Induction Cooker- The History Behind

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Overview

Induction cooking is not a new technology, it has long been widely used around the world. People witnessed magic of induction cooking first time in early 1900s. Induction cooking technology was introduced at Chicago in a 'World Fair" in 1933 as well in the mid-1950s. Induction cooker demonstrations were held by GM in North America by the Frigidaire division of GM. To demonstrate convenience and safety of Induction cooking the induction cooker demonstration was shown by placing a newspaper between Induction cooker's surface and the pot while boiling a pot of water. But it never quite caught on and induction cooker productions were delayed for another few more years and for subsequent 40 years the technology was used mostly in industrial applications.

Modern developments and implementations of Induction cooking starts in early 1970s at the R&D Center of Westinghouse Electric Corporation in USA. These modern Induction cooktops used transistors developed for automotive electronic ignition systems to drive the 25 kHz current. The stand-alone single-burner range was named the Cool Top Induction Range.

Westinghouse developed their Cool Top 2 (CT2) Induction ranges by a team led by Bill Moreland and Terry Malarkey. Their induction ranges included a set of high quality cookware made of Quadruply and were priced at US$1500. Production took place in 1973 through 1975, and stopped coincidentally with the sale of Westinghouse Consumer Products Division to White Consolidated Industries Inc.

In the US, NASA developed it for the space program. Consumer units followed in the US, but were plagued by low power, reliability and noise problems.

Though induction cookers faded from the American consumer market, it continued to be developed in Europe and Asia where energy availability is an issue. Some US manufacturers like Cooktek and Luxine continued to develop commercial units. In 2000, European manufacturers made a breakthrough (in conjunction with DuPont) in insulating materials design for integrating the electronics with the induction generator coils.

The snap together design of these fourth generation systems along with the reduced fabrication costs enabled the manufacturers to produce induction generators for far less than previously, with much more compact designs that were inherently more reliable. As a result the market in Europe really took off. Currently induction cooktops are a norm in new construction in many European countries and are only about 20–30% more expensive than radiant ceramic cooktops there. In Asia a similar phenomenon has occurred. Huge numbers of Asian households are switching to induction for their cooking due to the safer and cooler cooking environment it provides.

With recent improvements in technology, induction cookers are now better than ever and while cheaper manufacturing from China has reduced the cost of induction cookers to levels that are being affordable to every household.