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Unlike electro-mechanical relays (EMR) which use coils, magnetic fields, springs and mechanical contacts to operate and switch a supply, the solid state relay, or SSR, has no moving parts but instead uses the electrical and optical properties of solid state semiconductors to perform its input to output isolation and switching functions.
Just like a normal electro-mechanical relay, SSR’s provide complete electrical isolation between their input and output contacts with its output acting like a conventional electrical switch in that it has very high, almost infinite resistance when nonconducting (open), and a very low resistance when conducting (closed). Solid state relays can be designed to switch both AC or DC currents by using an SCR, TRIAC, or switching transistor output instead of the usual mechanical normally-open (NO) contacts.