On-Off Controller

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

On-Off Controller


a regulator whose controlling member, upon receiving a signal from a sensor, can only move into one of two extreme positions—on or off. The flow of energy or material to the controlled object may be only maximal or minimal.

The simplest kind of on-off control mechanism is an electromagnetic relay, whose contacts are either open or closed, depending on the signal received from the sensor. On-off controllers are widely used in cases where the operation of equipment requires some control within given limits but does not require a high accuracy of control (for example, the control of electric furnaces, refrigerators, or steam heating and water heating).


Popov, E. P. Avtomaticheskoe regulirovanie i upravlenie, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In the case of small displacement, the isolator with on-off controller produces either maximum or minimum force around equilibrium, which causes chattering or an underdamped vibration.
Figure 2 shows the performance in a batch reactor using Fuzzy Logic controller, (pHFLC) and on-off controller, (pHon-off).
On the other hand, PID controller and On-off controller show poor tracking with significant oscillations and offsets.