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Not to be confused with Thermopylae.
Thermopile, composed of multiple thermocouples in series. If both the right and left junctions are the same temperature, voltages cancel out to zero. However, if one side is heated and other side cooled, resulting total output voltage is equal to the sum of junction voltage differentials.

A thermopile is an electronic device that converts thermal energy into electrical energy. It is composed of several thermocouples connected usually in series or, less commonly, in parallel.

Thermopiles do not respond to absolute temperature, but generate an output voltage proportional to a local temperature difference or temperature gradient.

Thermopiles are used to provide an output in response to temperature as part of a temperature measuring device, such as the infrared thermometers widely used by medical professionals to measure body temperature. They are also used widely in heat flux sensors (such as the Moll thermopile and Eppley pyrheliometer)[1][2][3] and gas burner safety controls. The output of a thermopile is usually in the range of tens or hundreds of millivolts.[4] As well as increasing the signal level, the device may be used to provide spatial temperature averaging.[5]

Thermopiles are also used to generate electrical energy from, for instance, heat from electrical components, solar wind, radioactive materials, or combustion. The process is also an example of the Peltier Effect (electric current transferring heat energy) as the process transfers heat from the hot to the cold junctions.

See also[edit]

  • Seebeck effect—the physical effect responsible for the generation of voltage in a thermopile.
  • Thermoelectric materials—high-performance materials that can be used to construct a compact thermopile that delivers high power.

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermopile — Please support Wikipedia.
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1615 news items


Thu, 01 Oct 2015 07:48:45 -0700

This article briefly shows how to make radiometric measurements using thermopile detectors. However, before taking measurements, the cold junction temperature of the thermopile has to be approximated. Dexter has included internally mounted thermistors ...

Electropages (blog)

Electropages (blog)
Wed, 23 Sep 2015 04:08:06 -0700

Now available from TTI Europe, Panasonic's Grid-EYE infrared array sensor uses an I²C communication interface, enabling temperature measurements at frequencies of 1 or 10 frames/sec. The device's 64 pixels yield accurate temperature measurement over ...
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 12:41:15 -0700

Some laser engineers still use simple, convection-cooled thermopile devices, known as “power pucks.” Similar in nature to a meat thermometer, the element is placed in the beam's path and away from the focused spot, and the laser is fired for a given ...


Fri, 24 Apr 2015 07:46:04 -0700

Kipp & Zonen had been involved in the manufacture of a fast and sensitive thermopile used for the measurement of light and thermal radiation since 1913. The design, which was made up of several thermocouples, was by Dr. Moll of Utrecht University.


Thu, 12 Mar 2015 07:26:15 -0700

A thermopile detector is a passive radiation sensing voltage-generating device. It does not emit any radiation and require cooling or bias. Dexter Research Center (DRC) provides stable, high output radiation sensing thermopile detectors covering linear ...

IEN Europe

IEN Europe
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 07:48:45 -0700

2) Temperature monitoring: All thermopile detectors have a temperature dependent output signal. The B01-SMC and B05-SMC contain a NTC temperature sensor next to the detector on the PCB to continuously monitor the module temperature if required by ...
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 08:45:00 -0700

Time constant, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), responsivity and output voltage are the four key performance parameters affected based on the selection of an encapsulating gas in a thermopile detector package. The effect of the molecular thermal ...


Tue, 17 Mar 2015 08:23:48 -0700

Dexter's 2M quad thermopile detector is a four-channel thin-film thermopile compactly placed in a TO-8 package. All the active areas measure 2mm x 2mm. The detector provides exceptional four-channel sensitivity with excellent signal- to-noise performance.

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