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  • Infinite switch

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    An infinite switch, simmerstat, energy regulator or infinite controller is a type of switch that allows variable power output of a heating element of an electric stove. It is called "infinite" because its average output is infinitely variable rather than being limited to a few switched levels. It uses a bi-metallic strip conductive connection across terminals that disconnects with increased temperature. As current passes through the bimetal connection, it will heat and deform, breaking the connection and turning off the power. After a short time, the bimetal will cool and reconnect. Therefore, infinite switches vary the average power delivered to a device by oscillating quickly between on and off states. They may be used for situations that are not sensitive to such changes, such as the resistive heating elements in electric stoves and kilns. Disadvantages of the high-speed mechanical switching include erosion of the switch contacts by arcing and generation of radio-frequency interference and a general unsuitability for handling high powers and inductive loads. It can be considered as a very slow pulse-width modulation device.

  • Electric stove

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    An electric stove uses electricity to provide heat. An electric stove or electric range is a stove with an integrated electrical heating device to cook and bake. Electric stoves became popular as replacements for solid-fuel (wood or coal) stoves which required more labor to operate and maintain. Some modern stoves come in a unit with built-in extractor hoods. Electric stove "burners" may be controlled by a rotary switch with a finite number of positions (for example, six), each of which engages a different combination of resistances and hence a different heating power, or may have an "infinite switch" called a simmerstat. Some may have a thermostat.

  • Induction cooking

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    Top view of an induction cooktopInduction cooking heats a cooking vessel electrically by magnetic induction, instead of by radiation or thermal conduction from an electrical heating element, or from a flame. Because inductive heating directly heats the vessel, very rapid increases in temperature can be achieved, and changes in heat settings are instantaneous. In an induction cooktop ("induction hob" or "induction stove"), a coil of copper wire is placed under the cooking pot and an alternating electric current is passed through it. The resulting oscillating magnetic field induces an electrical current in the pot. This large eddy current flowing through the resistance of the pot results in resistive heating. For nearly all models of induction cooktops, a cooking vessel must be made of, or contain, a ferrous metal such as cast iron or some stainless steels. The iron in the pot concentrates the current to produce heat in the metal. If the metal is too thin, or does not provide enough resistance to current flow, heating will not be effective.

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