Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Magic of the Reed Switch: Unlocking the Potential of Automation

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One of the best inventions of all time in electronics is undoubtedly the transistor, which turned the technology’s advancement and the capability of computation to the next level and turned the world upside down. Another invention of technology that has changed the field of control and automation is none other than the reed switch. A reed switch is a type of electrical switch that uses an electromagnet to open and close a circuit. When an electric current is applied to the electromagnet, the switch is activated and the circuit is completed. This type of switch is used in many different types of applications, such as security systems, automotive controls, and medical devices. In this article, we will discuss the history and basic operation of reed switches, as well as their various applications. We will also discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of using reed switches. Finally, we will provide some tips on how to select and install a reed switch.

Brief Intro To Reed Switch

These reed switches are ideal for applications where there is a need for controlling the electricity flow, and each form has a different name, like Form A, Form B, and Form C, where each application is specifically used in various applications as per their nature. And their manufacturing method will also differ according to their form. Such reed switches have specific applications in real life, and their diversity can be seen in proximity sensors, PLCs, and computer applications where a controlled flow of electricity is required. Such a reed switch works in a very simple way using electro-magnetic waves and is both flexible and conductive which can be observed in the below figure. The space between the reeds is also more valuable because it determines the amount of magnetic field required for the reed to deflect. Thus, high-conductivity metals and hard alloys will be used first, and then they will be heat treated separately in order to attain a flexible state for that metal. Even though these are used in a variety of applications like biomedical applications, aviation, control devices, and more, such a variety of reed switches can even solve a very serious problem in our society upon proper implementation.

Reed Switch working Diagram
Figure 1: Reed Switch working Diagram

Impact of Manholes in Society

The problem of manholes on roads is such a massive issue that it will be a trouble for people who are even driving because, in the night, these holes are not visible, and if the bike or vehicle hits one of them, then definitely the person who is driving the vehicle would be affected very badly. And the manholes are prone to being blocked because the unwanted impurities in large amounts get stuck because the manholes at the bottom have a canal or a conveyor that will drive the unwanted sewage water from a series of outlets in different houses. Where the canal is blocked, it will block the flow of sewage entirely, causing the upcoming flow of sewage to be blocked until the block is removed. If such a situation occurs, then it should be cleaned by a person who should clean the trapped area, but it’s really hazardous, and it can even kill the person who does this work or affect the person’s health, and even sometimes the person will die during this period of time. For this issue, some people from IIT Madras created a robot that will clean the canal. However, even these manholes can cause problems in other ways, such as if the opening of the manhole is left open and a vehicle comes and hits it at high speed, putting the pedestrian’s life in danger. And these robots should be made of materials, and the process will definitely cost a huge amount of capital as an investment to implement or use it in various places where these manholes are present, because we can’t assure that. When the canal will be stuck with unwanted impurities and there is no assurance that some of the canal will get blocked under the manhole, if we think genuinely, there is a high chance that all the holes for canal entry can even get blocked.

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Impact Of Reed Switch In This Solution

Thus, in order to solve both of these problems, we can use the reed switch as an indicator of that blockage. Let’s see how it works. At first, the design of the manhole is such that it is self-designed in such a way that the circumference, which is the outer area of the closing lid, is placed with magnets in the sides of the closing lid; thus, with a specific magnetic field range, a reed switch can be calibrated for a particular range of amps per turn (AT value).

Figure 2: Open manhole design suitable for road

These reed switches are ideal for applications where there is a need for controlling the electricity flow, and each form has a different name, like Form A, Form B, and Form C, where each application is specifically used in various applications as per their nature. And their manufacturing method will also differ according to their form. Such reed switches have specific applications in real life, and their diversity can be seen in proximity sensors, PLCs, and computer applications where a controlled flow of electricity is required. Such a reed switch works in a very simple way using electro-magnetic waves and is both flexible and conductive. The space between the reeds is also more valuable because it determines the amount of magnetic field required for the reed to deflect.

Thus, high-conductivity metals and hard alloys will be used first, and then they will be heat treated separately in order to attain a flexible state for that metal. Even though these are used in a variety of applications like biomedical applications, aviation, control devices, and more, such a variety of reed switches can even solve a very serious problem in our society upon proper implementation. For that reason, the problem of manholes on roads is such a massive issue that it will be a trouble for people who are even driving because, in the night, these holes are not visible, and if the bike or vehicle hits one of them, then definitely the person who is driving the vehicle would be affected very badly. And the manholes are prone to being blocked because the unwanted impurities in large amounts get stuck because the manholes at the bottom have a canal or a conveyor that will drive the unwanted sewage water from a series of outlets in different houses.

Where the canal is blocked, it will block the flow of sewage entirely, causing the upcoming flow of sewage to be blocked until the block is removed. If such a situation occurs, then it should be cleaned by a person who should clean the trapped area, but it’s really hazardous, and it can even kill the person who does this work or affect the person’s health, and even sometimes the person will die during this period of time. For this issue, some people from IIT Madras created a robot that will clean the canal. However, even these manholes can cause problems in other ways, such as if the opening of the manhole is left open and a vehicle comes and hits it at high speed, putting the pedestrian’s life in danger. And these robots should be made of materials, and the process will definitely cost a huge amount of capital as an investment to implement or use it in various places where these manholes are present, because we can’t assure that.

Diagram of a manhole fault detection and indication system
Figure 3: Diagram of a manhole fault detection and indication system

When the canal will be stuck with unwanted impurities and there is no assurance that some of the canal will get blocked under the manhole, if we think genuinely, there is a high chance that all the holes for canal entry can even get blocked. Thus, in order to solve both of these problems, we can use the reed switch as an indicator of that blockage. Let’s see how it works. At first, the design of the manhole is such that it is self-designed in such a way that the circumference, which is the outer area of the closing lid, is placed with magnets in the sides of the closing lid; thus, with a specific magnetic field range, a reed switch can be calibrated for a particular range of amps per turn (AT value).

Conclusion

Hence, the AT value is customizable for the magnetic field; it will de-select and open or close the circuit, so for this application, if the closing lid is closed, it should not accelerate the indicator, but if the lid is open, it should accelerate the indicator. Hence, this sort of function is performed by the Form B reed switch; thus, when the magnetic field is absent, the read switch will not pass the current flow. If the lid is open, the two reeds will close, that is, touch each other, causing current to flow and the indicator to accelerate. As a result, the main problem of opening manholes is indicated at first, but in order to detect the blockage in the canal of the underground manhole, we should install a cylindrical pipe for the sewage flowing level, where the cylinder will have a floating object made of PET material from a 3D printer that will have a magnet fixed during the 3D printing process, where the range of the magnet will be based on the AT value of the Reed switch, we are going to install. And we will have a three-reed switch in vertical order at various levels of the cylindrical structure, with the indication of the 3 indicator. The first stage of blocking will cause the single red indicator to glow; if the object reaches the second stage of the reed switch, two red indicators will illuminate and an alarming sound will be introduced, and the manhole will be at a risk-free level of canal depth for cleaning, making it easy to clean and preventing people from dying due to this hazardous situation or during the morning when the cleaning in charge collects garbage. Even at this time, if the first level of indication is seen, they can even use traditional cleaning equipment and solve a huge problem in just a few minutes. This novel application is fully applicable to all drainage system manholes. And this type of application would be even more useful during the rainy season, as we would be able to easily locate the location of the blockage, and overflowing would be avoided in the majority of cases during the rainy season. Hence, I conclude this article with a good solution where people’s lives are being saved from unwanted risk and death due to hazardous substances.

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