How does induction cooktop work? An induction cooktop is a type of kitchen appliance that uses electromagnetic fields to generate heat in the cooking surface. The heat is generated by electric currents that are induced in metal objects placed on the cooktop.
Want to know more about it? Just read this article until end. In this blog, we also have an article about best commercial induction cooktop on amazon that you might want to read about it.
What Exactly Is Induction?
Prior to comprehending induction cooking, it is necessary to comprehend induction. And the first thing you need understand is that the term “induction” is an abbreviation for “electromagnetic induction.” Induction, in its simplest form, is the process of creating electricity by magnetism. It originates from the simple truth that electricity and magnetism are not distinct, unrelated phenomena (as we are taught in school), but rather two distinct characteristics of the same fundamental phenomenon: electromagnetism.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, a few of outstanding European scientists solved the mystery of electromagnetism, the unexplained link between electricity and magnetism. Their discoveries are among the most significant ever made: scientists had known about electricity since prehistoric times, but comprehending the science (and technology) of electromagnetic enabled the globe to be powered by electricity for the first time.
It all began in 1820. Hans Christian Oersted, a Danish scientist, discovered that when an electric current travels through a wire, it generates an unseen pattern of magnetism all around it (a magnetic field, in other words). The next year, French scientist Andre-Marie Ampère extended this experiment: he discovered that two wires carrying electric currents put close together can either attract or repel one another, similar to two magnets, due to the magnetic fields they generate.
Until now, the developing science of electromagnetism has been entirely theoretical: fascinating, but of little practical use. Things took a much more practical turn in 1821, when the great English scientist and chemist Michael Faraday discovered how to utilize electricity and magnetism to create a crude electric motor. He positioned a magnet next to a length of wire into which he injected an electric current.
As the current passed through the wire, it formed a magnetic field around it (as Oersted discovered), displacing it from the magnetic field generated by the permanent magnet. Other innovators (particularly the Englishman William Sturgeon and the American Joseph Henry) developed functional electric motors, while Faraday continued to dabble with the science.
In 1831, he demonstrated the opposite effect: he demonstrated how rotating a coil of wire through a magnetic field causes an electric current to flow through it, thus inventing the electricity generator that would soon bring electric power to the world (in the hands of pioneers such as Thomas Edison).
Electromagnetism (how electricity may be converted to magnetism and vice versa) was ultimately defined in the 1860s by Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell. Maxwell encapsulated everything that was known about electricity and magnetism at the time in four exquisitely simple, crystal clear mathematical formulae. Today, Maxwell’s equations, as they are now known, remain the bedrock of electromagnetic physics.
How Does Induction Cooktop Work
Thus, how does an induction cooktop work? The following is a breakdown of it:
- An induction cooker resembles any other ceramic cooktop, with discrete zones for placing pots and pans. Typically, the cooking surface is comprised of a robust, heat-resistant glass-ceramic like Schott CERAN®.
- Each cooking zone is enclosed by a tightly wrapped coil of metal. When the power is turned on, an alternating current travels through the coil, creating an unseen, alternating magnetic field of high frequency everywhere around it. Unless a pan is placed on the cooking zone, no heat is generated, and the cooking zone stays chilly. You may be asking why such a high frequency is necessary. Although the frequency of your home’s power supply is around 50–60Hz (50–60 times per second), an induction cooktop increases this by approximately 500–1000 times (usually to 20–40kHz). Because it is considerably beyond the range of hearing for the majority of us, it eliminates any bothersome, audible buzzing. Notably, it prevents magnetic forces from repositioning the pan on the burner.
- Placing a pan on the cooking zone causes the magnetic field generated by the coil (seen below with blue lines) to permeate the iron inside.
- The magnetic field generates spinning electrical currents (eddy) inside the pan, converting it into a heater (shown here in orange).
- The heat from the pan is transferred directly to the food or water contained therein (by conduction).
- While gas burners are simple to use, they waste energy by heating both the surrounding air and the cooktop in addition to the food in the pan. Because they employ bare flames, they are more prone to start a fire than any other kind of electric cooking.
- If you can simply cook on an electric ring or a gas stove, why would you want to use an induction cooktop? There are several compelling explanations.
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