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Old 22nd November 2010, 03:33 PM   #1
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Default Question about wattage of resistance in parallel

(First off, the question is not about the ohmage, it is about the wattage.) Obviously there is a simple formula to determine resistance in parallel. I need 330 ohms at 2W. I have all one watt resistors. Instead of running a 330ohm 2W resistor, could I run 3 1k 1W resistors in parallel? I figured since the power would be distributed through three 1W resistors the setup would easily handle the 2w that it needs to handle. Is this correct??
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Old 22nd November 2010, 03:40 PM   #2
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Yes, 3 paralleled 1K/1W resistors will give you 333R, at 3W. Dissipation in each resistor is V^2/R, which works even if they are not the same value.

Is your actual dissipation 2W or does your schematic call for a 2W resistor? If actually 2W, you probably want to go a bit higher than 3W capability. The usual rule of thumb is to use no more than 1/2 rated power dissipation.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 04:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobEllis View Post
Yes, 3 paralleled 1K/1W resistors will give you 333R, at 3W. Dissipation in each resistor is V^2/R, which works even if they are not the same value.

Is your actual dissipation 2W or does your schematic call for a 2W resistor? If actually 2W, you probably want to go a bit higher than 3W capability. The usual rule of thumb is to use no more than 1/2 rated power dissipation.
Thanks Bob!! Great answer to my question. And thanks for the dissipation pointer also, but yes the schematic calls for 2W so 3W will be plenty!!
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