The Main Difference between Relay and Solenoid


The main difference between Relay and Solenoid is, Relay is a switching device that switches or routs the electrical current or signal whereas the solenoid is an electromagnetic actuating device that pushes or pulls a shaft or any metallic arrangement. Read the full article carefully, you will learn a lot about relay and solenoid. In both electrical and electronics engineering fields, relay and solenoid are widely used, you will see their applications in automation systems, lifting systems, controlling systems, and other so many applications.

Relay


There are different types of Relay are available. Basically, an electromagnetic relay has an electromagnetic coil and contacts. An SPST relay has a single pole double through function which means it has a common terminal and a Normally Open(NO) contact and a Normally Closed(NC) contact. When the coil of the relay is not energized, the NC contact remains NC and NO contact remains NO. But when the coil of the relay is energized, the NO contacts become NC, and NC contacts become NO.

Here, you can see the diagram of an SPST Relay.

Relay Diagram


For example, one load is connected to the NC terminal and another load is connected to NO terminal and the power source is connected to the common terminal. So during the normal condition when the relay coil is not energized, the load connected to the NC terminal will get a power supply, and when the relay coil is energized the load connected to the NO terminal will get a power supply as it becomes NC.
So, now you may understand the relay can perform both switching and routing operations.


Solenoid


The solenoid is an actuating device or an actuator that actuates or makes physical changes in the real world when an electrical signal is applied to it. Solenoids are also available in different types. But if we take the example of a solenoid valve, then we will see it has an electromagnetic coil and a metallic plunger or any metallic arrangement that will help to block or close the valve. So basically what happens, when the coil of the solenoid has not energized the vale either in closed condition or in open condition. But when the solenoid coil is energized, the valve will be open if it was in the closed condition or the valve will be closed if it was in normal condition. So, now you may understand the solenoid does not perform electrical switching or routing function, it performs the physical actuating function.

Here, you can see the diagram of the solenoid.

Solenoid Diagram


Key Differences between Relay and Solenoid


1. Relay is a switching device whereas the solenoid is an actuating device.

2. Relay performs switching or routing function for electrical or electronic current or signals whereas the solenoid performs the controlling of physical quantities such as gas, liquid, and many other functions.

3. Relay works with electrical or electronic circuits only whereas the solenoid works as a ground device and works in the real world.

4. Relay is not any actuator but the solenoid can be called as an actuator.

5. Relay control the flow of current whereas solenoid control the flow of physical quantities such as liquid, gas, etc.


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The Main Difference between Relay and Solenoid The Main Difference between Relay and Solenoid Reviewed by Author on 3/09/2022 Rating: 5

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