Technical Blog

Measuring Temperature

Measuring Temperature is a vital part of many processes in all industries as well as in commercial applications.

There are many ways to measure temperature and different devices can be used. These temperature measuring devices or temperature sensors can include;

  • Temperature probes
  • Thermometers
  • Thermistors
  • Thermocouples
  • RTD sensors
  • Combined temperature sensors
  • Semi-conductor based temperature sensors

Many of these types of temperature sensors are available from Variohm.

The Importance of Measuring Temperature

The main reason for measuring temperature is to ensure that devices do not overheat and become dangerous. This can be in any industry. Temperature sensors are of high importance in motorsport applications in particular. The vehicle is designed to be very fast, with speed comes friction which leads to temperature. Different aspects of the vehicle need to be monitored for high temperatures to ensure the safety of the driver.

Another industry where measuring temperature is of very high importance is the medical industry. Temperature sensors are used on medical equipment and to monitor the patients themselves. Especially in these types of applications, patient safety is extremely important, so accurate measurement is crucial.

Devices for Measuring Temperature and their Applications

Different types of devices are better suited to different temperature measuring applications.

At Variohm we have a wide range of different temperature probes which can be customised as well as a standard range of various temperature sensors. Some of the devices we offer are;

RTD Sensors – An RTD (resistance temperature detector) is a small and sensitive device used for measuring temperature. RTDs calculate temperature using Ohmic resistance, this is similar to the way Thermistors work.

Some application examples of RTD sensors are;

  • Food processing
  • Aerospace applications
  • Military applications
  • Engine temperature monitoring
  • Automotive applications 

RTD sensors are highly accurate and offer long term stability.

NTC Thermistors – thermistors are small and are highly accurate with a very fast response.  They are well suited to applications with a small temperature range. They use electrical resistance to take accurate temperature measurements.

Application examples include;

  • Kettles
  • Washing machines
  • Other white goods
  • Boilers
  • Thermometers
  • Medical applications
  • Food handling
  • Part of the temperature probe assembly

Thermistors can be either Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) or Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC), they are usually glass or epoxy coated.

Thermocouples – thermocouples are highly versatile; they measure temperature by monitoring the electrical current across two differing metals. Each type of thermocouple uses different metals, this will determine the temperature range this thermocouple can be used for.

Thermocouples are often used for applications where high temperatures require monitoring. Some thermocouples can measure up to 1260°.

Application examples for thermocouples include;

  • Thermostats
  • Gas appliances
  • Engine monitoring
  • Exhaust monitoring
  • Kiln
  • Hospital thermometers

Thermocouples are a popular device used for measuring temperature, however, something to take into consideration when it comes to thermocouples is that they tend to be less reliable compared to other devices.

Temperature Probes – Temperature probes can vary in size; they consist of a temperature sensing element which may be potted into a terminal or housing.  The different housings options allow for various connection options.

Applications for temperature probes include;

  • Motorsport applications
  • Medical applications – patient monitoring as well as devices and equipment 
  • Transit
  • HVAC
  • Computing
  • Renewable Energy
  • Aerospace Applications

Combined Pressure and Temperature Transducers – Combined Pressure and Temperature Transducers are another type of temperature sensor we can offer. They incorporate a pressure sensor and temperature sensor in one device, these are well suited to any application where space is limited but where both variables require monitoring.  

Other temperature measuring devices – other temperature sensors also include;

Measuring Temperature – What Variohm Can Offer

At Variohm, we have a complete range of temperature sensors which are well proven in various industries.

Our full range includes

Take a look at our Types of Temperature PDF download for a more visual overview.

If you are looking for something more specific, please contact us to discuss bespoke temperature sensing options.

For more information on measuring temperature or to discuss your application please contact us.

Article published on: 19/11/2020