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power mosfets for switching

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Zeno, Aug 24, 2005.

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  1. Zeno

    Zeno Guest

    I'm interested in making a smarter light switch for a few rooms in the
    house. The switch will be controlled by a computer somewhere in the house
    well away from the switch, and the smart switch module will be on a network.
    What's the best way to actually turn the 115V/60Hz on and off safely and
    reliably ?

    I was thinking I should detect the next zero crossing and switch a relay so
    as to reduce arcing on the contacts.

    Can you get power mosfets in small packages that can handle like 5A through
    them, operate them in an on-off switching manner, and not care about
    detecting a zero crossing time ?
  2. josh lawton

    josh lawton Guest

    I would not waste your time switching during the zero crossing. The
    load may not always have the current in phase with the voltage. I would
    use a solid state relay. They can be controlled simply with 5V sigals.
  3. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    SCRs are more normally used for this application.

    Since you'll need safety isolation it might be simplest to use 'solid state
    relays' which are a pre-packaged solution that just need a low votage low
    current DC input to function.

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