Advantages disadvantages temperature sensor-thermocouple, RTD, thermistor, IC sensor

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of temperature sensor. It mentions temperature sensor advantages or benefits and temperature sensor disadvantages. It covers advantages and disadvantages of thermocouple, RTD, thermistor, IC sensor etc.

Definition: The sensor which senses changes in temperature is known as temperature sensor. It is constructed in different categories viz. thermocouple, RTD (Resistance temperature detector), thermistor, IC form etc.


The figure-1 depicts temperature sensor of thermocouple type. It uses two different metal wires joined at one end and open at the other end. The difference in temperatue between the two ends produces voltage between them. The magnitude of voltage depends on material type and temperature difference between the two ends. There are different types of thermocouples based on different materials used for wires. Each of these types have different sensitivities or temperature range to be measured.

Refer Temperature Sensor basics and types>> for more information. Advantages and disadvantages of temperature sensor depend on mechanism used for its construction (RTD, thermistor, thermocouple, ultrasonic transducer).

Advantages of temperature sensor | thermocouple, RTD, thermistor, IC sensor

Following are the advantages of temperature sensor :
➨Thermocouple measures temperature in -200oC to +2500oC range, RTD measures in -200oC to +850oC range, thermistor measures in -100oC to +260oC range and IC sensors measures in -45oC to 150oC range.
➨(Advantages of thermocouple are): No external power required, simple and rugged in construction, cheaper, support for wider temperature range etc.
➨(Advantages of RTD are ): More stable, higher accuracy, more linearity compare to thermocouple
➨(Advantages of thermistor are): Higher output, faster in operation
➨(Advantages of IC sensor are): Highest output, cheaper, most linear than all types

Disadvantages of temperature sensor | thermocouple, RTD, thermistor, IC sensor

Following are the disadvantages of temperature sensor :
➨(Disadvantages of thermocouple are): Non linearity, least stability, Low voltage, Reference is needed, least sensitivity etc.
➨(Disadvantages of RTD are ): Lower absolute resistance, expensive, current source needed, less rugged compare to thermocouples etc.
➨(Disadvantages of thermistor are): Nonlinearity, limited support for temperature range, current source needed, fragile, self heating etc.
➨(Disadvantages of IC sensor are): Power supply needed, slower in operation, self heating, limited configurations, temperature upto 150oC etc.

Refer specific advantages and disadvantages of thermocouple, RTD and Thermistor >> for more information.

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