A slip ring is a device that makes an electrical connection between a stationary structure and a rotating structure. Slip rings are utilized in systems that rely on the transmission of power/data while also maintaining rotation. These systems include but are not limited to electrical generators for AC systems, packaging machinery, alternators, wind turbines, and cable reels.
Also commonly referred to as rotating electrical connectors, swivels, rotary electrical interfaces, electrical rotary joints, and collectors, slip rings often simplify system operation and improve mechanical performance.
A slip ring is usually comprised of a stationary graphite or metal contact that brushes on the outer diameter of a rotating metal ring. The current is conducted through the stationary brush to the metal ring to make the connection as the ring turns.
Slip rings come in a wide range of sizes and can be designed in a number of configurations (such as drum, platter, or pancake) to suit a variety of applications including rotating tanks, radio telescopes, aerodrome beacons, and power shovels.
The devices do the same for electrical power and signal that rotary unions do for fluid media and can be employed in a rotary union to work concurrently with the rotary joint to send data as well as power to and from the rotating machinery in conjunction with the media the rotary union offers. Slip rings are known for reliability and having long service lives while meeting exacting requirements in even the most demanding environments and applications.
Slip Rings Informational Video