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5 thermal system controls performance elements

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Thermal System Elements

Before embarking upon the design process, it’s important to have a clear idea of the objectives for the thermal system. Is the goal temperature control, energy efficiency, or a balance between the two? Gathering data such as temperature requirements, environmental conditions, and the heat load your system needs to handle provides a solid foundation for creating a successful thermal system.


  1. Work (or load): The material or product which must be maintained at a controlled temperature.
  2. Heat Source: The device which delivers the heat used by the system, such as gas, oil, or electric heaters.
  3. Heat Transfer Medium: The material which transmits the heat from the heat source to the work.
  4. Temperature Sensor: The instrument which monitors temperature differences over time or between two junctions to determine stability or precise accuracy.
  5. Controller: The instrument which controls the heat flow, based upon the difference between sensed temperature and controller’s set point.