Thermocouple. Thermocouple Types. What Is a Thermocouple? What Is a Thermocouple? Cold Junction Compensation

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1 Instrumentation Group Project Temperature Measurement in a Nuclear Reactor 1. Cathal Introduction to each transducer 2. Aidan Explanation of each transducer 3. Shuang Characteristics 4. Libby Sensitivity 5. Matthew Project Cost Thermocouple A thermocouple is a sensor used for measuring temperature. Thermocouples are among the easiest temperature sensors to use and obtain and are widely used in science and industry. They are "simple", rugged, need no batteries and measure over very wide temperature ranges A Thermocouple is made up of a pair of dissimilar metal wires joined together at least at one end, When the junction of the two metals is heated or cooled a voltage is produced that can be correlated back to a temperature What Is a Thermocouple? Thermocouples are pairs of dissimilar metal wires joined at one end Thermocouple Types Thermocouple are available in different combinations of metals or calibrations When the junction of the two metals is heated or cooled a voltage is produced that can be correlated back to the temperature. This is the Seebeck effect. What Is a Thermocouple? Core chamber temperature of reactor is less than 1250 C Use Type K for this project Type K (Chromel (Ni/Cr alloy) / Alumel (Ni-Al alloy)) Needs a Thermocouple Transmitter with Automatic thermocouple cold junction compensation Cold Junction Compensation Traditionally done using an ice bath In practice a precision thermistor in contact with the input connectors is used Both temperatures used to calculate the true temperature at the junction Any error in cold junction temperature will lead to an error in the final temperature 1

2 How the Thermocouple Works Thermocouple Standard Tables When one end of a conductive material is heated the electrons at the hot end are more thermally energized than the electrons at the cooler end. These Hot electrons begin to diffuse toward the cooler end. This redistribution of electrons creates a negative charge at the cool end and an equal positive charge at the hot end. The thermocouple circuit shown represents the basis upon which thermocouple standard tables have been established. A new junction is added and held in an ice bath at T ice (0 C). This allows tables of thermocouple voltage versus temperature to be developed. Thermocouple Advantages and Disadvantages Advantages: Low cost. No moving parts, less likely to be broken. Wide temperature range. Reasonably short response time. Reasonable repeatability and accuracy. Disadvantages: Low sensitivity Requires a known temperature reference, usually 0 C ice water. Platinum RTDs What is a Platinum RTD? Resistance Temperature Detectors The hotter they become, the larger or higher the value of their electrical resistance. Usually they are provided encapsulated in probes for temperature sensing and measurement with an external indicator, controller or transmitter made of pure platinum wire coil encapsulated in ceramic or glass (wire wound) or a thin film deposited on a ceramic substrate (thin film). Resistance Thermometer Resistance changes Ohms/ C (European Fundamental Interval) Require a small current to be passed through in order to determine the resistance. 2

3 What is a Platinum RTD? How to use Platinum RTD Wire-wound in a ceramic insulator - works with temperatures to -200 C to 850 C Wires encapsulated in glass - resists vibration, offers the most protection to the detecting wire Used to measure reflector inlet temperature and core inlet temperature in the reactor Use a Wheatstone bridge circuit to calculate the change in resistance of the RTD As the temperature changes so does the resistance of the platinum the bridge is balanced and the resulting voltage change can be used to find the temperature Advantages and Disadvantages RTD advantages: RTDs have very repeatable resistance vs. temperature characteristics over time. RTDs can be used with standard instrumentation cable for connection to display or control equipment, RTDs are popular because of their excellent stability, and exhibit the most linear signal with respect to temperature of any electronic temperature sensor. RTD disadvantages: RTDs are characterized by a slow response time, RTDs are characterized by a low sensitivity, Prone to self-heating. RTDs are more expensive than thermocouples, Thermistor A thermistor is a type of resistor used to measure temperature changes. As the temperature changes the resistance in the thermistor changes. Thermistors typically work over a relatively small temperature range, compared to other temperature sensors, and can be very accurate and precise within that range, although not all are PTC Resistance goes up as temperature goes up. typically made from polycrystalline materials that are normally highly resistive, but are made semi conductive by the use of dopants such as lead and barium NTC Resistance drops as temperature goes up. most commonly composed of oxides of manganese, nickel, cobalt, iron, copper and titanium What is a Thermistor? A thermistor is a type of resistor used to measure temperature changes, relying on the change in its resistance with changing temperature Thermistors can be classified into two types. If the resistance increases with increasing temperature the device is called a positive temperature coefficient (PTC) thermistor If the resistance decreases with increasing temperature, the device is called a negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistor. 3

4 What is a Thermistor? What is a Thermistor? Thermistors are manufactured from semiconductor materials Oxides such as cobalt and magnesium are used A Wheatstone Bridge is used to measure the resistance change and give a voltage output corresponding to the temperature Typical resistance values are 10 KΩ at 0 C and 200 Ω at 100 C Not as accurate as Platinum RTD Small temperature range -100 C to +300 C This transducer is not suitable for the nuclear reactor project Graph of Thermistor, Thermocouple and Platinum RTD Comparison of Common Types of Temperature Transducers Thermocouple Characteristic How does it change with temperature? Linear/Curve or Exponential? How does it change with temperature? Linear/Curve or Exponential? Thermistor Characteristic 4

5 Platinum RTD Characteristic Resistance And Accuracy Table How does it change with temperature? Linear/Curve or Exponential? Sensitivity Sensitivity of measurement is a measure of the change in instrument output which occurs when the quantity being measured changes by a given amount: Change in instrument scale reading Change in quantity being measured Sensitivity of a thermocouple is given by: mv Temperature. Sensitivity drift defines the amount by which an instruments sensitivity of measurement varies as ambient conditions change. Average temperature ranges -200 C to 1200 C Sensitivity approx 41 µv/ C Type K is most sensitive. Type K ranges between approx -250 C to C Thermocouple Sensitivity Thermocouples at High Temperatures Thermocouples at Low Temperatures 5

6 Thermistor Sensitivity Platinum RTD Sensitivity Thermally sensitive resistors. Two types of Thermistors, negative (NTC) or positive (PTC). NTC range -200 C to C Should be chosen when a continuous change of resistance is required over a wide temperature range. PTC range +60 C to +180 C. Should be chosen when a drastic change in resistance is required at a specific temperature or current level. Not suitable for this application Average Temperature range C to 850 C. Principle operation measures the resistance of the platinum element. Not likely to find an RTD to cover the range of high temperatures required for this application. Thermocouple Cost, Type K 6

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