Features And Advantages Of The Thermopile Sensors

Thermopile Sensors

Published on May 28th, 2021

Do people ever wonder how the non-contact thermometers work? How suddenly, the traditional contact thermometers disappeared and paved the way for the non-contact ones? How do these laser guns get to measure the temperatures of bodies without having to make contact with them? All that is to get known is that the thermopile sensors are behind the thermometer’s remarkable abilities. It is the thermopile sensors that usually do the magic in these thermometers.

Thermopile sensors are devices designed to measure temperatures of objects at a distance via the detection of the Infrared rays emitted by the object. The more the number of infrared rays received by the thermopile sensors, the higher the body’s temperature gets expected to become; however, bodies of lower temperatures shall emit a much lesser number of infrared radiations to be received by the sensors. After receiving the infrared waves from the body emitting them, the thermopile sensors convert the temperature into signals that the device can later display as output information consumable for human understanding.

The Features of Thermopile Sensors

They Are Non-Contact

The non-contact feature of a thermopile sensor enables it to measure various objects that a mechanical contact thermometer shall not get able to measure. It is because of the non-contact feature of the thermopile sensors in a thermometer that can measure temperatures of surfaces such as those of moving parts and those of faraway objects. Especially at this time of the pandemic where the people should minimize contact, but temperatures have to be screened regularly, the thermopile sensors have vastly been adapted in many different technologies to make contactless temperature screening a reality.


Sensitivity is described as the ability of a device to detect the slightest change in measurement. The higher the sensitivity of a device to it’s measured, the more the device’s sensitivity. Thermopile sensors are more sensitive than mechanical thermometers, for they are sensitive and can measure variations of up to 0.1°c.

Response Time

The device’s response time is the total amount of time the device requires to record a change in measurement after detection. The response time of the thermopile sensors is swift. The device can record the change in measure after it detects the signal variations, unlike the typical thermometers, which require the mechanical transfer of heat for the readings to get taken, which would alter the temperatures of the object being measured have a longer response time.


The difference in distance between the thermopile sensors and the object being measured is the range. Thermopile sensors have a more excellent range compared to contact thermometers. It is because of the ability of the sensors to measure the temperatures of distant objects without getting in contact. The use of the range feature is witnessed when measuring the body temperature of persons using non-contact thermometers.

Field of View

The thermopile’s sensor field of view is usually an angle of incidence from the sensor to the object stating the width of the angle in which the sensor can measure. The wider the angle of incidence, the wider the sensor field; it can measure a wider area of an object’s surface targeted to obtain the temperature.

Noise is the error that results from the inaccurate measurement of an object. The dynamic factors of the environment bring about noise. An example of noise is when one measures the number of vibrations from a thing. Still, the measurements of the vibrations deviate slightly from the actual values as a result of an external vibration from an object which is not the one getting measured.

The Advantages Of Using A Thermopile Sensor

There are a couple of advantages associated with the use of thermopile sensors. These advantages include:

High Accuracy

The ability of a thermopile sensor to recognize even the slightest change in readings is known as accuracy. The accuracy of a thermopile sensor is proved to be 0.1°c. It means that only temperature changes of above 0.1°c shall be detected and measured by the device.

No Contract Required

The main advantage of using the thermopile sensors is that no contact between the thermopile sensor and the object is required. It means that a variety of substances in all forms and shapes may get measured from a specified range. Very hot substances may also get measured by the device, for it shall not burn the device for no contact receives attained. Also, moving parts on pieces of machinery may get calculated, too, taking advantage of the non-contact feature of the thermopile sensors.

It Does Not Require Cooling.

Unlike the typical contact thermometers, which are left to cool after every reading is taken, the thermopile sensors do not require cooling. The device does not get to contact with the body being measured to acquire its temperature. Because of this, the sensor can do more work continuously compared to those that require cooling before measuring any other substances.

They Are Cheap

Despite their high efficiency and accuracy, the thermopile sensors are found to be relatively cheaper. Their cheap tag and their availability in the market make these devices the choice everyone opts for when it comes to temperature measuring instruments. Who would not want a more accurate and efficient machine for a lower price?

Applications of A Thermopile Sensor

The thermopile sensor has gotten applied in a couple of fields in the innovative corporate world of today. These areas of application include:

In HVAC Control Systems

The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems (HVAC), responsible for regulating temperatures within an enclosed environment, use the thermopile sensor technology to control the temperatures of the room environment. The sensor shall detect the temperature of the targeted environment and adjust accordingly to maintain the set parameters.

In-Ear and Forehead Thermometers

Ear and forehead thermometers are equipped with thermopile sensors embedded onto the device to enable the non-contact measurement of temperatures for bodies with inaccessible parts, such as the inside of the ears. With the pandemic, non-contact thermometers have been a breakthrough for body temperature measurement.