MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: Is it more efficient to heat large quantities of water with microwaves?

Date: Sat Sep 4 18:21:27 1999
Posted By: Edward Peterson, Staff, Chemical Engineering, S&B Engineers and Constructors
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 936235582.Eg

Someone who does not understand how microwaves are produced ahs misled you.

Microwave are produced using from very low frequency energy.. In your 
home, you use residential lectrical current out of an electrical outlet.  
The energy is first converted to DC current, then transformed into very 
high frequency energy using the magnetron.  The process to convert 
electrical energy to microwave energy for your home microwave oven is 
about 50 to 60% efficient.  Therefore, to make 1000 watts of power at 50% 
efficiency requires 2000 watts of power input.

Ordinary resistance heaters are much more effective at heating water.  
They are nearly 100% effective at taking electrical energy and converting 
it to heat.  People have made direct electrical resistance heaters for 
heating hot water because it is much faster than typical gas powered water 

However, the cost comparison to heat large volumes of water with 
electricity instead of gas is a poor one.  Gas is much cheaper, especially 
here in the United States (where I live).

Therefore, don't expect to see a microwave hot water heater in anyone's 
home soon.

Dr. Ed Peterson

Current Queue | Current Queue for Engineering | Engineering archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Engineering.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-1999. All rights reserved.