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Title: Calorimetry minisensor for the localised measurement of surface heat dissipated from the human body
Authors: Socorro, Fabiola 
Rodriguez de Rivera, Pedro Jesús 
Rodríguez de Rivera, Manuel 
UNESCO Clasification: 2213 Termodinámica
Keywords: Direct calorimetry
Heat conduction calorimeters
Isothermal calorimeters
Medical calorimetry
Non-differential calorimeters
Issue Date: 2016
Journal: Sensors 
Abstract: We have developed a calorimetry sensor that can perform a local measurement of the surface heat dissipated from the human body. The operating principle is based on the law of conductive heat transfer: heat dissipated by the human body passes across a thermopile located between the individual and a thermostat. Body heat power is calculated from the signals measured by the thermopile and the amount of power dissipated across the thermostat in order to maintain a constant temperature. The first prototype we built had a detection area measuring 6 × 6 cm², while the second prototype, which is described herein, had a 2 × 2 cm² detection area. This new design offers three advantages over the initial one: (1) greater resolution and three times greater thermal sensitivity; (2) a twice as fast response; and (3) it can take measurements from smaller areas of the body. The sensor has a 5 mW resolution, but the uncertainty is greater, up to 15 mW, due to the measurement and calculation procedure. The order of magnitude of measurements made in healthy subjects ranged from 60 to 300 mW at a thermostat temperature of 28 °C and an ambient room temperature of 21 °C. The values measured by the sensor depend on the ambient temperature and the thermostat's temperature, while the power dissipated depends on the individual's metabolism and any physical and/or emotional activity.
ISSN: 1424-8220
DOI: 10.3390/s16111864
Source: Sensors (Switzerland) [ISSN 1424-8220], v. 16 (11), 1864, (Noviembre 2016)
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