Home | | Physics 12th Std | Application of Joule’s heating effect

Chapter: 12th Physics : Current Electricity

Application of Joule’s heating effect

1. Electric heaters 2. Electric fuses 3. Electric furnace 4. Electrical lamp

Application of Joule’s heating effect

1. Electric heaters

Electric iron, electric heater, electric toaster shown in Figure 2.30 are some of the home appliances that utilize the heating effect of current. In these appliances, the heating elements are made of nichrome, an alloy of nickel and chromium. Nichrome has a high specific resistance and can be heated to very high temperatures without oxidation.



An electric heater of resistance 10 Ω connected to 220 V power supply is immersed in the water of 1 kg. How long the electrical heater has to be switched on to increase its temperature from 30°C to 60°C. (The specific heat of water is s = 4200 J kg-1)


According to Joule’s heating law H = I2 Rt

The current passed through the electrical heater = 220V/10Ω = 22 A

The heat produced in one second by the electrical heater H = I2 R

The heat produced in one second H = (22)2 x 10 = 4840 J = 4.84 k J. In fact the power rating of this electrical heater is 4.84 k W.

The amount of energy to increase the temperature of 1kg water from 30°C to 60°C is

Q = ms ∆T (Refer XI physics vol 2, unit 8)

Here m = 1 kg,

s = 4200 J kg-1,

∆T = 30,

so Q = 1 × 4200 x 30 = 126 kJ

The time required to produce this heat energy t = Q/ I2R = 126 ×103 /  4840  ≈ 26 .03 s


2. Electric fuses

Fuses as shown in Figure 2.31, are connected in series in a circuit to protect the electric devices from the heat developed by the passage of excessive current. It is a short length of a wire made of a low melting point material. It melts and breaks the circuit if current exceeds a certain value. Lead and copper wire melts and burns out when the current increases above 5 A and 35 A respectively.

The only disadvantage with the above fuses is that once fuse wire is burnt due to excessive current, they need to be replaced. Nowadays in houses, circuit breakers (trippers) are also used instead of fuses.

Whenever there is an excessive current produced due to faulty wire connection, the circuit breaker switch opens. After repairing the faulty connection, we can close the circuit breaker switch. It is shown in the Figure 2.32.


3. Electric furnace

Furnaces as shown in Figure 2.33 are used to manufacture a large number of technologically important materials such as steel, silicon carbide, quartz, gallium arsenide, etc). To produce temperatures up to 1500°C, molybdenum-nichrome wire wound on a silica tube is used. Carbon arc furnaces produce temperatures up to 3000 °C.


4. Electrical lamp

It consists of a tungsten filament (melting point 3380 ºC) kept inside a glass bulb and heated to incandescence by current. In incandescent electric lamps only about 5% of electrical energy is converted into light and the rest is wasted as heat. Electric discharge lamps, electric welding and electric arc also utilize the heating effect of current as shown in Figure 2.34.


Study Material, Lecturing Notes, Assignment, Reference, Wiki description explanation, brief detail
12th Physics : Current Electricity : Application of Joule’s heating effect |

Related Topics

12th Physics : Current Electricity

Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions, DMCA Policy and Compliant

Copyright © 2018-2023 BrainKart.com; All Rights Reserved. Developed by Therithal info, Chennai.