Thermostat. If you set a dial position to some ideal temperature in the factory then there are too many factors between the dial and internal system to ensure that this is correct, or even that it will be correct over time.
If you allow a thermostat to turn heating on and off based on a range then it is cheaper and more reliable.
I saw a book about this once...called something like 'fuzzy logic'. I never read it, but the premise was that many things are "on" or "off". the A/C or furnace in your house, a fan (ok, those may have 2-3 speeds, but are still digital in their speeds), most lights in your home, my gas oven...etc. His premise was that it would be more efficient if you could have the A/C pump out air at whatever temp you want all the time, rather than crank it to 60 for 10 minutes, then be off for 5, etc.
My guess is that for years, it's been easy to do it that way. With more modern technology, I would imagine we may start seeing the pendulum swing the other way.
There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Surely we are in an age where we can adjust the amount of power sent to the coils. Cheaply. Rather than 40% of the time it is at 100% power and 60% of the time it is off, how about 40% of the power 100% of the time?
paul wheaton wrote:Surely we are in an age where we can adjust the amount of power sent to the coils. Cheaply. Rather than 40% of the time it is at 100% power and 60% of the time it is off, how about 40% of the power 100% of the time?
What electric stoves are you referring to which do that? Any electric stove I have ever used, if you set it to a High setting then the coils get red and stay red, and if you set it to a Low setting then the coils don't ever get red. As far as I can see there aren't any thermostats involved.
Unless my assumption that you were referring to the burners on top of the stove was mistaken and you were really talking about the heating elements inside the stove. In which case disregard this.