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# Expt.

## 4 Temperature sensors and their calibration

Objectives:
Calibration of thermocouples and thermistors
Determine the dynamic response (time constants) and of the
given thermocouples

Temperature measuring devices

a) Thermocouples

When a pair of electrical conductors are joined together, a thermal
emf is generated when the junctions are at different temperatures
This phenomenon is called Seebeck effect
Such a device is called a thermocouple
The resultant emf developed by the thermocouple is generally in
the millivolt range when the temp. difference between junctions is~100
o
C

To calibrate: the temperature of second junction can be varied using a constant
temperature bath and the emf recorded as function of temperature difference
between the nodes
Ice bath
Voltmeter E
0.002V
Metal A
Metal B
Measuring the emf of a thermo couple
At temperature
T
Vary this temp. using
a constant temp bath
E=AT+1/2 BT
2
+1/3CT
3

The output voltage, E of such simple thermocouple circuit is usually written
In the form
The constants, A, B, and C are dependent on the thermocouple material
A Classic Thermocouple
Commercially available thermocouples usually consist of two leads
terminating in a single junction (no reference temperature, ice bath)

The leads are connected to a thermocouple signal conditioning box
containing an electrical circuit which provides a reference voltage
equal to that produced by a reference junction placed at 0
o
C

This is called ice point compensation

Most thermocouple signal conditioners usually display the temperature
directly and or provide a voltage that is proportional to the thermocouple
temperature.

A similar thermocouple signal conditioner with a digital temperature display
and an analog voltage output is used in the present experiment
Thermocouple Properties
b) Thermistors
The thermistor, a thermally sensitive resistor, is made of semi-conducting
material

Unlike metals, thermistors respond inversely to temperature. i.e. their
resistance decreases as the temperature increases.

Thermistors are usually composed of oxides of manganese, nickel, cobalt
copper and several other nonmetals

The resistance is generally an exponential function of the temperature as
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o o
T T R
R 1 1
ln |
Where R
o
is the resistance at a reference temperature, T
o
, while is a constant,
characteristic of the material
Thermal runaway (generally not a good thing)
Thermistor resistance varies inversely with temperature.
The voltage applied directly across a thermistor causes its
temperature to rise, and its resistance to decrease.
Sufficiently high voltage may cause thermal runaway, in which
case, higher currents and temperature are induced until the thermistor
fails or power is reduced.
A
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

Time
T
E
T
E
R
B
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=
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o o
T T R
R 1 1
ln |
or power is reduced.
Thermal runaway is generally prevented by placing a large resistor in series
Static Calibration of Temperature Sensors
Calibration of Thermocouple and Thermistor
RTD (Resistance Thermal Detector) is used as reference
temperature
Measure V
tc
and V
tr
for different
Draw static calibration curves for
the thermo couple and the
thermistor
Why static calibration?
Heater
RTD display-T
o
C
RTD
Thermo
Couple
Thermistor
DAC
system
Computer-Lab
view-Measure
Voltage- V
tc
and V
tr
R1
R2
R3
V
V
R
thermistor
Unsteady response of the Thermocouples are measured
DAC
system
Computer-Lab
view-Measure
Voltage- V
tc
(t)

Time constant is a parameter used to define the
dynamic response of a system.
In this experiment, we measure the time constant
of various thermocouples
Heater
T
h
Ice bath
T
c
Transfer quickly from
hot bath to cold bath.
The time response of
thermo couples are
measured
Different
thermocouples are
used ( size, material)
Dynamic Calibration of Temperature Sensors
Transient/Dynamic response of a system
Any system will take a finite amount of time to respond to a
change in input
This delay in response is called the rise time or response
time
Larger the rise time, slower its system response
time
Input
(ideal)
time
Output
Rise time
In many systems (especially I
st
order systems, governed by I
st

order ODEs) the rise or delay of the system is exponential
System
Input
output
Time Constant
Time constant is a determined by the physical properties of the
system. Note that 1/e =0.368
Time constant = Time taken for a system to attain 63.2% of the
difference between initial and final steady state values
E
i
E
f
E
t
at
e
f E i E
f E t E
by given is
function response transient The

) ( ) (
) ( ) (
E
(t)
t cons Time
a
t
at
e f E i E
f E t E
tan ,
1
1
1
) ( ) (
) ( ) (
t = =
= =

## Time constant is a parameter used to define the dynamic response of

a system.
By definition, time constant is defined as the time needed for
E

0.632E

t
Time constant of a Thermocouple
(a model problem)
Consider this problem, a thermocouple bead is initially exposed to a
temperature T
(t=0)
=23
o
C is instantaneously transferred to an ice bath
(T=T

)
Find the temperature variation T(t) and time constant of the Thermo
Couple ( assume TC as a lumped system ie Temperature is a
function of time only, Temperature variation in spatial directions are
neglected)
T
i
(t
0
=23)
Ice bath (T=T

)

T(t) can be found by using energy conservation
dt
dT
mc E E
out in
=
T(t)=?
Bi<<1
Bi=hD/K
s
Lumped system
) ( , 0
,

= =
=
T T hA E E
dt
dT
mc E E
out in
out in
Deriving Time constant of a Thermocouple
) (
) (

= =
T T
dT
hA
mc
dt
dt
dT
mc T T hA ie
u
u
u
d
hA
mc
dt T T define = =

) (
) ( ,
, 0

= =
= =
T T t t
t IC
i
u
u u
T

dE/dt
E
out
is where e
T T
T T
t
i
t
t
,

## The time constant

at
t
mc
hA
i
e e
T T
T T
get we Solving

= =

) (
hA
mc
a
= =
1
t
mc
hA
a =
How do you find the time constant from your
dynamic calibration data
T(Volts)
time
T
i
T
f
=T

t cons time
slope the then t Vs
T T
T T
Plot
t
T T
T T
ie
e
T T
T T
have We
i
i
t
i
tan
1
, ln
ln
=

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t
t
t
t