How much heat does it take to keep food safe for consumption? Sigma used its advanced engineering skills to answer this question. A New Jersey-based company asked Sigma to analyze their warming tray prototype by preforming a heat power analysis and thermal FEA on the heater element and control circuit.
The tray is designed to keep rotisserie chickens at a safe internal temperature of 140°F and breakfast sandwiches at a slightly lower temperature. This will be determined by a high and low setting that is set by an operator’s switch.
The first step was to determine the steady state heat power requirements to keep the chicken at temperature by using hand calculations. Then a simplified FEA was run to verify that it matched the
The next step was to source heater elements that match the power requirements found in the hand and FEA calculations from the previous steps. The final step was to determine a control circuit to keep the surface temperature of the plate as constant as possible, meeting the FDA requirements for safe holding temperatures.
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