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Heating Effect of Current

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Introduction to Heating Effect of Current

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As we all know according to the conservation of energy, the energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. In our day today’s life, we observe that all the electrical equipment used in our household utilizes the same electricity. The same electricity that is used for rotating fans is also used for heating our electric toaster, etc. 

We are always witnessing the heating effect of electric current in our everyday lives unknowingly. We observe that whenever an electric bulb is turned on it will be hot after sometimes, or when we charge our cellphones we end up feeling heat vibrations. Why does all this happen? This is what we say the heating effects of electric current.

The loss in electrical energy in any device appears as thermal energy. When electrical energy is converted into heat energy, it is known as the heating effect of electric current.


Explain the Heating Effect of Electric Current

Whenever electric current is passed through materials, it will discharge energy in the form of heat energy. This conversion of electrical energy into heat energy known as the heating effect of electric current. Though it is a loss of energy, this loss of energy is utilized for doing certain useful things, like we use iron boxes for pressing clothes, electric heaters for boiling water, etc. 

The heating effect of electric current is well explained with a mathematical description given by Joule’s law. Joule’s law says that the amount of heat generated is directly proportional to the current flowing through the wire and the resistance of the material.

The heating effect of electric current is exhibited by Joule’s law. Mathematically, Joule’s law is given by,

=> H = I2Rt

Where,

H - The amount of heat produced

I - The amount of electricity passing through the wire

t - Time taken for heat generation


Application of the Heating Effect of Current

  1. The electric bulb is one of the basic applications of heating effects of electricity. The tungsten filament used will discharge its energy as heat and light.

  2. The effect is well used in the electric iron boxes.

  3. Electric heaters are the most widely used domestic equipment for boiling waters.


Solved Examples

Question: Copper and Nichrome wires are connected in series. In which case the possibility of heat production will be more?

Ans: According to joule’s law the amount of heat generated will be directly proportional to the resistance of the material used. Among copper and Nichrome, the resistance of nichrome wire is more compared to copper. Therefore the heat produced will be more in the case of nichrome wire.


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Explain the term heating effect of electric current.

The conversion of electrical energy into heat energy known as the heating effect of electric current.

2. Is the heating effect dependent on the resistance of the material?

Yes. The heating effect directly proportional to the resistance of the material.

3. Can we minimize the heating effect? How?

Yes. We can minimize the heating effect by reducing either resistance of the material or the current applied to the material.