Blackburn, J. Lewis Formerly, Consulting Engineer, Bothell, Washington.
Horowitz, Stanley H. Consulting Electrical Engineer, Columbus, Ohio.
El-Hawary, Mohammed Faculty of Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
- Basic classifications
- Electromechanical relays
- Solid-state relays
- Microprocessor relays
- Other relays
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
An electromechanical, solid-state, or digital device operated by variations in the input that, in turn, operate or control other devices connected to the output. Relays are used in a wide variety of applications throughout industry, such as in telephone exchanges, digital computers, motor and sequencing controls, and automation systems. Highly sophisticated relays are utilized to protect electric power systems against trouble and power blackouts as well as to regulate and control the generation and distribution of power. In the home, relays are used in refrigerators, automatic washing machines and dishwashers, and heating and air-conditioning controls. Although relays are generally associated with electrical circuitry, there are many other types, such as pneumatic and hydraulic. Input may be electrical and output directly mechanical, or vice versa. See also: Electric protective devices; Switching systems (communications)
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