The Measurement of Surface Heat Flux Using the Peltier Effect

[+] Author and Article Information
E. C. Shewen

Pavement Management Systems Ltd., Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

K. G. T. Hollands, G. D. Raithby

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

J. Heat Transfer 111(3), 798-803 (Aug 01, 1989) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3250754 History: Received October 26, 1987; Online October 20, 2009


Calorimetric methods for measuring surface heat flux use Joulean heating to keep the surface isothermal. This limits them to measuring the heat flux of surfaces that are hotter than their surroundings. Presented in this paper is a method whereby reversible Peltier effect heat transfer is used to maintain this isothermality, making it suitable for surfaces that are either hotter or colder than the surroundings. The paper outlines the theory for the method and describes physical models that have been constructed, calibrated, and tested. The tested physical models were found capable of measuring heat fluxes with an absolute accuracy of 1 percent over a wide range of temperature (5–50°C) and heat flux (15–500 W/m2 ), while maintaining isothermality to within 0.03 K. A drawback of the method is that it appears to be suited only for measuring the heat flux from thick metallic plates.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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