Promoting induction heating – steam generators for medical sterilisation: Investigation of energy-efficient design guidelines
AbstractSaturated steam sterilizers are one of the most energy consuming medical equipment in hospitals due to indirect ohmic heating. Induction heating (IH)-based steam generation is established as an energy efficient technique in industry but it is not yet developed in the medical sterilization. This paper exposes energy-efficient design features to promote this technology in this field. Based on a developed method, many key points protrude therefrom: the selection of an advantageous "inductor-susceptor" combination is decisive. Frequency has opposite effects, so should be given the utmost attention. Inductor losses are reviewed by discussing coil wrapping, water cooling, and multi-coil design for high powers. Whereas susceptor energy-efficient design involves, magnetic stray field, susceptor geometry, skin depth, and eddy currents back electromotive force effect. Susceptor-inductor coupling is relevant too. Finally, thermal transfer optimization from susceptor to water involves insulation, frequency and turbulence. Based on these parameters, a step can be put forward to launch prototypes and explore fully IH opportunities in this field to design more energy efficient equipment.
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