How to choose an SSR to drive your heated bed

By mhackney Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Many folks are driving their heated beds with and SSR in order to get better heater performance using higher amp and/or voltage power supplies. Unfortunately, not all SSRs are created equal and you could actually have a fire if you choose the wrong one. I know, it happened to me. Here's what I wrote back in 2014 when this happened:
I had been running for over a year with my 24V supply hooked directly to RAMBo and then to my Onyx. When I rewired my Rostock a couple of weeks ago top permanently use my Azteeg X3 Pro I decided to "do the right thing" and use an SSR to control the Onyx. It had been working for a couple of weeks and just now, I noticed that distinctive "magic smoke" smell. Then I heard sparks so I immediately unplugged everything. When I opened the bay the smell was bad and the Fotek SSR-25 DD was extremely hot - way too hot to touch. The wires in and out were cool but the SSR was melting down. I've not experienced this with an SSR before and I got the 25A version as I thought that was plenty, maybe not. 
It turns out that simply looking at the peak amperage the SSR can handle is not sufficient. The issue is many inexpensive DC-DC SSRS have a high voltage drop which results in them getting hot, VERY hot. Even a heat sink with a cooling fan is not always sufficient. So be safe and look for a DC-DC SSR with a low voltage drop. Luckily, a good, affordable option exists - the Auber 100A #MGR-1DD80D100.  Here is the product description:
This SSR is specifically designed for low voltage DC applications such as thermoelectric cooler (TEC or Peltier cooler), LED illumination and low voltage DC heater. A unique feature of the design is its extremely low on-resistance (only 0.006 ohm@ 70A, 10V). The main benefits of using this design are1) Low heat generation from the SSR. Removing the heat generated by the SSR itself can be a headache when high current is passed. 2) Low voltage drop. There will be negligible voltage drop at the SSR. In comparison, other DC SSRs may have 1 - 3 volt drop with a 12Vpower supply.  The voltage drop can become a significant issue when low voltage DC power source is used.3) Low cost. The price of this SSR is much lower than other same current rating DC SSR with higher voltage rating. In addition, you will also save the cost and space for a heat sink.The maximum working voltage is 80VDC.Since the heat generated by this SSR is about 10 to 100 times less than other DC SSRs with higher voltage ratings, there is no need to usea heat sink when load is a 12VDC 10A TEC or heater. When used with our HS25 heat sink, it can handle a 60A load. When used with our HS25ET (rated for 25A AC SSR) external heat sink, it can take a 80A load.  And when used with our HS40ET (rated for 40A AC SSR) external heat sink, it can handle a 100A load.  
I use these exclusively on all of my 3D printers and they have been performing very well. I do have them mounted on a heat sink (no fan) and they are not even warm to the touch.

8 comments to ''How to choose an SSR to drive your heated bed"

  1. Yes it was. Verified genuine. I even filed a report with Fotek so they knew of the issue. The published specks fort his Fotek clearly list the large(ish) voltage drop. This is perfectly fine for many applications but not for controlling a high current draw heated bed. I did not know about this particular issue at the time - I thought all SSRs were created equal. I know better now!

  2. VERY good information. I am enjoying your coreXY build immensely, also.

  3. Thanks. As soon as I lock down the design, I'll be posting the CoreXY build and info here. Stay tuned!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thank Michael for this info, I'm getting this SSR right away.

  6. So weird, I didnt delete that comment, just changed my nick :P