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Practical Applications of Heating Effect of Electric Current

When an electric current passes through a conductor, some heat is generated. In many cases it is desirable as it converts electrical energy into heat energy. In an electrical circuit, the unavoidable heating increases the temperature of the components and finally changes the properties of the components. The following are the useful applications of heating effect of current,

Electric Laundry Iron

Electric Toaster

Electric Oven

Electric Kettle

Electric Bulb

Another one is an electric bulb, in which the filament must retain as much of the heat generated so that it gets very hot and emits light. The filament should not melt at high temperatures. Mostly tungsten is the preferred metal since it possesses high melting point (3380°C). The bulbs are filled with inactive nitrogen and argon gases to prolong the life of the filament. Most of the power consumed by the filament is delivered as heat, and the rest (only small portion) will be radiated as light.
The fuse, which is used in electric circuits, is also an example of Joule’s heating. The electric fuse, which prevents all the electrical appliances from working when appliances receive more voltage than the prescribed limit. The electric fuse consists of a piece of wire made of metal or an alloy of suitable melting point. The fuse wire is enclosed in a sealed unit of porcelain or similar material with metal ends.


If the current exceeds the the prescribed limit, then the temperature of the fuse wire increases high enough to melt the fuse wire and hence the fuse wire melts. Mostly aluminum, copper, iron, lead are commonly used. The fuses used for household purposes are rated as 1A, 2A, 3A, 5A, 10A, etc.
The electric iron consumes 1KW electric power at 220 voltages.

Here 5A fuse is preferred.
Electric iron, immersion rod and room heaters are electrical appliances which contain a high resistance metal Nichrome as the heating element. When these appliances are connected to a power supply, a large amount of heat is generated in the heating coils.

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