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1. A transducer for converting thermal energy directly into electrical energy, composed of pairs of thermocouples which are connected either in series or in parallel. See Moll thermopile, Eppley pyrheliometer. </dd>
2. A battery of thermocouples connected in series to form a single compact unit. The output voltage of N pairs of series-connected thermocouples is N time the voltage developed by a single pair, whereas the current developed by N pairs of parallel-connected thermocouples is N times the current developed by a single pair. Thermopiles are used in thermoelectric radiation instruments when the output of a single pair of thermocouples is not large enough. </dd>


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use