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Temperature sensors and thermal actuators

Temperature sensors and thermal actuators

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A person consuming 2,000 kcal/day, assuming all calories are expended in 24 h, produces 2,000 x 1,000 x 4.184 = 8.368 x 10 6 J of energy. That translates to an average power of 8.368 x 10 6 / 2 4/3,600 = 96.85 W. That is an average power of about 100 W, with lower values during sleep and higher values while active. During exertion such as exercise, a person can produce in excess of 1.5 kW. But the real story is that the body both expends energy and requires the resulting heat to regulate the body temperature and supply its energy needs. The body requires a fairly narrow range of temperatures. The normal body temperature for most individuals is 37 °C, but it can fluctuate somewhat, with women having an average temperature about 0.5 °C lower than men. At temperatures above 38 °C, the body experiences fever, an elevated temperature due to failure of the body to regulate its temperature (typically, because of illness). Hyperthermia is an elevated body temperature that is not a fever but a reaction to external heat, drugs, or stimulants. Above 41.5 °C, the body enters into a state called hypetpyre3da, a dangerous state that can lead to serious side effects or death. Lower body temperature, hypothermia, is equally dangerous. Defined as a body core temperature below 35 °C, it typically occurs due to exposure to extreme cold or extended immersion in cold water, but can also be due to trauma. Heat regulation in the body is controlled by the hypothalamus in the brain and can be accomplished using a number of methods, including sweating, increasing or decreasing heart rate, shivering, and constriction of blood vessels.

Chapter Contents:

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.1.1 Units of temperature, thermal conductivity, heat, and heat capacity
  • 3.2 Thermoresistive sensors
  • 3.2.1 Resistance temperature detectors
  • 3.2.1.1 Self-heat of RTDs
  • 3.2.1.2 Response time
  • 3.2.2 Silicon resistive sensors
  • 3.2.3 Thermistors
  • 3.3 Thermoelectric sensors
  • 3.3.1 Practical considerations
  • 3.3.2 Semiconductor thermocouples
  • 3.3.3 Thermopiles and thermoelectric generators
  • 3.4 p-n junction temperature sensors
  • 3.5 Other temperature sensors
  • 3.5.1 Optical and acoustical sensors
  • 3.5.2 Thermomechanical sensors and actuators
  • 3.6 Problems

Inspec keywords: temperature measurement; actuators; biomedical transducers; temperature sensors

Other keywords: temperature sensor; temperature 37 degC; time 24 h; hyperpyrexia; thermal actuators; hypothalamus; brain; power 1.5 kW; body temperature regulation; hyperthermia; power 96.85 W; heat regulation; blood vessels

Subjects: Thermal variables measurement; Biomedical measurement and imaging; Sensing devices and transducers; Patient diagnostic methods and instrumentation; Thermometry; Sensing and detecting devices

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