Inductor Basics – Types, Formula, Symbol, Unit, Uses, Function
Learn Inductor Basics – Types of Inductor, Formula, Symbol, Unit, Uses and Function Explained in Detail.
Here we Learn Inductor Basics – Types of Inductor, Formula, Symbol, Unit, Uses and Function.
What is an Inductor?
An inductor is a passive electrical device (typically a conducting coil) that introduces inductance into a electric circuit. It is basically a coil of wire with many winding, often wound around a core made of a magnetic material, like iron. Simplest form of an inductor is made up of a coil of wire.
Inductors are the third and final type of basic electronic component.
The inductance measured in henrys, is proportional to the number of turns of wire, the wire loop diameter and the material or core the wire is wound around.
Inductor Unit and Symbol
The SI Unit of Inductance is henry (H) named after the American scientist Joseph Henry.
Symbol of Inductor is:
Properties of an Inductor
The properties of inductors derive from magnetic force rather than electric force.
When current flows through a coil (or any wire) it produces a magnetic field in the space outside the wire, and the coil acts just like any natural, permanent magnet, attracting iron and other magnets.
Combination of Inductors
We already know how inductors act in combination because they act just like resistors. Inductance adds in series. This makes physical sense because two coils of wire connected in series just looks like a longer coil.
Parallel connection reduces inductance because the current is split between the several coils and the fields in each are thus weaker.
Different Types of Inductors
Inductors are categorized into different types based on their core material and mechanical construction. Following are the main Types:
- Air Cored Inductor
- Iron Cored Inductor
- Ferrite Cored Inductor
- Iron Power Inductor
- Bobbin Based Inductors
- Toroidal Inductors
- Multilayer Ceramic Inductors
- Film Inductors
- Variable Inductors
- Coupled Inductors
- Molded Inductors
How Inductor Works?
If you move a wire through a magnetic field, current will be generated in the wire and will flow through the associated circuit. It takes energy to move the wire through the field, and that mechanical energy is transformed to electrical energy. This is how an electrical generator works.
If the current through a coil is stopped, the magnetic field must also disappear, but it cannot do so immediately. The field represents stored energy and that energy must go somewhere. The field contracts toward the coil, and the effect of the field moving through the wire of the coil is the same as moving a wire through a stationary field: a current is generated in the coil.
This induced current acts to keep the current flowing in the coil; the induced current opposes any change, an increase or a decrease, in the current through the inductor. Inductors are used in circuits to smooth the flow of current and prevent any rapid changes.
Similarly, it takes time to change the current through an inductor, and if you insist, say by opening a switch, a large voltage will be produced across the inductor as it tries to force current to flow.
Such induced voltages can be very large and can damage other circuit components, so it is common to connect some element, like a resistor or even a capacitor across the inductor to provide a current path and absorb the induced voltage. Often, a diode is used.
If current flows through a wire that is in a magnetic field (produced either by a permanent magnet or current flowing through a coil), a mechanical force will be generated on the wire. That force can do work.
In a motor, the wire that moves through the field and experiences the force is also in the form of a coil of wire, connected mechanically to the shaft of the motor. This coil looks like and acts like an inductor; if you turn off the current (to stop the motor), the coil will still be moving through the magnetic field, and the motor now looks like a generator and can produce a large voltage. The resulting inductive voltage spike can damage components, such as the circuit that controls the motor current.
Uses of Inductor
Inductors are used in several applications:
- Filter: Inductors are used too often with resistors and capacitors to create filters for analog circuits and in signal processing.
- Sensor: Inductors are used to magnetic fields from a distance. Inductive sensors are widely used at traffic light intersections.
- Transformer: Combination of inductors are used to make smaller and light-weight transformer.
- Motor: Inductor motors use magnetic force to turn electrical energy into mechanical energy. These motors are very reliable.
- Store Energy: Like capacitors, inductors can also be used to store energy with some limitation. Example: SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supply).
I hope you found the tutorial on Inductor Basics useful. Do not forget to share with others. Thanks!
- Electronic Components Name Abbreviations and Symbols
- Top 10 Electronic Components Manufacturers in the World
- Active and Passive Electronic Components
- Electronic Components Manufacturers, Suppliers and Distributors
- Electronic Components, Parts and Their Function
- SMD Surface Mount Electronic Components for SMT
- Ball Grid Array (BGA) Package
- How Semiconductor Works
- Semiconductor Device Fundamentals and Physics
- How is Electricity Generated, Transmitted and Distributed?
- Electronic Circuits for Beginners
- Rules of Electrical Circuit in Parallel and Series
- SMD Coil – Surface Mount Chip Coil Guide