What's The Difference Between Solid State And Electromechanical Relays? Most electronic devices in use today wouldn't be possible if it weren't for relays. Within their most simple form, relays are electronically controlled switches. They are quite often used in cases where large voltages has to be turned on or off through a smaller, lower-powered control signal. For instance, a majority of the electric functions that are in a car are controlled by relays. This allows the sensors to operate with less current than the full power of the carâ€™s 12-volt battery, which makes them safer to operate. Solid state and electromechanical are the two most popular types of relays. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to know about each kind before choosing which to use. Whenever you use a solid state relay in a situation that requires an electromechanical relay or the other way around, can result in a full system failure, but more importantly it may create a dangerous situation. A solid state relay, also known as SSR, works by using a low power sensor to control a bigger load circuit. The SSR doesn't possess any moving parts that may be more advantageous over the electromechanical relay. For this reason, SSRs are extremely quiet to operate, and will likely outlive any comparable EMR under normal operating circumstances. SSRs usually come with a "zero-voltage crossover" and is available to work over a substantial range of voltages and currents. This basically means that when you turn the circuit on or off, there won't be a voltage surge, which can be beneficial for sensitive equipment. Instead of using semiconductors, the electromagnetic relays uses a coil of wire with a movable switching device that is placed inside it. After the coil is energized, the magnetic field that was created within it causes the switching element to make or break connection with the controlling circuit. Because of the moving parts in an EMR, it has a finite lifespan. This may be a consideration when choosing if you should use one, depending on the relative lifespan of the equipment being controlled. Unlike a solid state relay, an EMR does make some noise when turning on and off - both physically and electrically. It will arc once an EMR breaks connection with a circuit and produce electrical interference with all devices in the area sensitive to RF interference. There are a few disadvantages with solid state relays. One of the drawbacks is that they are never completely on or off - even if it's off, there will be a small voltage present that could affect sensitive equipment. Electromagnetic relays are completely open when off, so there is no voltage leakage across the poles. Additionally, when SSRs are on, they've got a very large resistance. This requires the usage of a large heat sink to dissipate the ensuing heat. EMRs have a very low resistance in contrast, so no heat sink is needed. When SSRs fail, they can be unpredictable. They generally fail by shorting out, which can cause serious problems down the road. EMRs generally fail in the coil, which can merely result in a break in the circuitry, protecting the equipment. The most important thing to remember about the two types of relays isn't to attempt to adapt one to a use better suited to another. In reality, neither type is â€œbetterâ€? all the time - each merely has specific advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the proper kind will guarantee that your
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PE Products Company, Inc
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