In a sense, coil design for induction heating is built upon a large store of empirical data whose development springs from several simple inductor geometries such as the solenoid coil. Because of this, coil design is generally based on experience. This series of articles reviews the fundamental electrical considerations in the design of inductors and describes some of the most common coils in use.
The inductor is similar to a transformer primary, and the workpiece is equivalent to the transformer secondary. Therefore, several of the characteristics of transformers are useful in the development of guidelines for coil design. One of the most important features of transformers is the fact that the efficiency of coupling between the windings is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. In addition, the current in the primary of the transformer, multiplied by the number of primary turns, is equal to the current in the secondary, multiplied by the number of secondary turns. Because of these relationships, there are several conditions that should be kept in mind when designing any coil for induction heating.