How Does a Motor Contactor Work?

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How Does a Motor Contactor Work?
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Basics

A motor contact is a device that is used to switch on a power or control circuit remotely within a motor. The activation of the contactor only happens when a current or voltage lower than the required amount is sent to the control input on the contactor. The motor contactor's size and power is determined by the amount of power needed by the motor it is installed in.

How It Works

The motor contactor becomes active when current passes through the electromagnet on the contactor. This causes an electromagnetic field to be produced, which draws the moving and fixed contacts together. When the coil in the contactor no longer is holding an electrical charge the core of the electromagnet is moved by gravity back to its starting position. This opens the contacts on the motor contactor.

Where Motor Contactors Are Used

Motor contactors can be used in a wide variety of applications. They can be used in cars, air conditioning units, generators and myriad other devices. There are generally two categories of contactors. The first category of contactors are referred to as general purpose contactors. These can be used in more than one device. The second category of contactor is referred to as a definite purpose contactors. These can only be used in the device they were made for.

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