MOSFET or Rheostat or Potentiometer pros and cons?

In summary: Duration of use? It sounds like you may need more than a simple potentiometer to create the needed movement. Potentiometers only have a limited range of movement, whereas an electromagnet can move large distances with a very small amount of current. Additionally, electromagnets can be made to have a wide range of strengths, so you can control the movement more precisely.
  • #1
Yitzy
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Preface: I'm a chemical engineering undergraduate student but as small-time and noob electrical engineering hobbyist. I really only have minimal experience in circuitry and the like.

I want to build a series of electromagnets with a variable their strength in order to levitate an opposing circular Halbach Array up to and from a certain height. This array will be separated from the electromagnets so I don't have to worry about it "sticking" to the electromagnets when off. There will also be a guide pole through the center of the array so that it stays balanced.

What would be the different factors I should consider when using a either a potentiometer or a MOSFET or PWM or some other kind of voltage variant?
Are there other kinds of energy controllers, that I could potentially use?
How do they differ from each other?

Thank you so much in advance.
 
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  • #2
Rheostats and potentiometers are just physically different versions of exactly the same thing and for DC current they have the same effects. If you don't care about power loss/waste in those passive current limiting elements then either one would be fine. If you would like to avoid that loss/waste at the expense of some complexity (and cost), look into active current controllers
 
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  • #3
phinds said:
Rheostats and potentiometers are just physically different versions of exactly the same thing and for DC current they have the same effects. If you don't care about power loss/waste in those passive current limiting elements then either one would be fine. If you would like to avoid that loss/waste at the expense of some complexity (and cost), look into active current controllers

Thank you for the response!

That would be perfect, but I need the device to either run on battery power or through an outlet (Battery being the preference as I don't want to deal with the craziness that is a transformer...Yet) . I also want to be able to create my own variable speed motor (and electromagnet) controller, without having to buy new active current controller.

Any tips?
 
  • #4
If you don't care about reduced battery life due to the waste in a pot you have no problem. Is this something that you plan to run for extended periods?
 
  • #5
Powerful electromagnets tend to need large currents. Got any more info on the electromagnet? Size? Field strength?
 

Related to MOSFET or Rheostat or Potentiometer pros and cons?

1. What is a MOSFET and how does it work?

A MOSFET (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor) is a type of transistor that uses an electric field to control the flow of current. It has three terminals - source, gate, and drain. When a voltage is applied to the gate terminal, it creates an electric field that controls the flow of electrons between the source and drain terminals. This allows the MOSFET to act as a switch or an amplifier.

2. What are the advantages of using a MOSFET?

MOSFETs have several advantages over other types of transistors. They have a very high input impedance, which means they require very little current to control the flow of electrons. They also have a low output impedance, allowing them to drive high loads. Additionally, MOSFETs have a low ON resistance, which means they can handle high currents without overheating.

3. What is a rheostat and how is it different from a potentiometer?

A rheostat is a variable resistor that is used to control the flow of current in a circuit. It has two terminals and a movable contact that can be adjusted to change the resistance. A potentiometer, on the other hand, has three terminals and a movable contact that can be adjusted to change the voltage output. While both can be used to control the flow of current, rheostats are typically used for high current applications, while potentiometers are used for low current applications.

4. What are the pros and cons of using a rheostat?

One advantage of using a rheostat is that it allows for precise control of the current in a circuit. It also has a simple design and is relatively inexpensive. However, one major drawback of rheostats is that they dissipate a lot of heat, which can cause them to overheat and fail. Additionally, they have a limited lifespan and can wear out over time.

5. How does a potentiometer work and what are its main benefits?

A potentiometer works by adjusting the position of its movable contact to change the voltage output. This is achieved by creating a variable resistance between its two fixed terminals. The main benefits of using a potentiometer are its versatility and precision. It can be used in a variety of applications, from audio equipment to electronic devices, and can provide precise control over the voltage output. It also has a longer lifespan compared to a rheostat, as it does not dissipate as much heat.

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