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Thermopiles

Thermopiles

Consisting of multiple thermocouples connected together, thermopiles absorb infrared radiation from the surface of an object, allowing them to sense the object's temperature without direct contact and can generate small amounts of electricity. They're often used as a safety device in gas appliances to stop gas flow when a pilot flame goes out and in applications where electrical output is needed, such as to run a thermostat or open a gas valve. The more thermocouples added increase a thermopile's ability to generate electricity. Despite similarities, thermopiles and thermocouples cannot be used interchangeably.