The relay is said to be hot switching the signal when the relay is either closed or opened as it carries a signal. This tends to have a significant impact on the lifespan of relays.
Relays shall erode faster than hot switch signals. The ones that do not hot switch are cooler while the ones that hot switch signals run hotter. Relay manufacturers in India say that both of these factors are the major causes of relays failing sooner when they are hot switched.
There are two types of loads that relays have to resist as they hot switch, i.e. capacitive loads and inductive loads.
- There is always a difference in the voltage or current that a hot switching relay is taking on.
- The switched current of a low impedance source connecting to a high impedance load should be low, correct? But if there is a high parasitic capacitance in the cabling, then the chances of a high surge current increases, say relay manufacturers in India.
- This happens when the relay closes, and the capacitor is charged by the source.
- Something similar may also happen if the relay were to connect to a capacitive load, which from the previous stage, is still carrying the charge.
Each relay has a different switching capacity depending on various factors, which leads to some of the most commonly known failures. Here are some of them mentioned by relay manufacturers in India:
- The contact resistance is varied due to the amount of erosion, mostly when the current is low.
- The high inrush currents cause welded contacts. They close which create molten metal in the contact area.
- A failure to close happens due to high corrosion levels and the large build-up of debris.
It is due to all of these reasons that a lot of people prefer cold switch.
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