All you Need to Know About Power Contactor – BCH Electric Limited
A power contactor or an electrical contactor is a device used for switching an electrical circuit on or off. It is considered to be a distinct kind of a relay. However, the relay and contactor’s fundamental difference is that the contactor is used in higher current carrying capacity applications. In contrast, the relay is used for lower current applications. Electric contactors can be field mounted quickly and are compact. Generally, these electrical devices feature multiple contacts. In most cases, these contacts normally open and provide operating power to the load when the electric contactor coil is energized. Power contactors are used to control electric motors.
There are various types of electric contactors, and each type has its own set of applications, features, and capabilities. Power contactors can break current from 24 VDC to thousands of volts and from a few amperes to thousands of amperes. These electrical devices also come in varying sizes, from hand-held dimensions to sizes measuring a meter or yard on one side (approximately).
The most common application area of the electrical contactor is the high-current load. Power contactors have the aptitude to handle currents of over 5000 amperes and high power of over 100 kW. Arcs are produced whenever there is an interruption in Heavy motor currents. A power contactor can control or reduce these arcs.
Components of a Contactor
Three crucial components of an electric contactor are:
- Coil: The most vital element of an electric contactor is a coil. A driving force is required to close the contacts, which is provided by the coil or electromagnet of the power contactor.
- Enclosure: Power contactors present a chamber to provide insulation and protection to contacts. The protective chamber is made from different materials, such as polycarbonate, polyester, Nylon 6, Bakelite, thermosetting plastics, etc. Generally, the open-frame electric contactor features an additional enclosure, which protects the device from bad weather, hazards of explosion, dust, and oil.
- Contacts: Contacts are also a critical component of these electric contactors. The contacts do the current-carrying task of the electrical contactor. Different types of contacts in a power contactor are power contacts, auxiliary contacts, and contact springs. Each has its individual role to play.
- Lighting Control
Electric contactors are often used in large lighting installations to provide central control. Latching contactors are used to reduce power consumption in the contactor coils, and This latching contactor has two operating coils. When one of these coils gets momentarily energized, it closes the power circuit contacts. These circuits are then mechanically held closed until the second coil opens the contacts.
2. Electric Motor Starter
Electrical contactors can be used as a magnetic starter. The device designed to provide power to an electric motor is called a magnetic starter. Its essential component is a power contactor, which provides protection from overload, under-voltage, and power cutting.
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