Definition - What does Rheostat mean?

Rheostat is a variable resistor that is used to adjust the current and varying resistor in an electric circuit. It is used to adjust dim lights, control the speed of motors, and even handle the generator characteristics. It is designed in such a way that it has three terminals which consist of a resistive wire that is wrapped around the toroid coil and sometimes it also contains a ceramic core. The devices are mainly used in applications that need high voltage and current.

Petropedia explains Rheostat

A Rheostat consists of a resistance element equipped with two terminals. There are several types of rheostats available in the market such as a rotary rheostat, linear rheostat, slide rheostat and preset resistor. Most of them are made of open construction; however, enclosed types are also available. The device is equipped with a mechanical stop to limit maximum and minimum resistance. The potentiometer is one of the best examples of rheostats. An essential factor while choosing the appropriate device is to check the flow of current and the wattage rating.

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