Electrical coils are used in a variety of technological applications such as electromagnets, inductors and heaters. Simple heaters are made with a high-resistance wire such as nickel-chromium, a DC power supply and home tools.
Building the Coil
Choose a thickness of wire. If a high-current heater is being developed, be sure to get thick wire that can take the current that will be supplied. Wrap the wire around a conducting tubular material such as copper or aluminum. More turns will lead to a greater ability to heat. Leave open ends of wire on either side of the coil for electrical connection.
Powering the Coil
A simple DC power supply will power the coil. The greater the current applied to the coil, the greater the ability to heat. Be sure not to apply a current higher than the capacity of the wire used.
How Heater Coils Work
Heater coils work though a process known as resistive heating. As electrons pass though the copper conductor, they are scattered and in the process lose energy to the surroundings. This energy is given off as heat.