Archives for July 2017

What is a Thermocouple and Will it Keep my Drink Icy Cold?

What is a thermocouple?

It is an electrical device that consists of two different conductors forming electrical junctions at different temperatures. A temperature-dependent voltage is produced as a result of the thermoelectric effect, which can be recorded and measured to interpret temperature. The thermoelectric effect is sometimes referred to as the Seebeck or Peltier (or Seebeck-Peltier) effect, in credit to the physicists Thomas Johann Seebeck and Jean Charles Athanase Peltier who discovered it independently of each other.

Some of you may have read ‘thermoelectric effect’ and thought, aha, let’s make electricity! Indeed, taking the thermoelectric concept of heat to voltage conversion, a series of thermocouples connected together forms a thermopile. The more thermocouple pairs in series increases the magnitude of the voltage output. Otherwise known as a thermoelectric generator it has the advantage of producing electricity in virtually all conditions, providing there is a heat source.

thermocoupleA thermopile (with several thermocouple pairs in series) in action on a hot day.

In Gas Appliances

Many gas fed appliances around the home, such as boilers and ovens, use a pilot flame to ignite the main gas burner when required. A problem may occur if the pilot flame goes out and unburned gas is allowed to be released. Naturally, leaked gas is never good and poses the risk of an explosion or a health hazard. This is where the thermocouple comes in as a fail-safe component. Its tip is attached to the pilot flame, and so long as there is a thermoelectric effect, i.e. the pilot flame heat generates a voltage, the pilot gas valve is held open. Conversely, if the pilot flame goes out, the thermocouple temperature falls along with the voltage. This closes the valve and avoids any leaks. Similarly, they are used to shut off gas supply in the event the main burner does not ignite after a specific period of time.

Many newer appliances have made use of an electronically controlled ignition, avoiding the need (and associated risk) of a constant pilot flame. Whilst this is more fuel efficient, and certainly safer in that gas cannot be built up, it is dependant on an external source of electricity. This is what makes the simple thermocouple invaluable as it does not require any external excitation and can operate in the event of a power outage.

In space travel

It is exactly that self-sufficiency that makes thermocouples ideal for remote use with little external energy. Many space probes travelling far from a solar source (or a weak source in general) make use of a thermoelectric generator. The heat source used on the Mars Curiosity rover, for instance, generated electricity from the heat produced from the radioactive decay of transuranic elements.

In lamps and radios

Perhaps not as sophisticated as radioisotope thermoelectric generator but equally as important, kerosene lamps have been modified to operate batteryless radio receivers in isolated areas such as thick forest or mountain ranges. Similarly, some survival lanterns use the heat from a single candle to run several light-emitting diodes.

In drink coolers

Have you ever wondered quite how your drinks stay nice and cold on a baking hot day in the park? There is a thermocouple to thank for that. The thermopile draws heat away from the interior of the cooler using the Seebeck-Peltier effect. The heat from the thermopile is dissipated with a fan, leaving the interior of the box to cool by as much as 20 Degrees Celsius (68F). All that’s needed is a good thermal insulator around the box, and a steady supply of AC from your car’s lighter socket or mains.

thermoelectric generatorThis is the latest in consumer thermoelectric gadgetry. This is a USB powered
thermoelectric generator that sits as a coaster for your drink. We’ll drink to that!

As fascinating as the thermoelectric effect may be, care must be taken when handling electronics. If you are not sure, comfortable or confident, research until you are! If you would like to experiment with thermocouples stick with trusted electronic suppliers, such as RS Components.

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Careers in Industry Are Easier to Obtain Than Ever Before

If you are searching for a rewarding career, warehousing may be the key. You may never have thought about obtaining a certificate iii in warehousing because you figured it would simply be too expensive. However, you are mistaken. It’s actually easier than ever before to obtain any degree you need to get a leg up in this lucrative industry. The key to your success in doing so lies in your ability to make use of the power of the world wide web. If you know how to do a bare minimum of research on the web, you can soon find an online solution to your educational needs.

The Key to Modern Education Can Be Found on the Web

If you really want to complete a degree in order to further your career, take heart. You don’t have to do it the old fashioned way. As things stand, it’s now easier than ever to obtain your degree simply by attending an online educational course. You don’t even have to sign up for all that many classes. You only have to take the classes you absolutely need to work toward your goal of finishing your degree. This means that you can be an accredited degree holder in a very short amount of time.

Working From Home Is the Ideal Way to Complete Your Degree

When it comes to finding the very best way to complete your degree, there’s no place like home. If you have a choice between coming home from work, cooking a hasty dinner for your spouse and kids, and then flying right out the door again to go to night classes, or simply logging on to the web to attend classes, which would you prefer? The answer seems obvious. All you have to do to get the education you need for the career you desire is to find the course that’s right for you and sign up for it online.

Your Comfort and Convenience Are Assured By Taking Online Classes

The very best part about attending classes on the web is that your comfort and convenience are fully assured. You never have to leave the safety of your own home to attend classes to complete your degree or get the training that a job promotion requires. You can do it all via the web simply by sitting in on the live classes and then doing the required course work. Most of the course work can also be completed on the web. You never have to go anywhere out of your way to attend and complete these special online classes.

Your Certificate in Warehousing Can Be Easily Completed Today

If you are serious about completing your certificate in warehousing, there’s no time like the present to get started. You don’t have to wait any longer to get the job or the career promotion that you desire and deserve. By attending these special online classes, you can complete your degree and move straight into a higher pay scale with all of the accompanying perks. It’s up to you to make the first move, so don’t delay. You can contact an online class provider today in order to get the information you need to get started on fulfilling your life long dream.

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