Induction Heating of Water

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Induction Heating of Water
Induction heating uses an electromagnet to heat water. (cooking image by feferoni from Fotolia.com)

Induction heating refers to a process in which electricity is passed through a coil to generate a magnetic field. The energy from the electromagnetic field generates a large amount of heat. Induction heating heats objects in the field without contact with the objects. In the case of induction cooking, however, there is contact between the heating element and the container holding water or food.

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How Induction Heating Works

The article "Induction Heating" by scientist Richie Tessla states that induction heating works by connecting a coil to a high-frequency source of alternating electric current. The alternating current generates an intense magnetic field in the centre of the coil. Engineers can heat objects by placing them inside the coil.

Induction Stoves

An induction stove is a special type of stove that uses the principles of induction to generate heat. To boil water on an induction stove, you must place the water in a pot made out of iron or another magnetic metal. Turn on the stove to power the burner, which is coil-shaped. Electricity flows through the burner, generating an electromagnetic field. The electromagnetic field then penetrates the magnetic cooking vessel, generating heat inside the vessel. As the water boils, the heat is transferred to the cooking element. The rest of the stove remains cool, and heat generation stops immediately after the burner is turned off.

Advantages of Induction Heating of Water

According to theinductionsite.com, induction cooking allows greater precision when cooking. In the case of boiling water, you can bring water to a rapid boil, a slow boil or a simmer by adjusting the amount of electricity flowing through the burner. You can also boil water more quickly using induction heating than using other methods. Heat transfers directly to the cooking vessel, and you can heat the water to the exact temperature needed for boiling.

Disadvantages of Induction Heating

The major disadvantage to using induction heating to boil water is you need iron or stainless steel pots in order for induction heating to work. Induction stoves are also more expensive to purchase than gas stoves; as of February 2010, an induction stove cost about £1,105 on average, while a gas stove costs about £520.

Safety of Induction Heating

Induction heating is safer than other types of heating. The rest of the stove remains cool, and the heating element cools immediately when the stove is shut off or the pot of water is removed from the burner. There is no risk of radiation from induction heating.

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