Power Relays

Power relays contain an armature, a spring and one or several contacts. They are electromagnetic switches, operated by a relatively small current, which can be used to close or open an electrical circuit in a fraction of a second. They have two basic functions. They work as a switching device and are able to control either one circuit or several circuits using a single signal. Their second use is as a bridging device or amplifier to allow small currents to activate operations of larger currents. There are a large variety of power relays which are chosen according to where they will be utilised. Some types of power relays include: latching, reed, polarised, time delay, static, vacuum and machine tool. Solid-state relays control power circuits with no moving parts while electromechanical relays (with multiple-operating coils) are able to detect overloads, short circuits and other faults. Power relays are extremely versatile and are found for industrial, commercial and domestic use. Relays are installed to control high-voltage circuits in the electricity supply network while low power devices like microprocessors can utilise them to control electrical loads beyond their direct drive capabilities. The motor systems of many appliances are driven with the help of relays.

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