I've been asked to design an 8-channel dummy load board. It's not very challenging but somebody's got to do it. It will be used to simulate small loads like solenoids or relays or torque motors. It needs some inductance too, because the drivers often PWM. Maybe 10 or so watts per channel.
I could do this electronically, but it would a lot easier and more rugged if I use wirewound resistors. I was thinking of making a conductance DAC, namely resistors R 2R 4R etc switched in parallel across the inputs with an SSR per resistor.
But there is a history of clever load banks. When I was an EE student at Tulane, two semisters of Electrical Machinery (with lab) was mandatory. It was a pain but I learned a lot. We had a big load bank in the machinery lab, a string of giant series resistors with a3-position knife switch at each node. That made me think about using series-parallel combinations to hit some target value.
I was thinking about the lower circuit for my gadget. I could use wirewould resistors and kink the leads to space them maybe 3/4 inch above my PCB, in the air stream. The higher value resistors might be2512 surface mounts.
I think there is a tool to bend and kink resistor leads. Or we could send a bunch out to a service maybe.