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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]


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47 news items

Universe Today
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:14:04 -0700

TM consists of four thermopile sensors with optical filters to cover a wavelength range from 6-25 µm. SD2 Sample Drill and Distribution device will penetrate the surface and subsurface to a depth of 20 cm. Each retrieved sample will be a few cubic ...
NewsMaker (press release)
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 04:15:00 -0700

... altitude measurement for car navigation, pressure measurements inside hard disks and weather forecasting equipment. The device can also adopt thermopile sensors to enable contactless temperature measurements of objects or human body temperature.

Waste Management World

Waste Management World
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 04:42:21 -0700

Warrington, UK based fire detection equipment manufacturer, FireVu has launched a new system aimed at the recycling industry that features visual smoke and flame detection, as well as thermopile technologies. According to the company, the Multi ...
Virtual-Strategy Magazine (press release)
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 08:45:00 -0700

... altitude measurement for car navigation, pressure measurements inside hard disks and weather forecasting equipment. The device can also adopt thermopile sensors to enable contactless temperature measurements of objects or human body temperature.

ThomasNet News (press release) (blog)

ThomasNet News (press release) (blog)
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 05:33:45 -0700

The 1000-BB-120 is a water-cooled thermopile detector that features a very large 120mm aperture for handling large beams and laser diode bars. It features a wide dynamic range, measuring powers from 1W to 1000W and energy from 2J to 600J.
Virtual Press Office (press release)
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 11:00:00 -0700

The TMP007 is a highly integrated, non-contact infrared (IR) temperature sensor, joining TI's family of the world's smallest thermopile sensors. The new sensor features an integrated math engine, which performs calculations on-chip for direct reading ...

Novus Light Technologies Today

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:41:15 -0700

The new gSKIN position sensors give power sensing of laser beams using a highly sensitive thermopile sensor. They are sensitive to all wavelengths from UV to mid IR and have a wide power range from µW to W. They are tolerant of beam angle and have a ...
Consumer Electronics Net
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 08:22:30 -0700

The Thermopile IR Detector Market report defines and segments the market for IR detector in thermopile with analysis and forecast of revenue. A thermopile is a series of thermocouples connected together to provide increased responsiveness.

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