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What is a thermocouple sensor? Professional

منذ 6 أشهر Multimedia Saïda   58 الآراء

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What is a thermocouple sensor?

Thermocouple sensor is perhaps the most simple and robust electronic temperature sensing devices imaginable. They consist only of two wires made out of dissimilar metals, attached together in a junction, which is placed where the measurement is to be obtained. Thanks to the Seebeck effect—named after German physicist Thomas Seebeck—if there is a temperature differential between the junction of these two wires, and their other measured ends are some distance away, there will be a voltage differential between them.

This voltage differential can be correlated to the actual temperature at the junction, thanks to the Seebeck coefficient, which relates the voltage potential to the temperature. This is often expressed as microvolts per degrees Kelvin (μV/°K), which is equivalent to microvolts per degrees Celsius. If needed, that can be converted to Fahrenheit by dividing by 1.8. While this seems simple enough, several factors are at play here that make the correlation slightly less than straightforward.

Temperature measurement using a thermocouple

While thermocouples can be made from a wide variety of metal combinations, the Seebeck constant varies depending on the construction. This number also changes over the thermocouple usable temperature range, so even if you’re using a standard metal combination, you’ll either need a chart or a mathematical model to correlate the temperature value. You also need to know the temperature at the measurement point, since the voltage is due to the temperature difference, not the absolute temperature itself.

The good news is that standard thermocouple metallurgical combinations are well documented, so if you know the type of thermocouple and are able to measure the temperature at your meter, this can all be worked out. The even better news is that more than likely you don’t even have to do any of that. Electrical meters with thermocouple temperature sensing capabilities are able to automatically correlate this information when the proper probe is used, and can even measure the internal temperature to give an output in actual degrees—not just a temperature difference.