A Guide To 2 Most Common Types Of Electrical Contactors

Home A Guide To 2 Most Common Types Of Electrical Contactors

Electrical contactors are electrical devices that turn circuits on and off. The electrical contractors are commonly divided into AC contactors and DC contactors based on the control coil’s voltage. 

Scroll down to get into in-depth details about the two different types of contractors. 

Hands of technician examining fusebox with multimeter probe

What Is an Electrical Contactor?

The electrical contactor is a switch that can make or disconnect the connection between the load and power supply. It utilizes a coil to pass through a current to produce a magnetic field in order to shut down the contacts to manage the electricity load. 

In simple words, electric contactors are electrical switching devices that are primarily utilized for turning on or off an electrical circuit. The contactors can be considered special types of relays that are mainly utilized in high-voltage applications. 

Common Type Of Electrical Contactors – DC Contactors

Read to go through more about DC contactors, their features, and their primary applications. 

Detailed Definition of DC Contactors

The DC contactors are those contactors whose power contacts are developed to hold and halt DC loads. The electromagnetic core of DC contactors is prepared using soft steel. 

As for the shape of the DC contactors’ electromagnetic core, they are primarily obtainable in a U shape. Generally, the DC contactors lack short circuit rings and can extinguish DC arcs.

Features Of DC Contactors

The primary features of DC contactors include lower current rating, variable operating frequency, lower current loss, and higher hysteresis loss. 

  • Higher Current Rating

DC contactors are able to control higher current loads and are used in applications with high current ratings. In all of the high-power applications like industrial machinery, EV chargers, and solar energy systems, DC contactors are used. 

  • Constant Operating Frequency

In general, direct current systems lack frequency variations, which is why they work at a constant operating frequency. As a result, the switching on or off and overall performance will be constant. 

  • Higher Current Loss

The DC contactors seem to experience high current loss most often as they are highly likely to use up higher power while functioning. Because of that, they lead to less energy efficiency.

  • Lower Hysteresis Loss

In the process of magnetic switching, DC contactors disperse lower power which is why they experience lower hysteresis loss. It is because the reversal DC systems do not have a magnetic field. 

DC Contactor

Applications Of DC Contactors

The applications of DC contactors are relatively wide, but the most common applications are solar energy systems, industrial machinery, and electric vehicles. 

  • Industrial Machinery

As industrial machinery and equipment, DC contactors are primarily utilized in various fields such as automation, robotics, manufacturing, etc. They can regulate and turn on and off the power supply to actuators, motors, and electrical parts. 

  • Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles and EV chargers use DC contactors as they are capable of easily monitoring high power transfer between the electric motor and battery pack. 

  • Solar Energy Systems

In order to regulate the direct current produced by solar panels, DC contactors are employed in solar energy systems. From solar inverters to solar panels and grid-tied systems to solar battery banks, these contactors are used almost everywhere. 

Voltage switchboard electrical panel distributor switches and wire

Common Type of Electrical Contactors – AC Contactors

AC contactors are also common types of contactors used in industry. This chapter will branch out detailed information about AC contactors such as their main features and major applications. 

Detailed Definition Of AC Contactors

In simple terms, AC contactors are those that handle alternating current (AC) electrical circuits. AC contactors are electromagnetic AC contactors that have 3 poles and a NO main contact. The electromagnetic core of AC contactors is prepared using laminated silicon steel sheets.

At the rear of the static core, the AC contactors have a short circuit ring that can destroy vibration and sound from the electromagnet. Coming to the shape of the AC contactors’ electromagnetic core, they are mostly available in an E shape. 

Features Of AC Contactors

The main features of AC contactors include a higher current rating, constant operating frequency, higher current loss, and lower hysteresis loss. 

  • Lower Current Rating

AC contactors are primarily used in applications with lower current ratings. They can deal with lower current loads that vary from a few amperes to hundreds of amperes. In general, AC contactors are utilized in plenty of commercial and residential applications with less power needed.

  • Variable Operating Frequency

Another feature that distinguishes AC contactors from DC contactors is their variable operating frequency. They can be utilized in electrical systems that have various frequency standards. 

  • Lower Current Loss

AC contactors comparatively display lower current loss. When operating, these contactors use lower electrical energy which leads to enhanced energy efficiency. In addition, we’re will be less power wastage.

  • Higher Hysteresis Loss

Coming to the hysteresis loss factor, AC contactors encounter more hysteresis loss than DC contactors. Due to the magnetic field reversal that happens during AC working, they lose more power during magnetic switching. As a result, there will be less overall efficiency.

ALT Text: AC Contactor 

Applications Of AC Contactors

AC contactors are primarily used in several fields. However, coming to the primary applications of AC contactors, include solar energy systems, lighting systems, cooling and heating systems, etc. 

  • Lighting Systems

AC contactors are generally utilized in lighting systems to manage the turning and distribution of energy to various lighting systems. Be it industrial, commercial, or residential environments, AC contactors are used for low-voltage lighting systems.

  • Cooling And Heating Systems

A variety of cooling and heating systems like heat pumps, air cons, HVAC appliances, etc., have AC contactors that generally turn on and off the compressor and different parts.

  • Solar Energy Systems

Various solar energy systems like grid-connected or grid-tied or grid-connected installations have AC contactors. They handle the distribution of power between the grid and solar inverters.

AC Contactors (2)
Source: AC Contactors  

Reliable Electrical Contactors From BENY

With nearly 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, BENY is a top-notch manufacturer and supplier of electrical contactors. Our products are certified and come with various protection features. 

Customized Product Design & Manufacturing

Our experts can create custom contactors as we offer customized product design where our team will analyze materials, price, functional design, and technical aspects. 

We have a 30,000 ㎡ manufacturing area with 12 active production lines that are equipped with cutting-edge. Our annual manufacturing capacity is 2,000,000 pieces. 

High Level of Protection: IP65/ 66

All products offered by BENY including contactors are equipped with the highest level of safety features. One such prominent feature is IP 65/66 weatherproof protection which safeguards our contactors from a wide range of weather elements like rain, dust, sun, etc. 

Multiple Certificates: TUV, UL, CE, SAA

At BENY, we offer high-class AC contactors that come with several international certifications such as CE certifications, UL certifications, and TUV certifications and are also SAA Approved. In addition to that, they adhere to global quality and safety standards as well. 


When handling electrical systems, it is vital for people to know the primary differences between AC contactors and DC contactors so that one can acquire the right type of contactor suitable for the desired application. 

From consultation to custom product design and quick manufacturing to 24/7 technical support, BENY is the one-stop wholesale manufacturer of contactors. Reach out to BENY and become a distributor to obtain our products for a wholesale price. 

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