1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Modeling a simple heating element

  1. Mar 10, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Hey Everyone,

    I am working on a physics project in which we need to look at a basic physics model. I have a couple of quick questions regarding conduction and heat generated through a resistor.

    So I basically have a wire acting as a resistor that I want to run current through. (A basic heating element, something similar to the nichrome wire in the rear windshield of a car.) I want to find out how much power needs to be dissipated from the wire in order to melt snow. Where I am getting stuck is trying to figure out how conduction comes into play. The wire would be against the inside of a plastic cover and would be melting snow on the other side of the material.

    From what I understand you can calculate the conduction based on the temperatures of the hot surface and the cold surface. (The inside and outside of the material.) How would I go about relating the power dissipated by the wire with the temperature of the inside of the material. Can I directly relate the power and the energy required to raise the temperature of the wire?

    Also can I use conduction to say how much the ambient temperature would raise on the side of the material with the heating element?

    2. Relevant equations
    Heat flow = kA([tex]\Delta[/tex]T/ Length)
    P = V^2/R
    Energy required to raise the temp of the wire = mq([tex]\Delta[/tex]T)
    Energy required to melt the snow = mq([tex]\Delta[/tex]T) + m(heat of fusion)

    Any input would be appreciated,
  2. jcsd
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Can you offer guidance or do you also need help?
Draft saved Draft deleted