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Difference Between Thermopile and Thermocouple

 Difference Between Thermopile and Thermocouple

  • Thermopile and Thermocouple are two different kinds of instruments used in measuring temperature. The difference between them is that thermopile uses the principle of electromagnetic induction while thermocouple uses the principle of temperature measurement.
  • Thermopile uses a combination of metals while Thermocouple uses a semiconductor material. 


  • A Thermopile is a device that can measure the temperature of a fluid. It uses an electrical current to measure temperature. It consists of two parts, one for the current and another for the conversion of the current into heat.
  • Thermopile consists of a thermometer and an electric heating element. The thermometer converts heat into electrical signals, which are then used to drive the heating element at a constant rate. This causes the fluid to expand or contract, creating a measurable change in its volume. 


  • A Thermocouple is a device that uses two different materials which are connected by wires at both ends. When one end of these materials touches each other, they produce a voltage but no current flows through them. This voltage is then measured using an ammeter or voltmeter to get information about how much power is being transferred through these connections.

Difference between Thermopile and Thermocouple:

  • Thermopile is a thermometer that measures the temperature using an electric current passing through it. The thermocouple on the other hand uses the thermoelectric effect to measure the temperature, which involves two dissimilar metals joined together by an insulator or semiconductor material.
  • The thermocouple needs contact with the medium to measure the temperature but the thermopile does not require a contact to medium. because it uses infrared radius to measure the temperature.
  • The measurement range for a thermopile device is from -10°C to +700°C while that for a thermocouple only goes up to 100°C.
  • Thermopiles are more accurate than thermocouples.
  • Thermopiles are at a high level of precision than a thermocouple.
  • A thermocouple is less expensive when compared to a thermopile.
  • Thermopile has more number of elements in it while Thermocouple has only one element in it.

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