Control AC Devices with Arduino SAFELY - Relays & Solid State Switches

Control AC Devices with Arduino SAFELY - Relays & Solid State Switches

Learn how to safely control AC devices using an Arduino. I will show you how to safely experiment with solid state switches and relays. We’ll also build a light-operate relay and a marquis-style light chaser!

Learn how to safely control AC devices using an Arduino. I will show you how to safely experiment with solid state switches and relays. We’ll also build a light-operate relay and a marquis-style light chaser!

Today we will learn how to control Alternating Current or AC devices. And, most importantly, I’ll show you how to experiment with AC in a safe and controlled fashion.

Controlling AC using semiconductors is a challenge, as most transistors only conduct current in one direction. One type of semiconductor that will do the job is the TRIAC, which itself is essentially a fusion of two Silicon Controlled Rectifiers, or SCRs.

Another way of controlling AC (or DC for that matter) is a good old-fashioned relay. Although relays have been around for over 180 years they are still a popular and practical solution for controlling AC devices.

One extremely important issue when controlling line-voltage (or mains voltage, if you prefer) AC current is isolation. You need to make absolutely sure that there is no electrical connection between your low-voltage logic circuitry and the high-voltage AC.

An excellent device for achieving this isolation is an optoisolator. This device separates the two circuits with a beam of infrared light, completely isolating them.

Put an optoisolator together with a TRIAC and you have a Solid State Switch, or Solid State Relay (SSR). Combine an optoisolator with a relay and driver transistor and you have a Relay Module. We’ll be using both of these devices with an Arduino today.

Here is the Table of Contents for today's video:

00:00 - Introduction 03:06 - Controlling AC 08:00 - Alternating Current Safety 09:28 - My AC Workbench Setup 12:39 - Using Relays 16:34 - Arduino Light-Controlled Relay 24:29 - Using Solid State Switches 28:43 - Arduino Light Chaser 36:24 - IoT Relay

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