Temperature Sensor Types And Technologies Engineering Essay

Because temperature can hold an of import consequence on stuffs and procedures at the molecular degree, it is the most widely sensed of all variables. Temperature is defined as a specific grade of heat or coldness as referenced to a certain graduated table. It can besides be described as the sum of heat energy in an object or system. Heat energy is straight related to molecular energy ( quiver, clash and oscillation of atoms within a molecule ) : the addition in the heat energy produces an addition in molecular energy. Temperature detectors detect a alteration in a physical parametric quantity such as opposition or end product electromotive force that related to a temperature alteration. There are two types of temperature detection:

Contact temperature feeling needs the detector to be in direct physical contact with the media or object being sensed. It can be used for supervising the temperature of solids, liquids or gases over an highly broad temperature scope.

Non-contact measuring represents the beaming energy of a heat beginning in the signifier of energy emitted in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This method can be used for supervising non-reflective solids and liquids but is non effectual with gases due to their natural transparence.

Temperature Sensor Types and Technologies:

Temperature detectors include three households: electro-mechanical, electronic, and resistive.

A. Electro-mechanical:

Bi-metal thermoregulators is two different metals bonded together under heat and force per unit area to organize a individual strip of stuff. By utilizing the different enlargement rates of the two stuffs, thermic energy can be changed into electro-mechanical gesture. There are two chief bi-metal thermoregulator engineerings: snap-action and creeper. The snap-action device uses a formed bi-metal phonograph record to give a close immediate alteration of province ( unfastened to shut and shut to open ) . The creeper manner uses a bi-metal strip to open and shut the contacts easy. The gap velocity is decided by the bi-metal selected and the rate of temperature alteration of the application. Bi-metal thermoregulators are besides available in adjustable signifiers. By turning a prison guard, a alteration in internal geometry occurs that changes the setpoint of the temperature.


Direct interface with application for fast response

No extra circuitry/components required

Available in both hermetic and non-hermetically sealed designs

High current carrying capacity

Wide operating temperature scope

Application/market-based pricing


Less accurate than most electronic-based systems

Larger size than electronic-based systems

Bulb and capillary thermoregulators uses the capillary action of spread outing or undertaking fluid to do or interrupt a set of electrical contacts. The fluid is encapsulated in a reservoir tubing that can be situated 150mm to 2000mm from the switch. This enables for somewhat higher operating temperatures than most electro-mechanical devices. Due to the engineering included, the exchanging action of these devices is slow in comparing to snap-action devices.


Control can be located at a important distance from application being sensed

Built-in over temperature systems available

Broad runing temperature scope

High current carrying capableness


Large size

Relatively expensive

Limited figure of possible applications

User programmable

B. Electronic:

Silicon detectors usage of the bulk electrical opposition belongingss of semiconducting material stuffs, instead than the junction of two otherwise doped countries. Particularly at low temperatures, silicon detectors give a about additive addition in opposition versus temperature or a positive temperature coefficient ( PTC ) . IC-type devices can provide a direct, digital temperature reading, so there ‘s no demand for an A/D convertor.


Less expensive than RTDs

More additive than thermal resistors

Easier to utilize than RTDs or thermocouples due to higher end product

IC types feature on-chip signal conditioning


Not every bit additive as RTDs

Less accurate than other electronic-based systems.

More expensive than thermal resistors or thermocouples

Limited temperature scope

Slower thermic response than other electronic-based systems

Typically larger than RTDs and thermal resistors

Require larger bundle sizes for submergence

Infrared ( IR ) pyrometry All objects emit infrared energy supplied their temperature is above absolute nothing ( 0 I¦ Kelvin ) . There is a direct relationship between the infrared energy an object emits and its temperature. Infrared detectors measure the infrared energy emitted from an object in the 4-20 micrometer wavelength and alter the reading to a electromotive force. Typical Infrared engineering uses a lens to concentrate radiated energy onto a thermopile. The resulting electromotive force end product is amplified and conditioned to give a temperature reading. Factors that affect the truth and the efficiency of Infrared feeling are the coefficient of reflection ( the step of a stuff ‘s ability to reflect infrared energy ) , transmissivity ( the step of a stuff ‘s ability to convey or go through infrared energy ) , and emissivity ( the ratio of the energy radiated by an object to the energy radiated by a perfect radiator of the surface being measured ) . An object that has an emissivity of 0.0 is a perfect reflector, while an object with an emissivity of 1.0 emits ( or absorbs ) 100 % of the infrared energy applied to it. The emissivity of 1.0 is called a black body and ca n’t be found in the existent universe.


Allows for non-contact measuring of traveling objects or risky stuffs

Can be used in concurrence with fiber optics for remote detection

Typical temperature scope -18 to +538 & A ; deg ; C ( 0 to 1000 & A ; deg ; F )

Accuracy to ±1 %


Accuracy can be affected by surface coating

Field of position must be matched to aim size

Ambient temperature can impact readings.

Wavelength filter must be matched to the application

Higher cost can be even higher if control circuitry is required

Calibration can be hard and dearly-won

Dust, gas, or other bluess in the environment can consequence the truth of the system

Thermocouples are formed when two electrical music directors of dissimilar metals or metals are connected at one terminal of a circuit. Thermocouples do non include feeling elements, so they are less limited than resistive temperature devices ( RTDs ) in footings of stuffs used and can pull off much higher temperatures. Typically, they are constructed around bare music directors and insulated by ceramic pulverization or formed ceramic. All thermocouples have what are referred to as a hot or measurement junction and a cold or mention junction. The measurement junction is exposed to the procedure temperature, while the mention junction is maintained at a known mention temperature ( Figure 2.9 ) . The cold junction can be either a mention junction that is maintained at 0 & A ; deg ; C ( 32 & A ; deg ; F ) or at the electronically compensated metre interface.

Figure 2.9 Thermocoupler [ 5 ]

When the terminals are subjected to assorted temperatures, a current will flux in the wires related to their temperature fluctuations. Temperature at the measuring junction is obtained by cognizing the type of thermocouple used the magnitude of the millevolt potency, and the temperature of the mention junction. Thermocouples are classified by standardization type due to their differing electromotive force or electromotive force ( EMF ) vs. temperature response.

The millivolt potency is a map of the material composing and metallurgical construction of the music director. In topographic point of being assigned a value at a specific temperature, thermocouples are given standard or particular bounds of mistake covering a temperature scope.


Small size provides rapid temperature response

Relatively cheap

Wide temperature scope

More lasting than RTDs for usage in high-vibration and high-shock applications


Must be protected from caustic environments

Smaller pot wire sizes are less stable and have a shorter runing life

Use of plated-copper instrumentality wire consequences in mistakes when ambient temperatures change

Particular extension wires are required

Less stable than RTDs in moderate or high temperatures

Should be tested to verify public presentation under controlled conditions for critical applications

C. Resistive Devicess

Thermistors ( thermally sensitive resistances ) are devices that alter their electrical opposition in relation to their temperature. They typically composed of a combination of two or three metal oxides that are sintered in a ceramic base stuff and have lead wires soldered to a semiconducting material wafer or bit, which are covered with epoxy or glass.

Thermistors are available in two assorted types: positive temperature coefficient ( PTC ) and negative temperature coefficient ( NTC ) . Positive temperature coefficient devices exhibit a positive alteration or addition in opposition as temperature rises, while negative temperature coefficient devices exhibit a negative alteration or lessening in opposition when temperature increases. The alteration in opposition of NTC devices is typically rather big, suppling a high grade of sensitiveness. They besides have the advantage of being available in highly little formations for highly rapid thermic response. In add-on to metal oxide engineering, negative temperature coefficient devices can besides be obtained utilizing conductive polymers. These devices make usage of a stage fluctuation in the stuff to supply a rapid addition in electrical opposition. This enables for their usage in protection against inordinate electrical current every bit good as inordinate temperature. Like RTDs, thermal resistors ‘ opposition value is described with a plus-or-minus tolerance at a peculiar temperature. Thermistors are normally described at 25 & A ; deg ; C. Thermistors ‘ opposition can be made virtually additive utilizing support circuitry such as a Wheatstone span. The opposition can so be represented utilizing look-up tabular arraies to execute a exchanging map or to drive a metre. They can besides be used for liquid degree feeling applications.


Low constituent cost

Fast thermic response

Large alteration in opposition vs. temperature for more declaration

Highly little size agencies faster reaction to alter in temperature and ability to utilize in assortment of assemblies

Linearized opposition types available

High opposition values so no lead wire compensation necessary.


Limited temperature scope

Lower temperature exposures than RTDs or thermocouples

No established opposition criterions

Self warming can impact truth

Non-linear opposition alteration requires extra constituents for accurate reading A?

Increased constituent count decreases system dependability

RTDs ( resistive temperature devices ) , like thermal resistors, uses a fluctuation in electrical opposition to mensurate or command temperature. RTDs composed of a sensing component, connexion wires between the component and measuring instrument, and a support for positioning the component in the procedure. The metal feeling component is an electrical resistance that alters resistance with temperature. The component normally includes a spiral of wire or conductive movie with music directors etched or cut into it. It is normally housed in ceramic and closed tightly with ceramic cement or glass. ( Figure 2.10 ) The feeling component should be placed where it can make process temperature rapidly. Wire wound devices should be adequately secured in high quiver and daze applications. Extension wires between the component and instrument enables opposition to be measured from great distances. Flexible wire lesion and etched foil RTDs are available in different standard constellations. Typically a Kapton, silicone gum elastic, Mylar or clear polyester dielectric stuff is utilised for electrical insularity. They can be embedded on curved or irregular surfaces by utilizing force per unit area sensitive adhesives, thermally conductive gums, silicone tape, or mechanical clinchs. This type of constellation is far superior for supervising a big country such as the outside diameter of a pipe or armored combat vehicle. They can besides be joined into a flexible warmer circuit for optimal control.


Very accurate and quotable

Wide temperature scope.200 to +650A? & A ; deg ; C ( -328 to +1202 & A ; deg ; F ) depending on type

Highly stable over clip: & A ; gt ; 0.1 & A ; deg ; C/year impetus

Larger electromotive force end product than thermocouples

Excellent opposition one-dimensionality

Resistance can be determined in the research lab and will non change significantly over clip

Area or point detection

Low fluctuation for better exchangeability

Can utilize standard instrumentality overseas telegram to link to command equipment


Higher cost than thermal resistors or thermocouples

Self warming of the RTD can impact overall system truth

Larger size than thermal resistors or thermocouples

Not every bit lasting as thermocouples in high-vibration and high-shock environments.

Figure 2.10 Design of Feeling elements [ 6 ]

Choosing and Stipulating Temperature Detectors

The undermentioned subdivisions describe the difference of each detector from one another, including temperature, truth, and exchangeability. The advantages and disadvantages of each detector type are besides described.

A. Choosing the best temperature detector

In general, all detector types are utile temperature measuring options, but each has its advantages and disadvantages. For illustration:

Thermistors provide high declaration, have the widest scope of applications, are the most sensitive, and are low cost, but are nonlinear and have limited temperature scope.

Thermocouples have the highest temperature part and are lasting for high quiver and high-shock applications, but require particular extension wire. A?

RTDs are about additive and are extremely accurate and stable, but they are big and expensive. A?

Silicon types are low cost and about additive, but have a limited scope of temperature.

Important considerations for choosing thermic detectors are the stuffs used, which have temperature restrictions. Tolerance, truth, and exchangeability are besides of import. Tolerance is a specific demand, normally plus or minus a peculiar temperature. Accuracy is the detector ‘s ability to mensurate the temperature ‘s true value over a temperature scope. Regardless of the detector engineering selected, user safety should be the primary concern. Never select a device entirely because it has the lowest cost. Choose the device that offers the best public presentation for its monetary value and ever adhere to the maker ‘s guidelines and recommendations. Each temperature feeling application can show its ain alone set of demands and jobs and demands to be evaluated on an single footing.

B. The demand of contact or non-contact detection:

If the application is traveling or if physical contact is non practical because of the taint or risky stuff issues so infrared is the engineering of pick.

C. Temperature scope is the detector required to command or supervise:

Thermocouples have the broadest temperature scope, -200 & A ; deg ; C to 2315 & A ; deg ; C. ( Some devices within this scope do non hold ANSI standardization types established. ) Depending on design and stuff, thermsistors have a useable scope of -100 to 500 & A ; deg ; C. Bi-metal thermoregulators can manage temperatures from -85 to 371 & A ; deg ; C. For cryogenic temperatures, RTDs and some silicon-based devices are capable of nearing absolute nothing ( 0 & A ; deg ; K ) . Maximal temperatures range from 150 & A ; deg ; C to 200 & A ; deg ; C. Support circuitry must be thermally isolated from the detector so as non to transcend its capablenesss. For non-contact ( infrared ) devices, temperatures below -18 & A ; deg ; C or above 538 & A ; deg ; C would necessitate a usage unit. With all of these devices, it is possible to transcend these scopes through the usage of thermowells or by puting the device in a location relation to the heat beginning. However, this type of attack can impact the truth and response of the system.

D. The rate of temperature alteration of the application

For applications where the rate of temperature alteration is rapid ( & A ; gt ; 1.0 & A ; deg ; C/minute ) , the mass of the detector may go an issue. The thermic inactiveness of the detector is based on its mass. For highly rapid alterations, detector mass should be kept to a lower limit to let it to more accurately track the alteration of the application.

This includes the mass and thermic conduction of the thermowell or other protective stuff. For applications where the detector will be remotely located due to environmental or other issues, design confirmation testing should be performed. This involves utilizing two or more detectors to supervise the temperature of the application, while another detector monitors the temperature at the proposed detector location. In this manner, detector location can be optimized.

E. The demand to command or supervise the temperature:

For certain medical applications or processes affecting chemical reactions, tolerances of ±0.1 & A ; deg ; C or less may be required. For any application necessitating tolerances of less than ±1.7 & A ; deg ; C, an electronic system will be required. Silicon, RTD, thermocouple or thermistor-based systems can all be designed to keep these highly tight tolerances. Typically RTDs will supply the greatest overall truth. Remember, in control applications, constituent truth and system truth may be wholly different. If your system truth is no better than + 3 & A ; deg ; C, it does non do sense to purchase the most expensive detector. You may be able to utilize a bi-metal thermoregulator and achieve the same system truth at a significantly lower entire cost.