An inductor is an electrical component made essentially of a coil of wire, often wound around a magnetic core. From our experts, here are some facts to help you better understand this technology.
What are Its Main Purposes?
An inductor can store energy in the form of a magnetic field. This is a very useful property for applications such as switching power supplies.
Also, because the current through an inductor cannot change instantaneously, they are very useful in filtering high frequency noise and current transients.
How is the Size Measured?
There are three variables that determine the size of an inductor: number of turns (also called windings), size of cross sectional area of the windings, and core material. Inductance increases proportionally with the cross sectional area of the windings and the magnetic permeability of the core material; and proportionally with the square of the number of turns. The magnetic permeability of the core can range from 1 (for air) to >20,000 for special core materials.
How is a Magnetic Field Created around an Inductor?
When current flows through a wire, a small magnetic field is formed around it. If there are many coils or high current, the strength of the magnetic field increases. Energy will be stored in the magnetic field. The magnetic field in turn exerts a force that opposes the current flow. When the current stops flowing, the magnetic field will begin to collapse. The magnetic energy that has been created gets turned back into electrical energy. The current in an inductor cannot change instantaneously.
What is the standard unit of measurement for inductance?
The standard unit of measurement is the Henry. Practical inductance values range from a few nanoHenries (nH) to several Henries (H.)