Loads via relays

In modern automation systems, relays play a crucial role in controlling electrical loads remotely. This guide will introduce you to the basics of using relays as remote switches, allowing you to control loads via a touchscreen, web interface, and the Pekaway app. The relays discussed in this guide include two types: 4 times NO/COM with 16A and 4 times NO/COM/NC 10A.

Understanding Relays

A relay is an electrically operated switch that uses an electromagnet to mechanically operate a switch. Relays are used where it is necessary to control a high-power circuit with a low-power signal, such as turning on a high-current device using a microcontroller or other digital logic devices.

Types of Relays Covered

  1. 4 times NO/COM with 16A Relays:

    • NO (Normally Open): These contacts are open when the relay is not energized. When the relay is activated, the contacts close, completing the circuit and allowing current to flow.

    • COM (Common): The common terminal that switches between the NO and NC contacts.

  2. 4 times NO/COM/NC Relays:

    • NC (Normally Closed): These contacts are closed when the relay is not energized. When the relay is activated, the contacts open, breaking the circuit.

    • NO (Normally Open): Same as above.

    • COM (Common): The common terminal that switches between the NO and NC contacts.

Voltage Switching Capability

These relays can switch different voltages, making them versatile for various applications. They can handle both AC and DC loads, suitable for home automation, industrial control systems, and other electrical projects.

Setting Up the Relay System

To control a load remotely using a relay, you'll need to follow these steps:

1. Hardware Setup

  • Connect the Relays: Connect the relays to your control board. Ensure that the relays are correctly wired to handle the load according to their specifications (16A for the NO/COM relays).

  • Load Connection: Connect the electrical load (e.g., lights, motors) to the relay output terminals (NO/COM or NO/COM/NC) based on the desired operation.

  • Fuse Installation: It is crucial to include a fuse in your circuit to protect against overcurrent situations. The fuse should be rated appropriately based on the load and relay specifications. This safety measure helps prevent damage to the relay and connected devices.

Advanced Features: Timers, Auto Turnoff, and Input Mapping

Enhancing the basic functionality of relay-based systems, you can integrate several advanced features to achieve more efficient and customized control of your electrical loads. These features include the ability to automatically turn off devices after a set time, use timers for scheduled operations, and map inputs to multiple relays. Here's how to leverage these capabilities:

1. Auto Turnoff After Time

The auto turnoff feature is particularly useful for ensuring that devices are not left running unnecessarily, which can save energy and extend the lifespan of the device. This functionality can be programmed to automatically switch off a relay after a predetermined time period once it has been activated.

Implementing Auto Turnoff:

  • Configuration: Set up the relay control software to include a timer for each relay that needs the auto turnoff feature. This timer starts when the relay is activated and stops the relay after the specified duration.

  • Application Example: In a home automation scenario, you might configure bedroom lights to turn off automatically after 30 minutes, ensuring lights aren’t left on all night accidentally.

  • You can setup these Autoturn OFF timer in the Webinterface Config-> switches -> scheduler

  • this feature is particularly useful for pressurized water pumps to prevent leaks.

2. Timers for Scheduled Operations

Timers allow you to automate the operation of loads according to a schedule, which is perfect for reducing energy consumption and automating routine tasks without manual intervention.

Setting Up Timers:

  • Define Schedule: Webinterface -> Config -> Switches -> scheduler

  • Use Case: Automate a garage light to turn on during evening hours and off at dawn, or manage a water heating system to only operate during off-peak electricity tariff hours.

  • Please make sure that the time is present in the system and is set correctly. See time.

3. Mapping Inputs to Several Relays

Input mapping allows you to control the relays via a switch or button. You can control multiple relays simultaneously or just one. This feature simplifies complex operations and enhances the flexibility of the control system.

How to Map Inputs:

  • Input Configuration: Assign a single input to trigger multiple relays. This can be done through the control software where inputs and their corresponding relay outputs are defined.

    • Webinterface -> Config -> Switches -> Input

  • Practical Example: A single "All Off" button could be set up to turn off all lights in a house. Alternatively, a motion sensor could trigger both lighting and security systems when activated.

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