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Plasma Stove

Electric Arc Hob
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As a child, on more than one occasion I pulled apart old televisions to play with the high voltage inside. There would be a thick, insulated cable to the anode charged to some 30 kV which, when brought close to other parts of the device, would spawn glorious electric arcs. Depending on where you aimed it, these could be thin, purple crackles like tiny lightning bolts, or thick orange clouds that flickered like fire.

My point is that there are many types of electric arc, depending on current, voltage or frequency. Arc lamps are focused on producing as much light as possible, which means they must get very hot and as a result the electrodes tend to disintegrate. But with the right type of power supply, we could produce a relatively 'cold' plasma, with very little UV emission. A plasma not too dissimilar, in fact, to an ordinary gas hob flame.

To produce a usable amount of heat, we would need many arcs, say, 24 of them arranged radially in a ring about three inches in diameter. With a sufficiently sophisticated power supply, incorporating a dial to vary the intensity, the overall effect should be -- if you squint a bit -- indistinguishable from cooking with gas.

mitxela, Apr 09 2017

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       I wonder if a plasma or corona discharge is modulatable?
Ian Tindale, Apr 09 2017
  

       Yes. They can be used as tweeters in hi-fi systems.   

       Electrode erosion is going to be a big issue.
8th of 7, Apr 09 2017
  

       Sadly I only had one go at being a child and it did confirm [8ths] findings.
bigsleep, Apr 09 2017
  

       //one go at being a child// why'd you quit?
lurch, Apr 09 2017
  

       // Electrode erosion //   

       Yes, I'm hoping that lowering the temperature should help with that.   

       Alternatively we could try and stop the plasma making contact with the electrodes. A suitable magnetic field could perhaps contain the plasma in a glowing toroid, a tiny tokamak to fry your eggs.
mitxela, Apr 10 2017
  

       You need a wirefeeder from a MIG welder, or at least a carbon rod indexer to continuously replace the electrode.
Custardguts, Apr 10 2017
  

       Yes, that's how carbon-arc lamps work.   

       // stop the plasma making contact with the electrodes //   

       Then you need not just AC, but high frequency AC that will couple through an insulator - that's how plasma balls operate. But that needs low-pressure gas and will severely limit the power.
8th of 7, Apr 10 2017
  

       // ... I pulled apart old televisions to play with the high voltage inside //   

       So YOU were that kid?! I remember the headlines.   

       [+] for your idea.
whatrock, Apr 11 2017
  
      
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