gcsescience.com 7 gcsescience.com
How does a Relay Work?
The relay consists of two
1 is a
simple electromagnet which requires only a small current.
When the switch is closed, current flows
and the iron rocker arm is attracted to the electromagnet.
The arm rotates about the central pivot and pushes
the contacts together. Circuit 2 is now switched on.
2 may have a large current
flowing through it,
to operate a powerful motor or very bright lights.
When the switch is opened the
the rocker arm and the spring moves the contacts apart.
Circuit 2 is now switched off.
Why is a Relay Used?
The advantage of using a relay is that a
small current (circuit 1) can be used to
switch on and off a circuit with a large current (circuit 2).
This is useful for two
1. The low current circuit (circuit 1) may contain a component
such as an LDR, which only uses small currents.
2. Only the high current
circuit (circuit 2)
needs to be made from thick wire.
A relay is used to operate the starter motor in cars
and the heating circuit in diesel engines.
Links Electromagnetism Revision Questions
gcsescience.com Physics Quiz Index Electromagnetism Quiz gcsescience.com
Home GCSE Chemistry GCSE Physics
Copyright © 2015 gcsescience.com. All Rights Reserved.