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This experiment is all about studying the relationship between temperature with readings

of mV and resistance, comparing between measured and calculated temperatures and resistances,

learning how to use the Type J, Type K, and RTD Measured Temperature Tables, and learning

the ways to obtain the calculated temperature, E, and temperature deviation, F. The first step is to

switch on the main supply. Then, the pump suction and all pump discharge valves (including

MV) were ensured to be fully opened. Also, all the by-pass valves (including pump by-pass

valve) are confirmed to be fully shut. Later, before pump start-up, the by-pass valve (BV) was

opened. Next, the pump (P) was switched on, (BV) was shut, and Tank T1 was filled until the

overflow level. After that, the caps of TE1, TE2, and TE3 were opened. Prior to every run of

experiments, dip in a thermometer in Tank T1 to record the temperature (C).

For every run of experiments (RUN1 30C, RUN2 40C, RUN3 50C), when it reaches

the wanted temperature, 2 sets of temperature, A, were recorded in order to calculate the average

temperature. Then, the mV reading for TE1 and TE2 were obtained as well as the reading of

resistance for TE3 (measured using a multimeter) were recorded. Readings of mV for TE1 and

TE2, as well as reading of resistance for TE3 were compared with the actual values through the

usage of the Type K and Type J Measured Temperature Tables for mV readings, and RTD

Measured Temperature Table for resistance readings (Shown in Appendices).

The tank consists of type K thermocouple, type J thermocouple, RTD transmitter and

temperature gauge whereas panel instrumentation which mounted on the control panel are

temperature indicator type K, type J, RTD, T4 and T5.

i. RTD

RTD is stand for resistance temperature detector. The RTD incorporates pure metals or certain

alloys that increase in resistance as temperature increases and, conversely, decrease in resistance

as temperature decreases. RTDs act somewhat like an electrical transducer, converting changes

in temperature to voltage signals by the measurement of resistance. The metals that are best

suited for use as RTD sensors are pure, of uniform quality, stable within a given range of

temperature, and able to give reproducible resistance-temperature readings. Only a few metals

have the properties necessary for use in RTD elements. RTD elements are normally constructed

of platinum, copper, or nickel. These metals are best suited for RTD applications because of their

linear resistance-temperature characteristics their high coefficient of resistance, and their ability

to withstand repeated temperature cycles. The coefficient of resistance is the change in resistance

per degree change in temperature, usually expressed as a percentage per degree of temperature.

The material used must be capable of being drawn into fine wire so that the element can be easily

constructed. RTD elements are usually long, spring-like wires surrounded by an insulator and

enclosed in a sheath of metal. Figure 1 shows the internal construction of an RTD.

Figure 1: Internal construction of RTD

This particular design has a platinum element that is surrounded by a porcelain insulator.

The insulator prevents a short circuit between the wire and the metal sheath. Inconel, a nickel-

iron-chromium alloy, is normally used in manufacturing the RTD sheath because of its inherent

corrosion resistance. When placed in a liquid or gas medium, the Inconel sheath quickly reaches

the temperature of the medium. The change in temperature will cause the platinum wire to heat

or cool, resulting in a proportional change in resistance. This change in resistance is then

measured by a precision resistance measuring device that iscalibrated to give the proper

temperature reading. This device is normally a bridge circuit, which will be covered in detail

later in this text.

ii. Thermocouple

A thermocouple is constructed of two dissimilar metal wires joined at one end. When one

end of each wire is connected to a measuring instrument, the thermocouple becomes a sensitive

and highly accurate measuring device. Thermocouples may be constructed of several different

combinations of materials. The performance of a thermocouple material is generally determined

by using that material with platinum. The most important factor to be considered when selecting

a pair of materials is the "thermoelectric difference" between the two materials. A significant

difference between the two materials result in better thermocouple performance. Figure 2 shows

the internal construction of a typical thermocouple. The leads of the thermocouple are encased in

a rigid metal sheath. The measuring junction is normally formed at the bottom of the

thermocouple housing. Magnesium oxide surrounds the thermocouple wires to prevent vibration

that could damage the fine wires and to enhance heat transfer between the measuring junction

and the medium surrounding the thermocouple.

Figure 2: Internal construction of thermocouple

Thermocouples will cause an electric current to flow in the attached circuit when

subjected to changes in temperature. The amount of current that will be produced is dependent

on the temperature difference between the measurement and reference junction; the

characteristics ofthe two metals used; and the characteristics of the attached circuit. Heating the

measuring junction of the thermocouple produces a voltage which is greater than the voltage

across thereference junction. The difference between the twovoltages is proportional to the

difference in temperature and can be measured on the voltmeter (in millivolts). For ease of

operator use, some voltmeters are set up to read out directly in temperature through use of

electronic circuity. Other applications provide only the millivolt readout. In order to convert the

millivolt reading to its corresponding temperature, refer to thermocouples tables These tables can

be obtained from the thermocouple manufacturer, and they list the specific temperature

corresponding to a series of millivolt readings.


Thermocouple is a device used to measure temperature which consists of two dissimilar

conductors that contact each other at one or more spots. It produces a voltage when the

temperature of one of the spots differs from the reference temperature at other parts of the

circuit. Thermocouple widely used for measurement and control and also used to convert a

temperature gradient into electricity. Commercial thermocouples are inexpensive,

interchangeable and supplied with standard connectors. Thermocouples are self powered and

require no external form of excitation. The main limitation with thermocouples is accuracy;

system errors of less than one degree Celsius (C) are difficult to achieve. (Michalski, 2001)

In the experiment, there are two types of thermocouple has been used which are Type J

and Type K. Type J (iron constantan) has more restricted range than type K (40 C to

+750 C), but higher sensitivity of about 50 V/C. The Curie point of the iron (770 C) causes a

smooth change in the characteristic, which determines the upper temperature limit.

While Type K (chromel alumel) is the most common general purpose thermocouple

with a sensitivity of approximately 41 V/C. It is inexpensive, and a wide variety of probes are

available in its 200 C to +1350 C / -330 F to +2460 F range. Type K was specified at a time

when metallurgy was less advanced than it is today, and consequently characteristics may vary

considerably between samples. One of the constituent metals, nickel, is magnetic; a characteristic

of thermocouples made with magnetic material is that they undergo a deviation in output when

the material reaches its Curie point; this occurs for type K thermocouples at around 185 C.
Type K thermocouples may be used up to 1260 C in non-oxidizing or inert atmospheres

without rapid aging. In marginally oxidizing atmospheres (such as carbon dioxide) between

800 C1050 C, the chromel wire rapidly corrodes and becomes magnetic in a phenomenon

known as "green rot"; this induces a large and permanent degradation of the thermocouple,

causing the thermocouple to read too low if the corroded area is exposed to thermal gradient.

Another source of drift in type K thermocouples is that near 400 C, a slow reordering in the

chromel wire occurs; this is reversible and leads to hysteresis between heating and cooling.

Another device is Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTD) or also known as Resistance

Thermometers. It is a sensors used to measure temperature by correlating the resistance of the

RTD element with temperature. Most RTD elements consist of a length of fine coiled wire

wrapped around a ceramic or glass core. The element is usually quite fragile, so it is often placed

inside a sheathed probe to protect it. The RTD element is made from a pure material, typically

platinum, nickel or copper. The material has a predictable change in resistance as the temperature

changes and it is this predictable change that is used to determine temperature.

Thermocouple and Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTD) are two most common ways

of measuring industrial temperatures. There are four factors usually used to determine the

choices between them. Firstly, the temperature; if the process temperatures are between 200 to

500 C (328.0 to 932.0 F), an industrial RTD is the preferred option. Thermocouples have a

range of 180 to 2,320 C (292.0 to 4,208.0 F), so for temperatures above 500 C (932 F)

they are the only contact temperature measurement device. Secondly, the response time; if the

process requires a very fast response to temperature changes (fractions of a second as opposed to

seconds (e.g. 2.5 to 10 s)) then a thermocouple is the best choice. Time response is measured by

immersing the sensor in water moving at 1 m/s (3 ft/s) with a 63.2% step change.
Thirdly, the size; a standard RTD sheath is 3.175 to 6.35 mm (0.1250 to 0.2500 in) in

diameter; sheath diameters for thermocouples can be less than 1.6 mm (0.063 in). Last but not

least, the accuracy and stability requirement; if a tolerance of 2 C is acceptable and the highest

level of repeatability is not required, a thermocouple will be used. RTDs are capable of higher

accuracy and can maintain stability for many years, while thermocouples can drift within the first

few hours of use.


1. Abdullah E., Experimental Methods in Measurement and Instrumentation for Electrical

and Mechanical Engineering, Universal-Publishers, 2000.

2. Experiment Manual TMC 200, QDR Marketing Sdn Bhd.

3. L. Michalski., Temperature Measurement, John Wiley & Sons Publication, 2001.

4. Dynamic response of temperature measuring device, Retrieved from,

http://www.eng.fsu.edu/~alvi/EML4304L/webpage/experiment4.html [Accessed on 5th

November 2014]

5. MEP 365 Thermal Measurements, RTD & Thermistor Calibration, Retrieved from,

www.surecontrols.com/rtd-vs-thermocouple [Accessed on 5th November 2014 ]

6. DOE Fundamental Handbook Instrumentation and Control, Vol 1 and 2. US

Department of Energy. Pg 1-4

7. DOE Fundamental Handbook Instrumentation and Control, Vol 1 and 2. US

Department of Energy. Pg 5-7