An infinite switch is a rotary switch which controls the power dissipated by a heating element. It is used on electric ranges, hot plates, warming drawers and zones, barbecue grills, space heaters, quartz heaters and many applications which call for proportionate control of a resistive load. An infinite switch, simmerstat, energy regulator or infinite controller is a type of switch that allows variable power output of a heating element of an electric stove. It is called "infinite" because its average output is infinitely variable rather than being limited to a few switched levels. It uses a bi-metallic strip conductive connection across terminals that disconnects with increased temperature. As current passes through the bimetal connection, it will heat and deform, breaking the connection and turning off the power. After a short time, the bimetal will cool and reconnect. Infinite switches vary the average power delivered to a device by switching frequently between on and off states.
In electrical engineering, a switch is an electrical component that can disconnect or connect the conducting path in an electrical circuit, interrupting the electric current or diverting it from one conductor to another. The most common type of switch is an electro-mechanical device consisting of one or more sets of movable electrical contacts connected to external circuits. When a pair of contacts is touching, current can pass between them, while when the contacts are separated no current can flow.
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