Recently, we joined the Dutch Society for Precision Engineering, because we believe that making coffee is precision engineering too. To present our knowledge about the difficulties in controlling hot water, Neal Meijers, Mieke van den Belt and Henk van der Wulp wrote an article about hot-water control in consumer appliances. This article was originally accepted for a presentation for the DSPE Conference on Precision Mechatronics 2020, which has been postponed till 2021. Instead of waiting a year, this article has now been published in DSPE’s magazine Mikroniek.
In the article, different types of heaters that can be used in consumer appliances are discussed. Each have their own physical limitations, which influence start-up effects and steady-state behavior while making your cup of coffee. While accuracy in hot-water control is largely bound by heater choice, control can still be used to get the most out of it.
Of course, our knowledge can be applied to way more than coffee. If you have more interesting ideas on precision-heating of any liquid, please let us know!