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Kevin Weddle

AC solenoids

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Why doesn't AC make an AC solenoid move in and out? Also, what is the real benefit to using AC as opposed to DC? And, if I put a strong magnet next to an inductor, how does it affect the way that inductor works in the circuit?

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Why doesn't AC make an AC solenoid move in and out?


For the same reason iron filings stick to either pole of a magnet just as well.  The core of an AC solenoid is not polarized.

Also, what is the real benefit to using AC as opposed to DC?


Fewer components make it cheaper to produce.  Sometimes more reliable too.

And, if I put a strong magnet next to an inductor, how does it affect the way that inductor works in the circuit?


I will assume you are speaking of a DC magnetic field or permanent magnet.  It will have a non-positive affect on the inductance and on the saturation current.

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Okay. What I'm getting at with the strong magnet is this. If I use a coil to create an electromagnet, and the electromagnet is used to let's say pick up a block of steel, how does the load of steel affect the coil. It must drain energy from the coil. If I am draining energy from a coil, that is different from a coil in a circuit where most of the stored energy is returned to the system. Maybe it's called a loaded coil?

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