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# What does a relay do?

Wiki User

2007-06-03 23:37:40

A relay is an electrically actuated switch. There are a number of contacts actuated by a soleniod. When the solenoid is energized the position of the contacts changes, "throwing" the switch. The terminology of switches and relay contacts is as such: (number)p-(st(no/nc)/dt) The number followed by p is the number of poles. This is the number of independent "switches" in the unit. The (number)p may be replaced with sp (single pole) meaning 1p or dp (double pole) meaning 2p. ST stands for single throw, there is only two contacts for each pole. ST is usually suffixed with NO or NC in relays standing for normally open and normally closed. Normally open contacts conduct when the solenoid is energized. Normally closed contacts conduct when the soleniod if off. DT stands for double throw, meaning that there are 3 contacts per pole: a common contact, a NO contact, and a NC contact. So: a 3p-st NO relay has 3 switches that close when energized. a sp-dt relay has one 3 contact switch. An electrically actuated 3-way switch, if you will. a dp-st NC relay has one switch that opens when the solenid is energized.

Wiki User

2007-06-03 23:37:40