No, inductors are not polarized. In electric circuits, inductors are treated as passive components. It doesn’t matter through which terminal of the inductor current enters or leaves, the inductor will function the same in either case.
So, the orientation of the inductor in a circuit doesn’t matter. But the direction of current flowing through the inductor defines the magnetic poles around the inductor. But the inductance of the inductor is not dependent on the orientation of the magnetic poles. So, inductors are treated as non-polarized.
Exploring the Polarity of Inductors
Inductors are non-polarized components. The orientation of the inductor in a circuit doesn’t matter. It can be placed in any orientation and the circuit will function just the same. When current flows through a conductor, a magnetic field is produced around it. An inductor is just a piece of wire wrapped in a coil shape. It can store energy in the form of a magnetic field when current flows through it. The ability of an inductor to store energy doesn’t depend on its orientation.
The Inductor is a Symmetrical Element
Reversing an inductor will simply reverse the direction of the magnetic field’s pole around it, but won’t change the amount of energy stored in the inductor. The inductor remains practically the same when it is reversed. So, it is called a symmetrical component.
Is Current Direction Matters | Kickback Effect
Inductors don’t have polarity but the direction of current flowing through it matters due to the kickback effect. When the current source is disconnected from an inductor the magnetic field of the inductor instantly collapses, causing a very high voltage in the range of tens of thousands of volts.
The direction of the current due to the collapsed magnetic field will be the opposite of the supplied current’s direction, this current can damage sensitive components and ICs, and transistors. So, the circuit should be designed keeping this factor in consideration.
So, inductors don’t have polarity but the direction of current through the inductor is important to know due to the kickback effect of the inductor.
Does an Inductor Have Polarity
No, inductors don’t have polarity. An inductor is a symmetrical component (there is no imbalance of electrons at its terminals) just like a resistor. And symmetrical components are non-polarized. So, inductors can be placed in any orientation in a circuit without changing their functionality.
Is Inductor Directional
No, inductors are not directional. Directional components are those that have polarity. inductors don’t have an imbalance of electrons between their terminals, so they are symmetrical. And the orientation of symmetrical components doesn’t matter, i.e., they are not polarized.
How Do You Determine the Polarity of an Inductor
Inductors are not polarized. So, there is no necessity to know the polarity of the inductor. But, just like any other passive component, the terminal through which the current enters the inductor can be termed positive. It is important to know this terminal to determine the direction of the kickback current.
Inductors are two-terminal symmetrical components that don’t have polarity. But the direction of the current through the inductor is important because the kickback current’s direction is opposite to the direction of the current through the inductor.