An inductor is a device that temporarily stores electrical energy in the form of a magnetic field. Physically, they are essentially electrical conductors – such as wire – wound into a coil. When electricity flows through the coil, a magnetic field is generated around the wire in a direction related to the flow of current in accordance with the laws of electromagnetic induction.
When the current is switched on, the magnetic field expands until it stabilizes, resulting in an accumulation of stored electrical energy. When the flow of current ceases, the magnetic field generated in the inductor continues to supply current to the circuit, converting magnetic energy into mechanical energy until the field collapses.
In some ways inductors are similar to capacitors, except they store energy in the form of a magnetic field instead of a static charge, and they resist sudden changes in current as opposed to voltage.
Types of Inductors and Their Applications
MPS Industries, Inc. provides a wide variety of fixed inductors. Fixed inductors are defined as inductors with a static, unchangeable inductance value. Some of the custom fixed inductors we manufacture include:
- High Current Fixed Inductors
- Power Factor Correction (PFC) Fixed Inductors
- Planar Fixed Inductors
- Precision Fixed Inductors
- Radial Power Fixed Inductors
- Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Power Fixed Inductors
- Toroidal Fixed Inductors
The variability in the construction and configuration of our inductors make them suitable for a wide range of applications such as:
When used with capacitors and resistors, inductors can be used to create filters. These electronic devices are essential in signal processing and are used to limit the frequency of input signals entering a circuit. Low pass, high pass, and band filters are just some of the filters designed with inductors.
Inductors can be used in proximity sensors that work based on the principle of electromagnetic inductance. They operate by sensing the presence of a magnetic field or magnetically permeable materials. Inductive sensors can commonly be found in traffic lights to detect traffic density.
Inductors are integral to the operation of transformers. By combining more than one inductor with a shared magnetic path, varying primary and secondary coils can be used to step up or step down voltages to desired levels.
Tuned circuits can either be constructed from inductors in series or inductors in parallel together with a capacitor. These circuits are used to select the desired frequency in devices such as televisions, radios, and other tuning devices.
An induction motor operates by utilizing an applied magnetic force caused by the flow of alternating current to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy. Inductors used in this application may also be connected in series or parallel.
Energy storage devices
Similar to capacitors, inductors can also be used for the storage of electrical energy for a limited time. The collapsing magnetic field continues to supply electrical energy in the event of power loss until it fully dissipates.
Induction Solutions from MPS Industries
Inductors are highly regarded for their limiting and storage capabilities, as well as their ability to resist sudden increases and decreases in current. At MPS Industries, Inc., our versatile inductors are commonly used in the electrical, electronic, automotive, consumer appliance, and power generation industries, among others.
If you would like to learn more about the applications of our various inductor solutions or how they can be used in your project, contact us today.