Thermocouples are one of the most commonplace pieces of equipment in the modern world. They are pretty much everywhere, used in more ways than one can name. This is made possible because thermocouples do not need electricity to work, allowing them to be fitted just about anywhere. You can find them in cars, boats, homes, industrial machines, and home appliances. They are even used in the space industry for this exact reason.
Here is a closer look at these and more thermocouple applications.
More thermocouple applications
Thermocouples are used in cars to tell the fan when to turn on. This usually happens when the engine starts to get hot. If you listen to your engine, you will realize that the fan stays off when it starts. However, after the car has sat for a bit, the fan will kick in to pull heat off the engine. What instructs the fan to do that is a thermocouple.
Thermocouples in cars come in all shapes and sizes. They may also not be super obvious when looking inside the engine as they’re usually embedded inside plastics (a process known as insert molding) or housed inside a probe.
Thermocouples are also used in ovens and stoves. They tell the oven what temperature to heat up to before shutting off, allowing manufacturers to regulate the temperature inside stoves and ovens. You’ve probably noticed how ovens turn on and off during use. This is the thermocouple regulating the temperature. Without it, the stove/oven will keep getting hotter and hotter.
Thermocouples are used in refrigerators and freezers where temperatures need to be regulated as well. They do this by turning the fans and cooling pumps on and off.
Washing machines and dryers also use thermocouples because they need to regulate the temperature inside to ensure that the dryer doesn’t make your clothing crispy. These thermocouples may not be what you think they look like, but they are there and working hard to keep your appliances functioning as efficiently as they should.
Thermocouple devices are in electronics too. For instance, computers have cooling fans to cool the system down as it runs and completes processes. This is important because the longer the computer stays on, the hotter it gets. And these high temperatures could ruin your computer’s components.
Note that electronic fans often get covered in dust. So, be sure to clean them every once in a while. This is is a good maintenance practice that will keep your electronics running for a long time to come.
To wind up
As you can see, thermocouples are literally everywhere. They are used to regulate heat and instruct fans in almost every industry known to us. They may be small little devices, but they have made a huge impact on our lives. A world without thermocouple devices would look very different, and many crucial devices would be unable to function properly.
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