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Electromechanical Relay 1. What is an electromechanical relay? 2. What will happen when the pushbutton switch is actuated in this circuit?

Actuating any of the normally-closed switches results in the alarm sounding. So far, so good. Now, suppose that one of the wires connecting one side of several switches to the rest of the circuit breaks open. What will the result of this failure be?

3. What will happen when the pushbutton switch is actuated in this circuit?

6. Complete the schematic diagram for a SPDT relay circuit that energizes the green light bulb (only) when the pushbutton switch is pressed, and energizes the red light bulb (only) when the pushbutton switch is released:

4. Suppose an engineer designed a re alarm system for a large warehouse, with multiple pushbutton switches connected to a single alarm siren:

Actuating any of the normally-open switches results in the alarm sounding. So far, so good. Now, suppose that one of the wires connecting one side of several switches to the rest of the circuit breaks open. What will the result of this failure be?

7. Small relays often come packaged in clear, rectangular, plastic cases, which had led to the name ice cube relay to be commonly applied to them. These so-called "ice cube" relays have either eight or eleven pins protruding from the bottom, allowing them to be plugged into a special socket for connection with wires in a circuit:

5. Suppose an engineer designed a fire alarm system for a large warehouse, with multiple pushbutton switches connected to a single alarm siren:

Draw the necessary connecting wires between terminals in this circuit, so that actuating the normally- open pushbutton switch will energize the relay, which will in turn supply electrical power to the motor.

8. Suppose that an electromechanical relay has a coil voltage rating of 5 volts, and a coil resistance of 250. However, you desire to energize this relay with a 24 volt power supply. You know that a series-connected resistor might enable the 5-volt relay coil to be powered by the 24-volt supply without damage, but you do not know what size of resistor would be appropriate for the task. Draw a schematic diagram for such a circuit, showing the power supply (battery symbol), relay, and resistor. Explain how the resistor's value would be calculated, along with the calculated value in ohms. 9. Design an experimental circuit for determining the pull-in and drop-out current values for an electromagnetic relay coil. Why would these statistics matter to us, when working with relay circuits? 10. Find one or two relays and bring them with you to class for discussion. Identify as much information as you can about your relays prior to discussion: Coil voltage Coil resistance Number of switch poles Number of switch throws Voltage rating of contacts Current rating of contacts Also, calculate the amount of current that will be drawn by the coil when energized. Answer: 1. An electromechanical relay is an electrical switch actuated by a solenoid. 2. The light bulb will energize when the pushbutton switch is actuated. Follow-up question: is the contact inside the relay normally-open or is it normally-closed? 3. The light bulb will de-energize when the pushbutton switch is actuated.

Follow-up question: is the contact inside the relay normally-open or is it normally-closed? 4. The result of this wiring failure will be that the lower four switches will be non-functional. 5. The alarm will immediate sound { a false alarm. 6. In order for this circuit to function as specified, the green light bulb must receive power through the relay's normally-open contact, and the red light bulb through the relay's normally-closed contact. 7. This is by no means the only solution, but it works:

2. Suppose you come across a relay that is said to have "Form C" contacts. What does this phrase mean? And, is there such a thing as either "Form A" or "Form B" contacts? 3. The following schematic is of a relay circuit that emulates a standard digital logic gate function:

8. Resistor value = 950 -. 9. The circuit for measuring these values is quite simple. I leave the task of designing it in your capable hands! 10. If possible, find a manufacturer's datasheet for your components (or at least a datasheet for a similar component) to discuss with your classmates. If your relay's coil is designed for AC voltage rather than DC voltage, the amount of current drawn by it will be far less than what you have calculated by using Ohm's Law, due to a property of coils known as inductive reactance. 1. Though many electronics students and professionals alike associate semiconductor components with the word "digital," electromechanical relays are also digital logic (on or off) devices. In fact, some of the first digital computers were built with electromechanical relays as their active elements. In what ways are electromechanical relays similar to semiconductor logic gates? In what ways do thetwo digital technologies differ?

Write a truth table for this circuit's function, and determine what name best represents it (AND, OR, NAND, NOR, or NOT). 4. The following schematic is of a relay circuit that emulates a standard digital logic gate function:

Write a truth table for this circuit's function, and determine what name best represents it (AND, OR, NAND, NOR, or NOT). 5. A type of electrical diagram convention optimal for representing electromechanical relay circuits is the ladder logic diagram. An example of a "ladder logic" diagram is shown here:

noticed, some of the symbols resemble standard electrical/ electronic schematic symbols (toggle switches, for instance), while others are unique to ladder logic diagrams (heater elements, solenoid coils, lamps). Where do the circuits shown obtain their electrical power? What do "L1" and "L2" represent? How are relay coils and contacts represented in a ladder logic diagram? Answer each of these questions by expanding upon the diagram shown above: draw the components necessary to show a complete electrical circuit (i.e. details of the power source), as well as an additional rung (or two) showing a relay coil actuated by some sort of switch contact, and the relay contact controlling power to a second indicator lamp. 6. Safety is a paramount concern in electrical systems. Generally, we try to design electrical circuits so that if and when they fail, they will do so in the manner safest to those people working around them, and to the equipment and process(es) controlled by the circuit. One of the more common failure modes of circuits having wires strung through metal conduit is the accidental ground, or ground fault, where the electrical insulation surrounding a wire fails, resulting in contact between that wire and a grounded metal surface. Suppose an accidental ground were to occur at the point shown in this ladder diagram:

Each parallel circuit branch is represented as its own horizontal "rung" between the two vertical "rails" of the ladder. As you may have

What would be the result of this fault? Hint: you will need to know something about the L1/L2 power source in order to answer this question! What would be the result if the L1/L2 power connections were reversed? 7. In ladder logic symbolism, an electromechanical relay coil is shown as a circle, and the contact(s) actuated by the coil as two parallel

lines, almost like a capacitor symbol. Given this knowledge, interpret the following ladder logic diagram:

Explain why the truth table will be modified as a result of the fault. 14. Predict how the operation of this relay logic circuit will be affected as a result of the following faults. Consider each fault independently (i.e. one at a time, no multiple faults): 11. Identify each of these relay logic functions by name (AND, OR, NOR, etc.) and complete their respective truth tables:

How do we know which relay contact is actuated by which relay coil? How does this convention differ from that of standard electrical/electronic schematic diagrams, where the relay coil is shown as an actual coil of wire (inductor symbol) with the contact "linked" to the coil by a dashed line? Also, what type of logic function behavior (AND, OR, NAND, or NOR) does the above circuit exhibit? 8. Complete the following ladder logic diagram so that an OR gate function is formed: the indicator lamp energizes if either switch A or switch B is actuated.

9. Complete the following ladder logic diagram so that an AND gate function is formed: the indicator lamp energizes if and only if both switch A and switch B are simultaneously actuated.

12. Write a truth table for each of the indicator lamps in the following ladder diagram, and determine which logic function (AND, OR, NAND, NOR, or NOT) best describes each lamp's behavior with respect to the status of the input switches.

Pushbutton switch A fails open: Relay coil CR2 fails open: Relay contact CR1-1 fails open: Relay contact CR2-1 fails shorted: Relay contact CR2-2 fails shorted: For each of these conditions, explain why the resulting effects will occur. 15. There is a problem somewhere in this relay logic circuit. Lamp 2 operates exactly as it should, but lamp1 never turns on. Identify all possible failures in the circuit that could cause this problem, and then explain how you would troubleshoot the problem as efficiently as possible (taking the least amount of electrical measurements to identify the specific problem).

10. In ladder logic diagrams, a normally-open relay contact is drawn as a set of parallel lines, almost like a non-polarized capacitor in an electronic schematic diagram. Normally-closed relay contacts differ in symbolism by having a diagonal line drawn through them. Analyze the following relay logic circuit, completing the truth table accordingly:

13. Complete the truth table for the following relay logic circuit, and then complete a second truth table for the same circuit with relay coil CR2 failed open:

16. A very common application of electromechanical relay logic is motor control circuitry. Here is a ladder diagram for a simple DC motor control, where a momentary pushbutton switch starts the motor, and another pushbutton switch stops the motor:

Translate this ladder diagram into point-to-point connections between the following components (shown in the following illustration):

11.

17. Predict how the operation of this motor control circuit will be affected as a result of the following faults. Consider each fault independently (i.e. one at a time, no multiple faults):

"Stop" pushbutton switch fails open: Relay contact CR1-1 fails open: Relay contact CR1-2 fails open: Relay coil CR1 fails open: For each of these conditions, explain why the resulting eects will occur. 18. The following ladder logic diagram (for a steam heater control) contains a serious mistake:

This is a mistake I've seen many students make. Explain what the mistake is, and draw a corrected version of this relay circuit. Answer 1. Like semiconductor gates, electromechanical relays have but two states: energized and deenergized (1 and 0). Like gates, the contacts of relays may be interconnected to perform standard logic functions such as AND, OR, NAND, NOR, and NOT. 2. "Form C" is just another way of saying "SPDT" with regard to switch or relay contacts. 3. This is an AND function. 4. This is an OR function. 5. This is just one example of how the ladder logic diagram could be expanded:

"L1" and "L2" represent the "hot" and "neutral" lines, respectively, in a 120 volt AC power system. Often, the control circuit power is obtained from a step-down transformer, which is in turn fed by a higher voltage source (usually one phase of a 480 volt AC three-phase system, in American industrial applications). 6. In a properly designed system, with L2 grounded at the power source, this fault will result in a blown fuse when the pressure switch closes. In a circuit with L1 and L2 reversed, this same ground fault would energize the relief solenoid, with or without the pressure switch's "permission." 7. In ladder logic diagrams, relay coils are associated with their respective contacts by name rather than by proximity. In this particular circuit, the logic function represented is the AND function. 8.

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Each of the lamps exhibits the behavior of a "NOR" gate. 13.

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If you thought that the "faulted" truth table would be all 0's, you probably thought I said relay contact CR2 failed open. The fault I proposed was relay CR2 coil failed open. 14. Pushbutton switch A fails open: Lamp 1 always energized, lamp 2 simply becomes inverse status of pushbutton switch B. Relay coil CR2 fails open: Both lamp 1 and lamp 2 simply become inverse status of pushbutton switch A. Relay contact CR1-1 fails open: Lamp 1 simply becomes same status as pushbutton switch B. Relay contact CR2-1 fails shorted: Lamp 1 always energized. Relay contact CR2-2 fails shorted: Lamp 2 simply becomes inverse status of pushbutton switch A.

15. This is a problem worthy of a good in-class discussion with your peers! Of course, several things could be wrong in this circuit to cause lamp 1 to never energize. When you explain what measurements you would take in isolating the problem, be sure to describe whether or not you are actuating either of the pushbutton 16. The wiring sequence shown here is not the only valid solution to this problem! switches when you take those measurements.

17. "Stop" pushbutton switch fails open: Motor cannot start, lamp never energizes. Relay contact CR1-1 fails open: Motor starts and lamp energizes when "Start" button is pressed, but both immediately de-energize when it is released. Relay contact CR1-2 fails open: "Motor run" lamp turns on and off as expected, but the motor itself never runs. Relay coil CR1 fails open: Motor cannot start, lamp never energizes. 18. Never, ever connect load devices in series in a control circuit such as this! 1. What does the normal status of an electrical switch refer to? Specifically, what is the difference between a normally-open switch and a normally-closed switch? 2. Explain what a time-delay relay is, and how it functionally differs from a regular electromechanical relay. 3. A special class of electromechanical relays called timedelay relays provide delayed action, either upon power-up or powerdown, and are commonly denoted in ladder logic diagrams by "TD" or "TR" designations near the coil symbols and arrows on the contact symbols. Here is an example of a time-delay relay contact used in a motor control circuit:

In this circuit, the motor delays startup until three seconds after the switch is thrown to the "Run" position, but will stop immediately when the switch is returned to the "Stop" position. The relay contact is referred to as normally-open, timedclosed, or NOTC. It is alternatively referred to as a normally-open, ondelay contact. Explain how the arrow symbol indicates the nature of this contact's delay that delay occurs during closure but not during opening. 4. Match the following time-delay relay contact type symbols and labels:

Timing diagram:

7. A simple time-delay relay may be constructed by connecting a large capacitor in parallel with the relay coil, like this:

Normally-open, timed-closed Normally-open, timed-open Normally-closed, timed-closed Normally-closed, timed-open 5. Match the following time-delay relay contact type symbols and labels:

8. A simple time-delay relay may be constructed by connecting a large capacitor in parallel with the relay coil, like this:

Normally-open, on-delay Normally-open, off-delay Normally-closed, on-delay Normally-closed, off-delay 6. Time-delay relays are important circuit elements in many applications. Determine what each of the lamps will do in the following circuit when pushbutton "A" is pressed for 10 seconds and then released:

Explain how this circuit works, and also determine what type of timedelay relay function is provided by it (NOTO, NOTC, NCTO, or NCTC). 9. An electric motor is used to power a large conveyor belt. Before the motor actually starts, a warning siren activates to alert workers of the conveyor's forthcoming action. The following relay circuit accomplishes both tasks (motor control plus siren alert):

contact in the control circuit, especially those normally-closed contacts in series with the motor starter coils. Now consider the following modification made to the reversing motor control circuit (motor and power contacts not shown here): Study this ladder logic diagram, then explain how the system works. 10. Large electric motors are often equipped with some form of soft-start control, which applies power gradually instead of all at once (as in "across the line" starting). Here is an example of a simple "soft start" control system: However, this circuit is poorly designed. Although it works just fine under normal conditions, it may not do what it should in the event of an overload heater trip (if the normallyclosed "OL" contact opens). Explain what is wrong with this circuit. 14. Suppose you needed to build a circuit that pulsed a lamp on and off (once) when a pushbutton is pressed and held. In other words, you wanted the lamp to do this:

What extra functionality do the timedelay relays contribute to this motor control circuit? 12. An electric motor is used to power a large conveyor belt. Before the motor actually starts, a warning siren activates to alert workers of the conveyor's forthcoming action. The following relay circuit is supposed to accomplish both tasks (motor control plus siren alert):

Draw a ladder logic diagram for a circuit that would fulfill this function, using at least one time-delay relay. 15. Suppose you needed to build a circuit that pulsed a lamp on and off (once) when a pushbutton is released. In other words, you wanted the lamp to do this:

Analyze this ladder logic diagram, and explain how it starts up the electric motor more gently than an "across-the-line" starter would. 11. The following ladder logic diagram is for a reversing motor control circuit:

Unfortunately, there is a problem somewhere in this circuit. Instead of activating the siren before starting the motor, there is silence. The motor's start is still delayed by the correct amount of time, butthe siren never makes a sound. Identify some possible causes of this problem. Also, identify portions of the circuit you know to be functioning properly. 13. An electric motor is used to power a large conveyor belt. Before the motor actually starts, a warning siren activates to alert workers of the conveyor's forthcoming action. The following relay circuit accomplishes both tasks (motor control plus siren alert):

Draw a ladder logic diagram for a circuit that would fulfill this function, using at least one time-delay relay. 16. Suppose you needed to build a circuit that delayed the energization of a lamp when the button was pushed, and also delayed its turning off when the button was released. In other words, you wanted the lamp to do this:

Draw a ladder logic diagram for a circuit that would fulll this function, using at least one time-delay relay. 17. Suppose an engineer draws the following timing diagram for a timedelay relay circuit and then hands the diagram to a technician to figure out how to build it:

Study this diagram, then explain how motor reversal is accomplished. Also, identify the function ofeach "M"

The technician, being well educated in the ways of time-delay relays, takes one look at this timing diagram

and begins to laugh. Explain why this diagram is funny. 18. When the pushbutton is pressed, the relay immediately energizes and sends power to the electric horn. When the pushbutton is released, the horn remains on for a few moments before turning off, due to the capacitor's stored charge continuing to power the relay coil. So, the capacitor and relay form a time-delay control circuit for the horn:

3. Note that the "arrow" is pointing in the up direction, toward the direction of contact closure. 4.

13. I'll give you a hint: suppose someone pushes and holds the start button long enough that time delay relay TD1 completes its timing cycle? 14.

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Suppose this circuit has functioned as designed for quite some time, then one day develops a problem. The horn sounds immediately when the pushbutton is pressed (as it should), bit it immediately silences instead of continuing to sound for a few more moments when the pushbutton is released. Based on this information, identify these things: Two components or wires in the circuit that you know must be in good working condition. Two components or wires in the circuit that could possibly be bad (and thus cause the off-delay action to fail). 19. Determine what sort of timedelay relay this circuit is:

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Also, calculate the amount of delay, in seconds. Hint: the 555's timing capacitor will charge from 0 volts to 2/3 supply voltage during the charging cycle. Answer 1. The "normal" status of a switch refers to the open or closed status of the contacts when there is no actuating force applied to the switch. 2. A "time-delay" relay either waits before actuating after power-up, or waits before de-actuating after power-down.

7. Normally-open, timed-open (NOTO). Follow-up question: what purpose does the diode serve in this circuit? 8.Normally-closed, timed-closed (NCTC). Follow-up question: what purpose does the diode serve in this circuit? 9. This is an exercise for you and your classmates to analyze! 10. In this system, resistors limit the motor's line current during the initial start-up period, and then are bypassed after the time delay relay times out. 11. The normally-open and normallyclosed "M" contacts provide seal-in and interlock functions, respectively. The time-delay relays prevent the motor from being immediately reversed. Follow-up question: figure out how to simplify the time-delay relay circuit. Hint: integrate the time-delay and interlocking functions into a single contact (per rung). 12. Note that the following lists are not comprehensive. Possible faults: Siren failed open M1 contact (normally-closed) failed open Things known to work: Control relay CR1 Motor starter Motor

17. Time-delay relays can do a lot of neat things, but they cannot predict the future! 18. Obviously the horn, relay, switch, and battery are all working normally. The capacitor could be bad (failed open), as well as the wiring/connections between the capacitor and the coil. 19. This is a normally-open, timedclosed (also known as a normallyopen, on-delay) relay, with a time delay of 4.065 seconds.