# EXP #3: TEMPERATURE TRANSDUCERS

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1 EXP #3: TEMPERATURE TRANSDUCERS I. INTRODUCTION Objectives: To understand the operation of thermistors and realization of a temperature sensing device, to study the basic characteristics of an I.C. temperature transducer, platinum R.T.D. resistance transducer, N.T.C. thermistor and a thermocouple. Equipment: Digiac 1750, digital voltmeter. Average Time to Complete: 2.5 hrs. Prerequisites: Familiarity with thermistors. II. BACKGROUND INFORMATION Thermistors are essentially semiconductor devices which behave as thermal resistors having a high negative temperature coefficient of resistance. The sensors are made of sintered ceramics, usually from mixtures of oxides iron, manganese, nickel, cobalt and copper in the form of beads or discs. The resistance value at ambient temperature may range from 100 Ω to 100 kω. The variation of resistance with temperature is nonlinear, decreasing with temperature. The resistance Rt of a thermistor at a temperature T can be expressed by the equation R t = R β [ ( T T ) TT ] 0 exp 0 / 0 where β is the material constant for the thermistor (K) and T 0 is the standard reference temperature (K). β is usually about the temperature coefficient α, can be expressed as, drt α = = β / T R dt 1 2 t (% / K) Note that α is a nonlinear function of temperature. The resistance vs. temperature characteristics of the thermistors, can be linearized by shunting it with a proper resistor R. The value of R for a desired temperature can be p p R p = Rt ( β 2Tm ) ( β + 2Tm ) Because of its small size, thermistors are ideally suited for measuring temperature distributions or gradients. The measurement of the change in resistance can be carried out with a standard Wheatstone bridge. 1

2 The DIGIAC 1750 Temperature Transducer Facilities Figure 1 shows the layout of the temperature transducer facilities of the DIGIAC 1750 unit. The active transducers are contained within a clean plastic container which includes a heater. In the case of the N.T.C. thermistors and the thermocouples, a separate unit is mounted outside the heated enclosure. The I.C. Temperature Transducer Figure 1 This is an integrated circuit containing 16 transistors, 9 resistors and 2 capacitors contained in a transistor type package. The device reference number is LM 335 and it provides an output of 10 mv/ o K. A measurement of the output voltage therefore indicates the temperature directly in o K. For example, at a temperature of 20 o C (293 o K), the output voltage will be 2.93 V. The circuit arrangement provided with the DIGIAC 1750 unit is shown in Figure 2. 2

3 Figure 2 A 2-pin socket is provided for the connection of an external LM 335 unit if desired. Note: An LM 335 unit is mounted external to the heated enclosure and fitted in a heat sink with a type K thermocouple, its output being obtained from the Ref socket. The output from this can be used as an indication of the ambient temperature outside the heated enclosure and that from the Int socket in Figure 2indicates the temperature within the heated enclosure. The output from the Ref socket does not give an accurate value of the room ambient temperature when the heater is in use, due mainly to heat passing along the baseboard by conduction from the heater. An LM 335 remotely mounted or some other method is necessary for accurate values of ambient temperature. The Platinum R.T.D: (Resistance Temperature Dependent) Transducer The construction of the platinum R.T:D. transducer is shown in Figure 3, consisting basically of a thin film of platinum deposited on a ceramic substrate and having gold contact plates at each end that make contact with the film. Figure 3 The platinum film is trimmed with a laser beam so that the resistance is 100 Ω at 0 o C. 3

4 The resistance of the film increases as the temperature increases, i.e. it has a positive temperature coefficient. The increase in resistance is linear, the relationship between resistance change and temperature rise being Ω/ o C for the unit. R = t R t where R t is the resistance at temperature t ( o C) and R 0 is the resistance at 0 o C which is equal to 100 Ω. Normally, the unit would be connected to a D.C. supply via a series resistor and the voltage developed across the transducer is measured. The current flow through the transducer will then cause some self heating, the temperature rise due to this being of the order of 0.2 o C/mW dissipated in the transducer. The electrical circuit arrangement of the DIGIAC 1750 unit is shown in Figure 4. Figure 4 The N.T.C. (Negative Temperature Coefficient) Thermistor The construction of the N.T.C. thermistor is shown in Figure 5, consisting basically of an element made from sintered oxides of metals such as nickel, manganese and cobalt and with contacts made to each side of the element. Figure 5 As the temperature of the element increase, the resistance falls, the resistance/temperature characteristic being non-linear. 4

5 The resistance of the thermistors provided with the DIGIAC 1750 unit is of the order of 5 kω at an ambient temperature of 20 o C (293 o K). The relationship between resistance and temperature is given by the formula: where R 1 : Resistance at temperature T 1 in o K, R 2 : Resistance at temperature T 2 in o K, exp = 2.718, B : Characteristic temperature (= 4350 o K). B R = 2 R1 exp T2 B T1 Two similar units are provided, one being mounted inside the heated enclosure, this being connected to the +5 V supply and designated A. The other is mounted outside the heated enclosure, is connected to the 0 V connection and is designated B. The circuit arrangement is shown in Figure 5. The Type K Thermocouple Temperature Transducer Figure 6 shows the basic construction of a thermocouple, consisting of two wires of different materials joined together at one end. Figure 6 For the type K thermocouple the two materials are alumel and chromel. With this arrangement, when the ends that are joined together are heated, an output voltage is obtained between the other two ends. The ends that are joined together are referred to as the hot junction and the other ends are referred to as the cold junction. The magnitude of the output voltage depends on the temperature difference between the hot and cold junctions and on the materials used. For the type K thermocouple the output 5

6 voltage is fairly linear over the temperature range o C and of magnitude µv/ o C difference between the hot and cold junctions. Two thermocouples are provided with the DIGIAC 1750 unit, one being mounted within the heated enclosure, this being the active unit which will have its hot and cold junctions at different temperatures in operation. The other unit is mounted outside the heated enclosure and is incorporated in a heat sink with an LM 335 I.C. temperature transducer so that the temperature of the cold junction of the active thermocouple can be measured. This second thermocouple is connected in series with the first with the wires of the same material connected together. This ensures that the connections to the output circuit are made from the same material and thus eliminates the possibility of an e.m.f. being introduced into the circuit by connections between different materials. The second thermocouple does not contribute to the output voltage because its hot and cold junctions are maintained at the same temperature. The circuit arrangement is as shown in Figure 7. Figure 7 Due to low voltage output, the output requires amplification, an amplification factor of 248 giving an output of 10 mv/ o C. During operation, the temperature of the cold junction varies, due mainly to heat conduction from the heater along the baseboard and the junction is in effect floating. This is a common occurrence with thermocouple installations where the thermocouple leads are short. To overcome the problem, extra leads of the same material or different mterials having the same thermoelectric properties are used to extend the cold junction to a point where a steady temperature can be maintained. These cables are referred to as Compensating cables. 6

7 III. PRELIMINARY WORK 1. Derive the equation R = R β 2T ) ( β + 2T ). Calculate to have a linear resistance characteristics about 33 o C. p t ( m m 2. State the output voltages you would expect to obtain from an LM 335 temperature transducer at the following temperatures: a. 0 o C. b. 50 o C. c. -20 o C. 3. A platinum R.T.D. transducer has resistance of 100 Ω at 0 o C and 138 Ω at 100 o C. a. What would be its resistance 50 o C? b. What temperature would be represented by a resistance of Ω? 4. The resistance of an N.T.C. thermistor is 5 kω at 20 o C and 1 kω at 100 o C. When its temperature is 60 o C, state with reasons whether you would expect its resistance to be: a. 4 kω b. 3 kω c. 1.8 kω 5. A thermocouple gives an output of 40 µv for each o C difference in temperature between the hot and cold junctions. State the output voltages expected for the junction temperatures given below: Cold Hot a. 0 o C 50 o C b. 20 o C 70 o C c. 50 o C 50 o C d. -20 o C 60 o C What amplifier gain would be required to enable the thermocouple to produce an output of 1V for a temperature difference of 100 o C between the hot and cold junctions? R p 7

8 IV. EXPERIMENT Exercise 1: The Characteristics of an LM 335 I.C. Temperature Transducer This exercise illustrates the characteristics of the LM 335 transducer, indicates the maximum temperature rise possible using the heater supplied at 12 V and also indicates the time scale required for the unit to reach stable conditions. Equipment: 1 LM 335 I.C. Temperature transducer 1 20 V Digital voltmeter Connecting leads Figure 8 Connect the voltmeter to the circuit as shown in Figure 8, switch the power supply ON and note the output voltage, this representing the temperature in o K. Now connect the +12 V supply to the heater input socket and note the voltage reading every minute until the value stabilizes. Enter the values in Table 1. Time (minute) Voltage (Volts) Temperature o K C Table 1 Exercise 2: The Characteristics of a Platinum R.T.D. Transducer In this exercise we will connect the platinum R.T.D. in series with a high resistance to a DC supply and measure the voltage drop across it. Due to small variation of resistance, the current 8

9 change will be negligible and the voltage drop across the transducer will be directly proportional to its resistance. Equipment: 1 Platinum R.T.D. transducer 1 10 kω wirewound resistor 1 2/20 V range digital voltmeter 1 LM 335 I.C. temperature transducer Connecting leads Figure 9 Connect the circuit as shown in Figure 9, with the voltmeter set to its 2 V DC range. With the power supply switched ON, adjust the control of the 10 kω resistor so that the voltage drop across the platinum R.T.D. is V as indicated by the digital voltmeter. This calibrates the platinum R.T.D. for an ambient temperature of 20 o C, since the resistance of the R.T.D. at 20 o C will be 108 Ω. Note: If the ambient temperature differs from 20 o C, the voltage can be set to the correct value for this ambient temperature if desired. (1) Set the voltmeter to its 20 V range and measure the output from the I.C. temperature transducer to obtain the ambient temperature in o K. (Then o C = o K-273) (2) R.T.D. resistance = o C. Set the voltage drop across the R.T.D. for this value. Now connect the +12 V supply to the heater input and note the values of the voltage across the R.T.D. with the voltmeter set to its 2V range (this representing the R.T.D. resistance), and the output voltage from the temperature transducer with the voltmeter set to its 20 V range (this representing the temperature of the R.T.D.). Enter the values in Table 2. Repeat the readings at 1 minute intervals and enter the values in Table 2. 9

10 Time (minute) o K R.T.D. Temperature o C R.T.D. Resistance Table 2 Plot the graph of R.T.D. resistance against temperature on the axes provided R.T.D. Resist. (Ω) Temperature o C Is the resistance/temperature characteristic linear? Is the resistance 100 Ω at 0 o C? During the exercise, the current flowing was of the order of 1 ma and the total circuit resistance was of the order of 5 kω. The variation of 12 Ω approximately in the R.T.D. transducer therefore had little effect on the circuit current and hence the voltage drop across it represented the resistance value reasonably accurately. The current of 1 ma in the R.T.D. represents a power of the order of 0.1 mw dissipated in the R.T.D. so that the self heating effect would produce a temperature rise of 0.02 o C which is negligible. Exercise 3: The Characteristics of an N.T.C. Thermistor Equipment: 2 Thermistors A & B 1 10 kω 10 turn resistor (from the Wheatstone Bridge circuit) 1 20 V digital voltmeter 1 LM 335 I.C. temperature transducer (to indicate the temperature) Connecting leads 10

12 Time (minutes) o K Temperature o C Dial reading for 2.5 V Thermistor resistance Table 3 Plot the graph of thermistor resistance against temperature on the axes provided below. 6 k 5 k Resist. (Ω) 4 k 3 k 2 k 1 k Temperature o C Note that the graph is non-linear, with the resistance falling as the temperature increases. The unit is not suitable for applications where an accurate indication of temperature is required, but is more suitable for applications in protection and alarm circuits where an indication of temperature exceeding a certain safe value is required. Units are available having a rapid change of resistance when the temperature exceeds a certain value. The resistance of the N.T.C. thermistor B which is mounted outside the heated enclosure does not remain constant, due mainly to conduction of heat from the heater along the baseboard and this reduces its resistance. We cannot use the same procedure as for thermistor A to measure its resistance because the 10 turn resistor and thermistor B are both connected to the 0 V supply connection. We can measure its resistance using the Wheatstone Bridge method but we will have no means of measuring the temperature of the unit. 12

13 Figure 11 Connect the circuit as shown in Figure 11 and set the switch on the Wheatstone bridge circuit to OUT. Use either the digital voltmeter or the combination of differential amplifier, amplifier #1 and moving coil meter as the galvanometer. Balance the bridge for conditions with the thermistor B (a) cold and (b) hot and calculate its resistance for each condition. N.T.C. Thermistor cold: R3at balance = R 1 at balance = 10,000 R3= R3 Thermistor B resistance = 12 kω = R1 N.T.C. Thermistor hot: R3at balance = R 1 at balance = 10,000 R3= R3 Thermistor B resistance = 12 kω = R1 When used for alarm or protection circuits, two thermistors would normally be used, these being connected in a bridge circuit as shown in Figure 12. Figure 12 The two thermistors and two equal value resistors R having the same value resistance as the cold resistance of the thermistors are connected in the bridge circuit shown in Figure

14 When cold, there will be no output at the connections AB because the bridge will be balanced under this condition. As the temperature rises, the thermistor resistance will decrease and the potential of connection A will rise and that of connection B will fall, thus giving a larger output than would be obtained with a circuit using only one thermistor. Exercise 4: The Characteristics of a K Type Thermocouple Equipment: 1 Type K Thermocouple 1 Instrumentation amplifier amplifier 1 Amplifier #1 with gain set 2.5 approximately 1 2/20 V range digital voltmeter Connecting leads Figure 13 Connect the circuit as shown in Figure 13, set the voltmeter to its 2 V range and set amplifier #1 coarse and fine gain controls to 10 and 0.25 respectively. Switch the power supply ON and then set the offset control of amplifier #1 as follows: Short circuit the input connections to the instrumentation amplifier and adjust the offset control for zero indication on the voltmeter. Re-connect the thermocouple output to the instrumentation amplifier as shown in Figure 13. the output voltage should still be zero with the hot and cold junctions at the same temperature. Note the temperatures of the inside and outside of the enclosure (cold junction) by setting the voltmeter to its 20 V range and then measuring the voltage output from the Int socket of the I.C. temperature transducer and then from the Ref output socket of the LM 335 provided on the type K thermocouple unit. Enter the values in Table 4. Connect the 12 V supply to the heater ant at 1 minute intervals, note the values of the thermocouple output voltage and the voltages representing the temperatures of the hot and cold junctions of the thermocouple. 14

15 Enter the values in Table 4. Time (minutes) Hot junction Temp Cold junction K Difference Thermocouple O/P (mv) Table 4 Construct the graph of thermocouple output voltage against temperature difference between the hot and cold junctions on the axes provided Output Voltage (mv) Temperature Difference o C Is the characteristic linear? If so, what is the relationship in mv/ o C? The actual value will depend on the actual amplification provided by the amplifier system at the settings used. 15

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