Recently, the need for power transmission in the mechanized industry has increased. This increase made wind turbines, solar panels, power transmission networks, and hydraulic systems rely on slip rings for signaling, electrical or hydraulic power. Here you will learn what electrical slip rings are, their types, and their functions.
What is an Electric Slip Ring?
The Slip Ring is an electromechanical device that transfers electrical signals and power from a static device to a rotating device. You can use the slip ring in any electromechanical system that requires rotation to transmit electricity or signals. The slip ring is an electrical connector or sleeve mounted outside the rotating shaft so that its internally attached contacts rotate with it. Some applications of slip rings include water treatment, oil, and gas, medical, agriculture, aerospace, electronics industry, construction, intelligent lightning, wind turbines, packaging machines, etc.
Below are some of the various types of electric slip rings;
Types of Electric Slip Rings:
Pancake slip ring:
In this type of slip ring, the electrodes rest on a flat disc. They are concentric rings placed inside a rotating shaft. This design has a high charge and increased capacity and skillfully accumulates wear remain on its vertical axis.
In some cases, it has a compressed shaft length that has proven to be suitable for several applications. In the pancake slip ring, the electrodes rest on a flat plate. They are concentric rings embedded in a rotating shaft. With many benefits, like low friction, low torque, low service life, and low electrical noise, the pancake slip ring is mainly applied to transmit the signal with the power supply accurately. It can also be connected to transmission fluid (such as hydraulic or pneumatic).
Separate Slip Ring:
The separate slip ring consists of two parts which are, the rotor and the brush holder. The separate slip ring is also known as a split slip ring or PCB slip ring. Because the self-contained slip ring unit provides maximum flexibility for installation locations within a customer’s machine, it is often used in applications where space is limited.
You can choose the position of the rotor unit and place the brush in the most suitable position with the rotor unit. Since this slip ring does not have housing, you must protect individual components from dust and water.
Read More: Difference Between AC Motor And DC Motor
Mercury Contact Slip Ring:
Mercury slip rings are among the latest additions, along with electrical slip rings. The functional appearance of both slip rings is very similar, and the only difference between both slip ring shapes is the use of contact material. In an electrical slip ring, a conventional contact material is used to transmit the required signal. But in the case of a slip ring with a liquid, a liquid contact material, mainly mercury, is used to transmit the signal.
In a conventional slip ring or even an electric caliper, power is transmitted by a sliding contact mechanism and this form of transfer has its advantages. But they have certain disadvantages associated with friction and noise from the constant contact of the slip ring and the brush. However, a mercury slip ring effectively overcomes these disadvantages.
Wireless Slip Ring:
The wireless slip ring is a new variety of slip ring products. They work on the principle of capacitive or inductive coupling to transfer electricity and signals by energizing coils at high frequencies. This is done with no contact between the rotating and the stationary elements, which you can also separate. If necessary, with unique materials.
They are generally less efficient than other solutions, and the loss in efficiency is proportional to the distance between the combined components. This solution is not yet widely available. Its main advantages include the absence of abrasion and the ability to configure with a high degree of tightness/protection.
On the other hand, they can only transmit power up to 150W, have low efficiency and require active electronics to drive the coil. Fieldbus communication is usually provided using a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth module built into an electronic device. You can also use this type of slip ring in suitable applications with high rotational speeds and poor serviceability.
Waterproof Slip Ring:
The waterproof slip ring is mainly for wet, corrosive, and underwater environments. The degree of protection will be IP65, IP67, IP68, and liquid components in the working environment. You can consider freshwater, seawater, and oil for this, and they are widely used on ships, port equipment, and some wet or humid environments. Devices work well for transmitting accurate signals, electricity.
Capsule Slip Rings:
The capsule slip rings have a functional design that fits the rotor, brush block, bearing, and housing, integrates easily, and protects against moisture and dust. Wide range of transmitted data: Ethernet, HDSDI video, HDMI, USB, high frequency, and data rate.
Capsule Slip Rings are available in Gold or Silver technology depending on speed, life, electrical noise, and financial considerations. And you can combine this type of slip ring with other types of rotating unions such as FORJ, Hydraulic, and Super Frequency.
Miniature Slip Ring:
The Miniature Slip Ring Assembly is designed for small installation spaces. It is also a compact slip ring, micro slip ring, mini slip ring, or micro slip ring. The miniature units have been designed to provide an economical and compact solution for power and signal transmission between rotor and stator. Shaft or flange are the two main methods of attachment. Besides, this type of slip ring is an extension of the capsule slip ring.
The slip ring is widely used in various applications and industries across the globe for the transfer of electric signals and power. The divers & types of slip rings come with their peculiarities and uniqueness in their various applications. Carefully go through this as a guide when selecting your slip ring!
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