Working of induction cooktops
Induction cooktops are very popular in all households. They have lots of advantages over gas and electric cooktops and are more efficient. But have you ever wondered how an induction cooktop works?
The working of an induction cooktop is very simple. It has more to do with electrical engineering than electronics but this caught my eye because an induction cooktop, a product that has a billion dollar market, uses a very base level technology for its working. How amazing is that such simple things can change our lives.
The Science behind induction cooktops
Induction cooktops work using the principle of Magnetic Induction
I am sure you have heard the terms magnetic fields and eddy currents. When current passes through a coil a magnetic field is produced around it. If the current use is AC (Alternating Current) the magnetic field produced keep changing its direction. When an electric conductor is placed in this alternating magnetic field the magnetic lines cut through the surface of the conductor. This generate eddy currents. Eddy currents are basically electricity produced within a conductor due to the presence of an alternating magnetic field and these currents flow in loops through the conductor. Due to the resistance of the material these eddy currents produce heat. This is the basic working principle of induction cooktops
An induction cooktop has two main parts;
1) Induction coil
Induction coils are made of copper and they produce a highly alternating magnetic field. The cookware does the job of the electric conductor but for this to be done it has to be ferrous. The presence of iron content in the cookware is important because only ferrous materials produce eddy currents when in contact with an alternating magnetic field. The heat for cooking is produced by eddy currents inside the cooking vessel and is passed through the food by conduction.
You can easily check if a cookware is ferrous or not by bringing a magnet near it, if it sticks then the cookware is ferrous. Induction cooktops also have control panels to control temperature, cooking time and other various aspects. Given below is a video I got from Youtube which shows a disassembled induction cooktop.
Unlike other methods of cooking here the heat is produced inside the cooking vessel which reduces any heat loss so the system is very efficient. There are hundreds of these now available in the market. You can find many induction cooktop reviews online, if you are looking to buy one. If you have any intention of purchasing one Duxtop induction cooktops are said to be the best.