RTDs, also known as resistance temperature detectors, are temperature sensors consisting of a ceramic or glass center with wire coil wrapped around to insulate. This temperature sensor is chosen because of its accuracy and dependability, used in situations where the temperature of the atmosphere or system must be closely monitored, as the temperature affects the function of the system or machinery.
Understanding how RTDs work and what they measure can make it easier to decide to use RTDs in a system compared to choosing themistors or thermocouples. Each of these sensors work with temperature and resistance, but RTDs specifically work well with providing constant and accurate temperature readings on a wider range. Thermistors and thermocouples can be a better option for smaller temperature ranges and a system that is flexible in the required temperature range.
How RTDs Work
As a temperature sensor, RTDs measure the predictable change in electrical resistance of the material while the temperature changes. The sensor here tracks temperature by measuring the change in resistance in relation to the surrounding temperature, acting as a very accurate and responsive sensor. Typical RTD response time is fast, 0.5 seconds to 5 seconds. The most common RTDs can be found as 100 ohm or 1000 ohm platinum resistance thermometers.
What RTDs Measure
RTDs measure temperature over a wide temperature range, which makes RTDs different from thermocouples and thermistors, as these usually measure a smaller temperature variable. RTDs are more stable over a longer period of time. The sensor in RTDs have a resistance that changes with temperature in a consistent and repeatable manner, versus an environment where temperature fluctuates greatly and drastically. Resistance temperature detectors are typically chosen to use in systems that need the temperature to be consistent, and RTDs deliver highly accurate and consistent measurements.
Resistance Temperature Detector Applications
RTDs have many applications in a range of industries, commonly used in high temperature settings. These sensors are a staple in situations where the temperature needs to be constantly monitored and monitored accurately. Systems and situations that are set up where the function of the application depends on the temperature usually use resistance temperature detectors to keep the system functioning smoothly. Especially in industrial and complicated very high or very low temperature scenarios, RTDs are used to maintain the optimal temperature of the system at all times.
Common industrial applications include:
- Industrial boilers
- Exhaust gas monitoring
- Food processing
RTDs are chosen as the temperature sensor in many industrial and large level systems, as they are reliable, long-lasting, and accurate at measuring temperatures at a constant interval. By measuring the change in resistance in relation to temperature, RTDs can quickly relay the current temperature, giving the rest of the system time to respond and alter function.
Extreme temperature scenarios, either very high or very low, opt for the use of RTDs to maintain a constant temperature, compared to other temperature sensors like thermistors. RTDs typically have a more industrial application whereas thermistors are used in household appliances and on smaller industrial systems like coolers and freezers.
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