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Power/Alternative Energy  

Relay modules offer four switching channels

Posted: 28 Sep 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mechanical relay  relay module  switching  power relay 

Opto 22 launches SNAP-OMR6-A and SNAP-OMR6-C, mechanical relay modules that provide a cost-effective way to switch higher voltages and currents without the need for breakout boards, header cables, or other interposing hardware.

The SNAP-OMR6-A and SNAP-OMR6-C power relay output modules offer four separate channels of switching for up to 250VAC or 30VDC, 6A loads. The modules are designed and built in the same form factor as Opto 22's standard SNAP I/O modules. As a result, the SNAP-OMR6-A and SNAP-OMR6-C offer 3x the rated current switching capability of standard SNAP optically isolated outputs, and 12x the rated current switching capability of SNAP reed relay modules—all in the same amount of rack space.

The features and capabilities of the two mechanical relay modules address at least three important customer needs. First, their ability to independently switch up to 6A per channel helps cut costs by eliminating the need for additional hardware to switch the load. Second, they are suitable for applications with inrush currents and inductive, capacitive, or resistive loads. (In contrast, Opto 22's current mechanical reed relay modules—which offer a maximum of 0.5A switching current and 120V ratings—are better suited for very low-current applications like signal switching.) Finally, because the SNAP-OMR6-A and SNAP-OMR6-C are mechanical (not solid-state) relays, each is capable of switching either AC or DC power. This feature potentially reduces the number of modules needed for any given application, and also offers advantages for laboratory and testing applications where the polarity of the electrical circuit is subject to change.

Although the SNAP-OMR6-A and SNAP-OMR6-C both feature channel-to-channel isolation, the two modules also have distinct differences. The SNAP-OMR6-A is a Form A, Single Pole Single Throw (SPST) relay with contacts that are normally open. The SNAP-OMR6-C is a Form C, Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) relay with mechanical contacts that can be wired as normally opened, normally closed, or both. Having these dual options allows users to effectively safeguard their control applications. For example, in the event that power is lost, the contacts on the SNAP-OMR6-C module will return to the position that's been designated as normal (open or closed), thus allowing an opportunity for connected equipment to operate (or shut down) safely.

The higher load capabilities of the SNAP-OMR6-A and SNAP-OMR6-C are said to make them ideal for switching solenoids, compressors, motors, and contactors on heavy equipment used in the HVAC, refrigeration, oil and gas, and water and wastewater industries. The modules will also prove useful for energy managers, building owners, and others looking to switch equipment on and off as part of their demand-response and other energy management operations.

The SNAP-OMR6-C and SNAP-OMR6-A are each priced at Rs.4,125.56 ($92) and are available now from the Opto 22 website and a worldwide network of authorised distributors.





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