Electromagnetic Induction

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What Does Electromagnetic Induction Mean?

The principle of electromagnetic induction is illustrated by a circuit with alternating current generating another current in an adjacent circuit, without being directly linked to it.


Generally credited to Michael Faraday, electromagnetic induction has been applied to various systems as an electromotive force across an electrical conductor in a changing magnetic field.

Techopedia Explains Electromagnetic Induction

Thinking about electromagnetic induction in a poetic way might bring to mind visions of two current flows that are influencing one another, despite their evident separation, passing like “ships in the night,” but conveying power from one to the other through a type of osmosis.

Another way to think about electromagnetic induction is to take a prominent example — the magnetic levitation train or mag-lev train illustrates how this works.

Because the force produced by the magnetic line is not connected to the train itself, it's easy to conceive of how this principle works to move something like a train in a frictionless way.

Among other applications, electromagnetic induction has also been used for generating heat in modern stove range tops. Part of the utility of electromagnetic induction is in its ability to produce a “thin build”.

For example: in the range burners, having a traditional connected electrical current system could require more space in general.

Wireless Charging Appliances

However, one of the newest and most widely prominent applications of electromagnetic induction is in pioneering efforts to build wireless charging appliances.

Going back to the basic principle of electromagnetic induction, we can see that it's essentially useful in situations where you don't want the power source to be physically linked to the objects to which it is providing power. This sort of engineering could drive some of the future “hands-free” or less labor-intensive model of device usage.

For example: in the case of the magnetic levitation train, you could alternately use a battery connected by an electrical cable to a motor. The use of magnetic levitation instead shows how electromagnetic induction is valuable and practical in systems.

There’s no need to connect anything — because the interplay of the current fields accomplishes the power transfer on its own. That in itself would be a big boost in user experience, in an age where an excellent user experience and customer journey is the holy grail for retail firms.

Going back to wireless charging, these new systems would replace a system of traditional charging where devices have to be plugged into a wall outlet or other power source through specified cables with particular ports and connectors.

Here, the principle of electromagnetic induction is exciting because it would allow so much more versatile use of electrically powered devices. A cable-free approach would make charging a lot more versatile and efficient.

It would take a lot of electronic waste out of the global stream, and make tech acquisition cheaper and easier.

Using Electromagnetic Induction To Create Device Chargers

Efforts at using electromagnetic induction to create device chargers are underway, for example, in open-loop configurations that may be acceptable for lower output power levels.

However, many of these systems have an issue in higher voltage use in that they generate too much heat to be practical. Other concerns include the generation of heat with regard to frequency radioactivity.

Electromagnetic Induction Induced Voltage Equation Example

The induced voltage in an electromagnetic induction is described by the following equation as:

The induced voltage in an electromagnetic induction is described by the following equation

Many types of electrical equipment such as motors, generators and transformers function based on the principle of the electromagnetic induction.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.