Relays are used in many electrical circuits, and they form a vital part of any electrical system. A relay is essentially a switch that is activated through an electrical signal. One of the key components of a relay is the wiring diagram, which helps to illustrate the different connections that need to be made to ensure that the relay functions correctly. In this article, we will explore the different symbols used in 12-volt relay wiring diagrams.
What are 12 Volt Relays?
12-volt relays are electrical switches that are activated when a current is sent through them. These switches are designed to handle high current loads, making them ideal for use in automotive, marine, and industrial applications. 12-volt relays are commonly used to control headlights, horns, and other electrical components in vehicles.
Relays consist of an electromagnetic coil and one or more contacts that open or close when the coil is energized. When power is applied to the coil, it creates a magnetic field that pulls the contacts together, completing the circuit. These contacts are connected to the circuit using wiring, which is indicated on the wiring diagram.
12 Volt Relay Wiring Diagram Symbols
The symbols used in 12-volt relay wiring diagrams are universal and recognized by most electricians and engineers. These symbols represent the different electrical connections that need to be made to ensure that the relay functions correctly. The following table illustrates some of the most commonly used symbols:
|Coil||The electromagnetic coil that powers the relay|
|Contact||The switching contact that opens or closes when the coil is energized|
|Normally Open||A contact that is open when the relay is not energized|
|Normally Closed||A contact that is closed when the relay is not energized|
|Common||The connection point for the power supply to the relay coil|
How to Read a 12 Volt Relay Wiring Diagram
Reading a 12-volt relay wiring diagram can be daunting, especially for those new to the field of electrical engineering. However, once you understand the symbols and connections, it becomes much easier. The following steps will guide you through the process:
Step 1: Identify the Relay Type
The first step is to identify the type of relay that you are dealing with. This can usually be determined by the part number or markings on the relay itself. Different relays have different specifications, so it is important to use the correct wiring diagram.
Step 2: Identify the Pins
The next step is to identify the pins on the relay. These are the connection points that the wiring will be attached to. The pins are usually numbered, and this information is often provided on the wiring diagram.
Step 3: Identify the Coil and Contacts
The wiring diagram will illustrate the connections for the coil and contacts. The coil is usually shown as a circle with a letter or number inside, while the contacts are shown as either normally open or normally closed.
Step 4: Connect the Wiring
The final step is to connect the wiring according to the diagram. This involves connecting the power supply to the coil, as well as the load to the contacts.
What is the purpose of a 12-volt relay?
The purpose of a 12-volt relay is to switch high current loads using a low current electrical signal. This makes them ideal for controlling headlights, horns, and other electrical components in vehicles.
Can I use a 12-volt relay for a 24-volt system?
No. 12-volt relays are designed to handle 12-volt systems only. Using a 12-volt relay in a 24-volt system will result in damage to the relay and could cause a fire hazard.
Can I use a 12-volt relay to control AC loads?
No. 12-volt relays are designed to handle DC loads only. Attempting to use a 12-volt relay to control AC loads could result in damage to the relay and could cause a fire hazard.
What is the difference between a normally open and normally closed contact?
A normally open contact is open when the relay is not energized, while a normally closed contact is closed when the relay is not energized.
What is a common connection?
A common connection is the connection point for the power supply to the relay coil. This point is shared between the coil and one or more of the contacts.