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What Is Relay In Electrical?


A relay is an electrically operated switch, it’s electrical component that open and close circuits electromechanically or electronically.


For protection of electrical apparatus and transmission lines, electromechanical relays with accurate operating characteristics were used to detect overload, short-circuits, and other faults. While many such relays remain in use, digital devices now provide equivalent protective functions.

DMP300 series microcomputer protection equipment


Electrical Relay Contact Types

As well as the standard descriptions of Normally Open, (NO) and Normally Closed, (NC) used to describe how the relays contacts are connected, relay contact arrangements can also be classed by their actions. Electrical relays can be made up of one or more individual switch contacts with each “contact” being referred to as a “pole”. Each one of these contacts or poles can be connected or “thrown” together by energizing the relays coil and this gives rise to the description of the contact types as being:

  • SPST – Single Pole Single Throw

  • SPDT – Single Pole Double Throw

  • DPST – Double Pole Single Throw

  • DPDT – Double Pole Double Throw


with the action of the contacts being described as “Make” (M) or “Break” (B). Then a simple relay with one set of contacts as shown above can have a contact description of: “Single Pole Double Throw – (Break before Make)”, or SPDT – (B-M)


Examples of just some of the more common diagrams used for electrical relay contact types to identify relays in circuit or schematic diagrams is given below but there are many more possible configurations.


No category May 08,2017 HNAC Comments are closed

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3 Responses

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