switching calls in telephone exchanges. They were also used in long distance telegraphy. They were used to switch the signal coming from one source to another destination. After the invention of computers they were also used to perform Boolean and other logical operations. The high end applications of relays require high power to be driven by electric motors and so on. Such relays are called contactors.

Pole and Throw

Relays have the exact working of a switch. So, the same concept is also applied. A relay is said to switch one or more poles. Each pole has contacts that can be thrown in mainly three ways. They are

1.Normally Open Contact (NO) – NO contact is also called a make contact. It closes the circuit when the relay is activated. It disconnects the circuit when the relay is inactive.

2.Normally Closed Contact (NC) – NC contact is also known as break contact. This is opposite to the NO contact. When the relay is activated, the circuit disconnects. When the relay is deactivated, the circuit connects.

3.Change-over (CO) / Double-throw (DT) Contacts – This type of contacts are used to control two types of circuits. They are used to control a NO contact and also a NC contact with a common terminal. According to their type they are called by the names break before make and make before break contacts.

Relays are also named with designations like

1.Single Pole Single Throw (SPST) – This type of relay has a total of four terminals. Out of these two terminals can be connected or disconnected. The other two terminals are needed for the coil.

2.Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) – This type of a relay has a total of five terminals. Out f these two are the coil terminals. A common terminal is also included which connects to either of two others.

3.Double Pole Single Throw (DPST) – This relay has a total of six terminals. These terminals are further divided into two pairs. Thus they can act as two SPST’s which are actuated by a single coil. Out of the six terminals two of them are coil terminals.

4.Double Pole Double Throw (DPDT) – This is the biggest of all. It has mainly eight relay terminals. Out of these two rows are designed to be change over terminals. They are designed to act as two SPDT relays which are actuated by a single coil.

Relay Applications

1.Relays are used to realize logic functions. They play a very important role in providing safety critical logic.

2.Relays are used to provide time delay functions. They are used to time the delay open and delay close of contacts.

3.Relays are used to control high voltage circuits with the help of low voltage signals. Similarly they are used to control high current circuits with the help of low current signals.

4.They are also used as protective relays. By this function all the faults during transmission and reception can be detected and isolated.

Relay Selection

You must note some factors while selecting a particular relay. They are

1.Protection – Different protections like contact protection and coil protection must be noted. Contact protection helps in reducing arcing in circuits using inductors.  Coil protection helps in reducing surge voltage produced during switching.

2.Look for a standard relay with all regulatory approvals.

3.Switching time – Ask for high speed switching relays if you want one.

4.Ratings – There are current as well as voltage ratings. The current ratings vary from a few amperes to about 3000 amperes.  In case of voltage ratings, they vary from 300 Volt AC to 600 Volt AC. There are also high voltage relays of about 15,000 Volts.

5.Type of contact used – Whether it is a NC or NO or closed contact.

6.Select Make before Break or Break before Make contacts wisely.

7.Isolation between coil circuit and contacts.

Ningbo Baocheng Electronics Co., Ltd.

Copyright © Ningbo Baocheng Electronics Co., Ltd.

All Rights Reserved | Sitemap

Powered by Reanod