I'm a software guy with enough hw knowledge to be dangerous. That said, I'm trying to learn.
I wish to control multiple 24 VAC water valves. Switching rate is low, as this is a hydroponics related project. Would like to use triacs and happen to have some Littlefuse L201E5 available. Also happen to have some xmegas available from a past project, so would like to use them.
My concerns are a) protecting the xmega from noise and triac failure; and b) proper inputs to the L201E5 triac.
Starting with b), the triac docs talk of zero crossings, positive input, and negative inputs. I understand only some of it, but conclude that it's outside the realm of simple digital IO. I'm looking for a simple on/off switch without worry as to when the input goes off relative to switched load state.
Some designs seem to solve all this by using a MOC3041 triac as inputs to the load switching triacs. At this point I get a bit lost.
- I believe the MOC3041 are sufficient to handle the 24VAC valve solenoids, but am unsure how to prove it to myself.
- I also don't see why this part is called a "triac" instead of a "relay". While the innards may be different, is the function the same?
Words of wisdom in an electrically naive format?
BTW, have read much of what exists here re triacs. Most of those discussions are intended for more complicated uses (eg dimmers, phased motor drivers) and I'm sorry to say they lose me too quickly.
BTW2, why not just use relays? Learning something new and cost.