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electic stove on off stuff

paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20271
    ∞

If you set an electric stove to medium, why does it go on for a while and off for a while. Why can't it just send a medium level of electricity and be ... medium?


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David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

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.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 10916
    
  12

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.


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24166
    
  30

Also it would be more efficient; if you used a voltage divider or triac to cut down the power, you'd lose some additional power as heat.

OK, but here's the deal: is that really true? It's been so many years since I've had an electric stove, I don't remember this behavior. Do they all do this?


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David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Personally I think the running costs are potentially higher due to cheaper production cost.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20271
    ∞

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 Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18127
    
    8

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.
 
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