MOSFET or Rheostat or Potentiometer pros and cons?

  • #1
2
0
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.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
16,442
6,737
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
 
  • Like
Likes Yitzy
  • #3
2
0
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
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
16,442
6,737
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
CWatters
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
10,529
2,297
Powerful electromagnets tend to need large currents. Got any more info on the electromagnet? Size? Field strength?
 

Related Threads on MOSFET or Rheostat or Potentiometer pros and cons?

Replies
3
Views
763
Replies
8
Views
11K
Replies
7
Views
5K
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
11K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
25K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
49K
Top