Seebeck Sensor and Heat Flux Sensor Explanation

A Heat Flux Sensor is a Seebeck Sensor

Heat Flux Sensors are based on the Seebeck effect. When heat passes through the sensor, the sensor generates a voltage signal. This voltage signal is proportional to the heat passing through the sensor. gSKIN Heat Flux Sensors can resolve heat fluxes < 0.01 W/m2.

HF ∝ V

HF = Heat Flux, in W/m2
V = Voltage, in V

Seebeck effect

gSKIN Heat Flux Sensor Thermopiles

The gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensor

The gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensors is a highly sensitive Seebeck Sensor. The sensitivity of a Seebeck Sensor depends on the thermocouple material quality used in the sensor and the number of thermocouples used. A thermocouple consists of two separate thermopiles (n-type and p-type). The thermopiles in gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensors are based on BiTe (Bismuth Telluride). These thermopiles are highly integrated in the sensor substrate, which leads to high sensitivity sensor modules.

Measuring Heat Flux with a gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensor

All Heat Flux Sensors generate a voltage signal which is proportional to the heat that passes through the sensor element. In most applications, this voltage signal is in the µV range. The voltage signal is converted into the heat flux value by dividing it by the sensor sensitivity.

HF = V / S

HF = Heat Flux, in W/m2
V = Voltage, in µV
S = Sensor sensitivity, in µV/(W/m2)

gSKIN Heat Flux Sensor with Voltage

As the Heat Flux Sensor voltage signal is in the µV range, it is crucial to have a voltage logging unit with high voltage resolution. For R&D applications, we recommend one of the following datalogging solutions:


If gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensor Components are to be integrated, it is recommended to design specific read-out electronics.