With several electrical units demanding higher power than what a microcontroller can offer, the relay module finds use in several different applications. So, what exactly is a relay module circuit, and how it operates? In this guide, you will learn about the relay module’s definition, function, working, and uses.
What is a Relay Module?
Relay module circuit simply houses one or more delays. They come in several sizes and shapes but are generally rectangular with 2,4, or 8 relays mounted upon them. Often up to 16 relays.
It includes components like a relay unit, protection diodes, indicator LEDs, resistors, transistors, and others. Some common facts that make the relay module circuit the bulk of the device are:
- A relay is an electrical switch that uses control systems and devices that use higher voltages. In relation to the relay module, it is typically an electromagnet.
- The relay module information is commonly printed on the surface of the device for ready reference. It includes the current limit, switch voltage, and input voltage rating.
- It is available in an array of input voltage ratings. This can be a 3.2V or 5V relay module for low-power switching. It can also be a 12 or 24V relay module for heavy-duty systems.
- The relay module input voltage is commonly DC. Further, electrical load that can be controlled by a relay can be either AC or DC. Significantly, within the limit levels that the relay is developed for.
Comparison between Relay Module and Relay
It is highly significant to note and embrace the difference between a relay module and vs relay.
A relay is a single device that has a switch and an electromagnet, or it can be a solid-state type. On the other hand, a relay module has a board that has one or several relays on it and various other elements to offer protection and isolation.
Due to its modular construction, this kind of control device and switching can be in several different configurations. It can be a single-channel relay module for a single load or it can be a multiple-channel system with several relays to manage multiple circuits.
Relay Module Function
The main function of the relay module is to switch electrical systems and devices on and off. It also acts to isolate the control circuit from the system or device being controlled.
It is significant as it enables you to use a microcontroller or other low-power device to manage systems with much higher currents and voltages.
Another relay module circuit objective is to amplify the control signal such that it can switch the higher currents through a small out of power from a microcontroller.
Relay Module Working
The relay module’s working principle is fairly simple. It applies an electromagnet to open and close a set of electrical contacts. Below is the process or working of relay module devices for easy comprehension:
- The typical relay module circuit interlinking points include an input side that comprises 3 or 4 jumper pins, and an output side that has three screw terminals.
- When the input side of the relay receives the control signal, it activates the electromagnet that attracts an armature.
- This in return encloses the switch contacts on the higher voltage side, enabling electricity to flow and power the system or device that is linked with it.
- To avoid flyback voltage from destroying the input device and relay module circuit. A diode is sometimes placed in parallel with the electromagnet coil. Hence, is known as a flyback diode. It enables current to flow in only one direction.
- An optocoupler is used when a greater level of isolation is needed. An optoisolated relay module has a photoelectric device on the input side that is applied to manage the electromagnet’s switching action.
Relay modules can either be normally closed (NC) or normally open (NO) switch configurations.
- A NO switch opens when the electromagnet is not activated and closes when it is activated.
- On the other hand, the NC relay switch remains closed by default and only opens when the relay activated
Relay Module Uses
Relay modules are applied in several sectors starting from controlling lights and motors to highly complex units like safety or security systems and automation processes. A few examples where relay modules are used are:
- Home automation: Relay modules can be used in home automation systems to control lights, fans, and other appliances.
- Industrial automation: In industrial automation systems, relay modules are used to control motors, pumps, and other machinery.
- HVAC systems: They can be used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to control the operation of fans, compressors, and other equipment.
- Automotive applications: Relay modules are commonly used in automotive applications to control various functions, like headlights, wipers, and power windows.
- Security systems: They help to control the operation of alarms, door locks, and other components.
- Medical equipment: Very often relay modules are used in medical equipment, such as infusion pumps and diagnostic equipment, to control various functions.
Overall, relay modules are versatile devices that can be used in a wide range of applications where precise control of electrical circuits is required.
A relay module is a relay that has been placed over a board using several elements to offer protection and isolation. This makes the relay module highly user-friendly in a broad range of applications. The application of relay module devices includes a simple and convenient method to manage electrical equipment systems remotely.