Heat Flux Measurement Techniques

Childs, P R N, Greenwood, J R and Long, C A (1999) Heat Flux Measurement Techniques. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, 213 (7). pp. 655-677. ISSN 0954-4062

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Heat flux measurement is used in the field of fluid mechanics and heat transfer to quantify the transfer of heat within systems. Several techniques are in common use, including: differential temperature sensors such as thermopile, layered resistance temperature devices or thermocouples and Gardon gauges; calorimetric methods involving a heat balance analysis and transient monitoring of a representative temperature, using, for example, thin-film temperature sensors or temperature sensitive liquid crystals; energy supply or removal methods using, for example, a heater to generate a thermal balance; and, finally, by measurement of mass transfer which can be linked to heat transfer using the analogy between the two. No one method is suitable to all applications because of the differing considerations of accuracy, sensitivity, size, cost and robustness. Recent developments including the widespread availability and application of thin-film deposition techniques for metals and ceramics, allied with advances in microtechnology, have expanded the range of devices available for heat flux measurement. This paper reviews the various types of heat flux sensors available, as well as unique designs for specific applications. Critical to the use of a heat flux measurement technique is accurate calibration. Use of unmatched materials disturbs the local heat flux and also the local convective boundary layer, producing a potential error that must be compensated for. The various techniques in common use for calibration are described. A guide to the appropriate selection of a heat flux measurement technique is provided according to the demands of response, sensitivity, temperature of operation, heat flux intensity, manufacturing constraints, commercial availability, cost, thermal disturbance and acceleration capability for vibrating, rotating and reciprocating applications.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Engineering and Design
Depositing User: Peter Robin Nicholas Childs
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:12
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 17:10
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30191
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