How does a SSVR and a rheostat work? Power Efficiency and heat sinks?

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by rexdino5, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. rexdino5

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 2, 2016
    So, I've used a light dimmer to control temperature of my nichrome furnace, but I wanted to move to a larger diameter wire which uses more amperage than a smaller diameter wire. But my dimmer seems to melt the plastic case I put it in when I use 22g wire instead of 28g wire. I assume its because theres more amperage being used in the 22g wire which causes the dimmer to heat up a lot. How I've got the box setup is, I have the light dimmer, inline fuse, and safety switch all in series. Now I've been searching around for a higher wattage light dimmer but I can't find many that exceed 1kW, which is what I need. So I did some looking around and found this thing called a Solid State Voltage Regulator (SSVR) and it is packaged with a Rheostat. I was just wanted to know how it worked, and how the rheostat controls the voltage and what the SSVR does. I also read a few short threads about the efficiency of some switches and regulators and some of the light dimmers have 90% to 99% efficiency. I have the ability to make my own aluminum heat sink but I don't know how big I should make my heatsink for the amount of watts I need to dissipate.