Temperature measurement is an essential aspect of most industrial and commercial applications.
One of the best temperature detectors available today is the thermopile sensor that enables non-contact temperature measurement.
It has wide-ranging applications in smart devices, HVAC systems, intelligent thermostats, and forehead thermometers.
Whether you’re using a thermopile sensor for industrial or commercial use, the accuracy of your recordings will ultimately depend on the sensor. Therefore, it is advisable to consider several factors before settling on any temperature sensor.
Read on for more about thermopile sensors and the essential considerations when buying the sensor.
How Thermopile Sensors Operate
Thermopiles use electric signals to measure the temperature of a given object. They have built-in thermocouples that rely on heat or infrared radiations to generate signals used in temperature detection.
When one end of a thermocouple receives heat, it triggers a continuous flow of current in the thermopile circuit.
An electric voltage signal is then generated depending on the temperature variation between the sensor and the Infrared radiation.
The thermopile then gives the relative temperature of the object under scrutiny.
Some thermopile sensors also have a special lens for adjusting the field of view during non-contact temperature measurement. You can increase or decrease the field of view to enhance the accuracy of your temperature recordings.
Essential Considerations When Buying a Thermopile Sensor
Thermopile sensors have varying sensory abilities and temperature ranges. Despite their vast differences, some considerations will come in handy when selecting a temperature detector.
Consider the following factors before you buy a thermopile sensor:
1. Purpose Of The Thermopile Sensor
The most obvious consideration when looking for a temperature sensor is its purpose. Thermopile sensors have different designs, each suited for a specific function. In addition, they have strengths and weaknesses that determine their operating limits.
Some of the questions you should ask include the following;
- What are the prime functions of the sensor?
- What temperature ranges do you anticipate?
- What type of materials will your sensor interact with?
2. Temperature Range
Temperature is of significant importance if your operations involve measuring extreme temperature variations.
A narrow range is suitable for small-scale processes such as healthcare facilities where patients’ body temperatures need recording.
However, you’ll require a sensor with high-grade thermocouples for large industrial applications where temperatures rise as high as 1000 degrees Celsius.
An excellent non-contact temperature device should give accurate results with negligible error margins. Some thermopiles have built-in detection circuits that enhance the accuracy of temperature measurement.
4. Stability Of Measurement
Thermopile sensors are subject to instability in temperature measurements due to prolonged use. Quite often, instability results from aging, design, and wear out of essential parts. Instability may lead to errors in temperature measurement, hence calling for frequent calibration of the device.
5. Packaging Of The Sensor
Thermopile sensors come in a variety of packaging materials depending on their use. Simple, low-cost sensors have a special epoxy coating. Others have semiconductor devices in addition to external glass surfaces. The packaging safeguards the device against extreme weather changes and the impact of external forces.
6. Noise Resistance
Noise refers to environmental interferences that may affect the instrument’s operation. Noise commonly results from electric and lead resistance.
A suitable temperature sensing device should have a high noise resistance ability to ensure accurate temperature readings.
7. Operating Flexibility
An effective thermopile sensor should guarantee operating flexibility. For instance, if you exceed the temperature ranges, the system should execute an emergency stop or notify you before damage occurs to the gadget.
Applications Of Thermopile Sensing Devices
Thermopile sensing devices are suitable for industrial and commercial applications where human contact isn’t desirable. Such processes include manufacturing hot or fast-moving objects, pharmaceuticals, and food preparation.
Human Body Temperature Recording
One of the best applications of thermopile sensors is measuring the body temperature of patients. Healthcare professionals use infrared thermometers to ascertain temperature changes without physical contact.
Fire Detection Equipment
Factories and processing plants often risk fire outbreaks due to electric malfunctions. Infrared thermopile sensors come in handy to give early warnings of a fire outbreak.
Stove Top Monitoring Devices
Kitchen fires sometimes occur from overheated stoves, especially where fire detectors aren’t available. Infrared thermopile detectors are ideal for making stovetop monitoring devices to prevent such fires.
In Scandinavian countries, for instance, stoves must have a monitoring device fitted at the top to prevent kitchen fire hazards.