Up to now there has not been a device with which it is possible to heat or control the temperature in particular of small amounts of liquids that are present in any non-metallic vessel without using a cable-connected heating device for this purpose. A method and devices have been developed with which it is possible, for example, to heat a drink in a paper cup to the exact degree and keep it at the preselected temperature without having to heat the vessel or inserting a heating device inton the liquid. For this purpose, a method has been developed with which a heating element, which is inserted into a non-metallic vessel filled with a liquid, is inductively heated, whereby the temperature of the liquid in the vessel and the surface temperature of the heating element are determined at the same time, and thus individually adaptable heating and temperature control in any type of non-metallic vessel can take place. The input of thermal energy is very energy-efficient, since only the medium in which the heating element is located is heated and thus takes place by direct input of energy. In this way, for example, such a device can be installed and operated in a motor vehicle, as a result of which, for example, coffee in a disposable cup can be kept at a selectable temperature over the entire duration of consumption.
For the heating and temperature control of liquids and solids that are intended for consumption, devices exist in the prior art in which the thermal energy input takes place by heating a vessel in which the material to be heated is located or by way of a wired heating device that is inserted into the vessel ( e.g. an immersion heater) or by heating the vessel by exposing it to an external energy source (e.g. infrared or microwave). In many temperature control tasks, such a form of heating or temperature control is not possible or not practicable, for example when controlling the temperature of a drink in disposable dishes (e.g. paper cups). In the case of many heating or temperature control tasks, it is also necessary to adjust a temperature that is accurate to the degree and maintained throughout the heating task and / or does not exceed a certain value on the contact surface where the heat energy is introduced. This requirement for a heating / temperature control task also exists in other life science areas, such as laboratories, in which liquids are heated and tempered in heating and stirring devices. The task here is usually to agitate the liquid.
A method has been developed in which the material to be heated / tempered is heated directly by adding a heating element that is heated by induction. The method enables the temperature in the medium and on the surface of the heating element to be measured continuously and, based on these measured values, which are transmitted by radio transmission to an external control unit, the heat input is controlled. In addition, a process was developed with which such an inductive energy input can be carried out in a very energy-efficient manner and in a very small design. Furthermore, the method can be designed in such a way that the heating element can also be used to agitate the medium. This results in advantages over methods according to the state of art. For example, a temperature control task can be carried out more quickly and always within the same period of time in the case of non-metallic containers which, for example, have different designs or heat transfer. Furthermore, bio-technological or chemical tasks can be carried out with the method, for example by using the heating element as a thermal reactor, especially if the surfaces of the heating element are coated with compounds that require a certain temperature for an optimal effect, such as catalysts.
The process and the devices have been filed for a patent (Patent EP3610699A1).