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I'm looking for a mechanical relay that can run 500 amps when closed. There are solid state solutions for switching such currents (SSRs, IGBTs, etc), and we do use them, but for a low speed H-bridge to polarity-invert some coils, I would rather avoid all the voltage drop of using IGBTs. I would not need to "hot switch" the full 500A, the switching would only take place when no current was running.

Parts that I've come across:

Omron G9EC series: Rated to 200A, with an exhaustive datasheet that looks trustworthy.

Stinger "SGP35" relay: supposedly rated to 500A, but the datasheet doesn't instill much trust. See for yourself: http://www.stingerelectronics.com/productDetails.aspx?ProductId=89&CategoryID=2

Has anybody got experience with either of these, or with other high current mechanical relays?

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You're looking for a "contactor" rather than a relay at those current levels. Tyco are a trustworthy brand, see the MAP200. Other places to look are the companies that make MCBs and other industrial automation controls such as Hager, ABB, GE, Moeller, Schneider, Eaton Cutler-Hammer XTCS500M22B etc.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Siemens is another vendor...if not owning on of those mentioned. \$\endgroup\$ – kenny May 17 '11 at 22:19
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Also consider the Tyco EV200, rated for 500A continuous (2000A interruption).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, my power EE college selected those for our hybrid boat project and contactors for AC signals. \$\endgroup\$ – kenny May 17 '11 at 22:21

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