Induction Heaters

WRL Consultancy has expertise in induction-heater design, with particular experience in mains-powered units with output-power in excess of 1kW. One such product is currently exported to other EU countries, Germany in particular.

The general considerations regarding any induction heater are its required power output, size and mechanical form, EM emissions (conducted or radiated), safety and cost.

Induction heaters appear in a variety of architectures, and the optimum design very much depends on details of the application. The application and expected usage will impose constraints and permit certain degrees of freedom.

Practical considerations will include: duty-cycle, ergonomics, environmental conditions to tolerate, EMI conditions to tolerate, available power source, geometry and material of target (e.g. mild steel or aluminium), and practical hazards. Such hazards include: realistic probable common forms of misuse (and their electrical/electronic consequences), tuning variation (caused by the target, other factors, or intrinsic), operational transients, supply voltage spikes and dips.

Hence the details of the application determine: the output structures, the form of the oscillator (or pulse generator), matching and key magnetic components, and the requirements for the various types of management circuits.

Our design and development capability includes: output coils (including where mechanical design has to take account of particular practical usage considerations) ; oscillator and drive circuits for the output coils; specification and design of magnetic components; EMI emissions control; management circuits (control, protection and ancillary circuits) and their firmware; design to comply with appropriate safety standards; compact design; design to minimise and dissipate generated heat.

The design process begins with a detailed understanding of the application requirements; with the aid of various calculations (including EM modelling) and research of suitable components, the concept is then developed for the output structure and driver system and the appropriate operating frequency, which in turn informs the concept for the power-conditioning and management circuits. The innovation necessary to solve some of the problems that arise can sometimes lead to a patent application.

We are naturally pleased to discuss possible requirements, whether for new designs, or for improvement/troubleshooting of existing designs.