Difference between RTD and Thermocouples

RTD vs. thermocouples

What is Difference between RTD and thermocouples? Heat and temperature are an integral part of our daily life. Sometimes we might think that heat and temperature are the same. Heat is the energy transferred from one body to another following an irregular moment of atoms or molecules. Temperature describes kinetic energy or movement in a body along with parameters such as specific heat and mass. Below this post is all about the difference between RTD and thermocouples.

Difference between RTD and thermocouples

According to the International System of Units, the basic temperature measurement (T) is identified with Kelvin (K). The Kelvin scale is measured at 0k (absolute zero). In this state the molecule does not have thermal energy since these are in a state of rest. Since you cannot achieve a lower energy state, there is no room for negative temperature.

In the famous Celsius scale, which is used by all, has as a measure the zero that is the point of solidification of water. This is because in practice, it is easy to reproduce. 0 degrees Celsius is not the last point of temperature measurement with the Celsius scale. The measurement of this scale can track the lowest point of temperature where no movement of molecules is found.

We require the measurement of temperature for almost all daily activities such as food processing, construction control processes, steelmaking, petrochemical production and many more, which are essential for our existence. These activities require sensors made using different technologies to adapt to the varied requirements of the physical structure of the industry.

Since the industrial and commercial requirements are different from the control point, the temperature measurement must be processed. Temperature Resistance Detectors (RTD) and thermocouples are used to avoid the tedious conversion process and obtain remote electrical signal with ease. The main difference between RTD and thermocouple is the principle of operation and manufacturing.

The temperature resistance detectors operate based on the logical obstruction of the alteration of certain metals in a certain way based on the measurement of the fall and temperature increase. The two measuring tools have their advantages and disadvantages. RTDs provide reliable results in a certain period of time. The calibration of the RTD is much easier compared to other measurements. They also offer accurate readings for much lower temperature pairs.

The few notable disadvantages of RTDs are: the total temperature range, which is much lower and the cost of RTDs that is much higher compared to thermocouples. RTDs are more fragile and less convenient for heavy use in the industry.

The thermocouple is a thermometer that is made of two cables made of two different metals joined at the end. This would help in generating the point of contact leading to the measurement of temperature. The thermocouple offers a wide range of measurement between 300º Fahrenheit and 23,000º Fahrenheit. The speed of measurement is much faster and becomes less investment and with great durability. The thermocouple is a better option for heavier activities.

The remarkable advantage in the use of the thermocouple is the wide range of precision, particularly at high temperatures. It is also difficult to recalibrate depending on environmental conditions. They can be expensive when long cables are used.

In Summary:

  • The main difference between the RTD and the thermocouple is the operation and manufacturing principle.
  • RTDs provide reliable results after a certain period. RTD calibration is much simpler than other tools.
  • Thermocouples offer a wide range of precision, particularly at high temperatures, making it difficult to rely on results.
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