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# Switches

Switches
Introduction:
Commonly used to control the on/off function of a
component and/or circuit
Also used to direct the current in an electrical circuit
May also be used as momentary contact switches
The term pole(s) refers to the number of input circuits of the
switch
The term throw(s) refers to the number of output circuits of
the switch
Switches may be normally open (NO), or normally closed
(NC) depending upon the application

Classifications of Switches

SPST Switches
Single pole input
Single pole output
A set of contacts inside
the switch opens or
closes the circuit
The contacts carry the
circuit when closed

Switches

SPDT Switches
One input circuit (pole)
Two output circuits (throws)
Only one output is energized at a time
Contacts carry the current load of circuit

Switches
Ganged Switches (MPMT)
Contain multiple wipers
that operate in unison
Contacts may carry current
Contacts may supply current
to an electromagnetic switch

Push-button

relays
Control relays are widely used in control circuits to switch
multiple control circuits and to control light loads such as
starting coils, indicator lights, and audible alarms.
Relay can contain normally open, normally closed, or both
types of contacts.

relays
A control relays pole number is the number of isolated
circuits that can pass through the relay. This is the total
number of circuits that can be controlled by the relay. Control
relays often have multiple poles, but they need not all be
used.

Throw
A control relays throw number is the number of closed-contact
positions per pole. The following abbreviations are frequently
used to indicate contact configurations: SPST (single pole,
single throw), SPDT (single pole, double throw), DPST (double
pole, single throw), and DPDT (double pole, double throw).

Break
A control relay contact break number is the number of
separate contacts that open or close a circuit.

## Electromagnetic Relay Operation

An electromagnetic relay is a magnetic switch. It uses
electromagnetism to switch contacts.
A relay will usually
have only one coil
but may have any
number of different
contacts.

## Electromagnetic Relay Operation

With no current flow
through the coil (coil
de-energized),the
armature is held away
from the core
by
spring tension
When the coil is energized,
the electromagnetic field
moves
the
armature
causing the contact points
of the relay to open or
close.

## Electromagnetic Relay Operation

Coil
CR1

Normally open
(NO) contact
Contacts are open when
no current flows through
the coil but close as soon
as the coil is energized.

Normally closed
(NC) contact
Contacts are closed when
no current flows through
the coil but open as soon
as the coil is energized.

L1

L2

S
CR1

OFF
R

G
ON

## With switch S open:

coil CR1 is de-energized
contacts CR1-1 are open
light R is off
contacts CR1-2 are closed
light G is on

Relay Symbol

## With switch S closed:

coil CR1 is energized
contacts CR1-1 are closed
light R is on
contacts CR1-2 are open
light G is off

solid-state relay
A solid-state relay accomplishes the same result as the
electromechanical relay but with nonmoving electronic
devices such as silicon controlled rectifiers. SSR applications
include office machines, medical equipment, display lighting,
elevator control, vending machines, test and measurement
instrumentation, and so on.

AC and DC SSR
AC Relays are another solid state relay that are built
primarily from a Triac circuit. A Triac is a component
made of two "Thyristors" which are voltage controlled
unidirectional switches
DC Relays utilize transistors and MOSFETS to switch
larger circuits.

Electromechanical Relays
Solid-State Relays
Normally have multithrow, No contacts to wear out.
multipole
contact
arrangements.
No contact arcing to
Contacts can switch AC or DC.
generate electromagnetic
interference.
Very long life when
Low initial cost.
properly applied.
Very low contact voltage drop,
thus no heat sink is required.
Some EMRs allow replacement
of contacts.

Very
fast
switching
capability.
Resistant to shock and
vibration because they
have no moving parts

Electromechanical Relays
Contacts wear out.

Solid-State Relays
Normally only one contact
available per relay.

Generates
Rapid
switching Heat Sink required due to
application or high current loads will voltage drop across switch.
shorten contact life.
electromagnetic
noise
and Can switch only AC or DC.
interference on power lines.
Poor performance when switching Environmental
high inrush currents.
considerations (heat, dust,
dirt, water).