WAZIPOINT Engineering Science & Technology: Difference Between Inductor and Coil

Monday, June 26, 2023

Difference Between Inductor and Coil

Differences Between Inductor and Coil
Fig- Electrical Coil

Significant Difference between Inductor and Coil

An inductor and a coil are closely related and often used interchangeably, but there are some differences between the two terms. Let's explore them:

Definitional differences between Inductor and Coil

An inductor is an electrical component that stores energy in the form of a magnetic field. It is typically made by winding a conducting wire into a coil. On the other hand, a coil refers to the physical structure of a wire wound into a series of loops or turns.

The difference in Purpose Between Inductor and Coil

The primary purpose of an inductor is to oppose changes in the current flow. It resists the flow of alternating current (AC) and allows direct current (DC) to pass through. In contrast, a coil can have various purposes depending on its application, such as inductance, electromagnetism, signal transmission, or even as a component in transformers.

Functional Difference Between Inductor and Coil

An inductor operates based on the principle of electromagnetic induction. When current flows through an inductor, it generates a magnetic field that stores energy. This stored energy is released when the current changes or stops flowing. A coil, on the other hand, is a general term that refers to any wire wound into loops or turns. It may or may not have the specific purpose of storing energy.

Constructional Difference between Inductor and Coil

Both inductors and coils are typically constructed by winding a conducting wire, such as copper, around a core material. However, while all inductors are coils, not all coils are necessarily inductors. Coils can be used for other purposes, such as in electromagnets, antennas, or even as decorative elements.

Electrical Characteristics of Inductor and Coil

Inductors are characterized by their inductance, which is a measure of their ability to store energy in a magnetic field. Inductance is typically expressed in henries (H). Coils, on the other hand, may or may not have significant inductance, depending on their design and intended application.

In summary, an inductor is a specific type of coil designed to store energy in a magnetic field, whereas a coil is a more general term referring to any wire wound into loops or turns, which may or may not have inductive properties.

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