Author Options:

what would happen if resistors of lower wattage are connected to a power supply of higher wattage? Answered

The power supply i'm using for a circuit has a higher power rating than a bunch of resistors i bought. What would happen if they are all wired together in one circuit?



10 years ago

It shouldn't do any harm unless you use EXTREME voltages like 1,000,000 which I doubt you are anyway. Basically think of it like a tank of water with a tap. The tap is the resistor and the value of your resistor is like how much the tap is shut. Low resistor levels mean that the tap is nearly completely open, whereas high resistance means the tap is nearly completely closed. The water is the electrons and the tank is the power source with the volts

Phil B

10 years ago

Your resistors will work just fine, unless the power consumed in the circuit exceeds what the resistors are capable of handling. In that event, they will become hot and fail.

hmddeenPhil B

Answer 10 years ago

Thanks man, i'll go try the circuit out today.


10 years ago

The ventriloquist goes to Heaven, the dummy does not.
It won't make any difference. It's like asking "what will happen if I try driving a car that has a top speed of 100 in a 60 zone?"
What matters is how much current you've got going through the resistors (like how much weight you put on the accelerator)

The power consumption (Watts) of a resistor is I2 x R, that is current squared (amps) time the resistance (Ohm).
Current (I) is given by the voltage (Volts) across the resistor divided by it's resistance (Ohm), so you can derive power = V2 / R