Sensors for Temperature Measurement and Their Application (part 1 of 3)

Today we start a three part series on on Temperature Measurement and Their Application. There is an IT axiom that says, “garbage in, garbage out” and no where is that more true than in thermal analysis. If you measure your data incorrectly, you’ll have no chance of getting the data you need to design the best thermal management solution for your application.

In todays market, it is very rare to see electronic equipment that has not undergone extensive thermal evaluation, either by measurement or simulation. Inevitably, the temperature of the device junction or case, or the enclosure, has been measured to ensure that the system will operate to its intended specifications. A quick look at the equations associated with stress in a lead wire, and with the acceleration factor used in reliability calculations, will show why temperature plays such an important role in electronics equipment [1].

equations showing the linear and exponential relationship of temperatureEquations 1 and 2 clearly demonstrate the linear and exponential relationships that temperature has in the operation of the electronic components. Concurrently, simulation tools are used extensively in todays thermal design. But, due to the complexity of the electronics packaging and composite nature of the materials used, the simulation data must be verified in order to ensure reliable data is obtained. In this article, we present different sensors and their application domains in electronics thermal management.

Table 1 shows six primary sensors used in temperature measurement:

table showing various temperature transducers for thermal analysisTable 1. Standard Temperature Transducers [2]

In part 2 of our three part series, we’ll start consider each sensor in detail, focusing on the resistor thermometer, thermocouple and diode transistor.

1. Klinger, D., Nakada, Y., Menendez, M., AT&T Reliability Manual,
Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990.
2. Azar, K., Thermal Measurement in Electronics Cooling, CRC Press,
3. Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc., Tutorial Series, Principles of
Temperature Measurement.
4. thermVIEW System, product of Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc.
5. White, F., Viscous Fluid Flow, McGraw-Hill, 3rd Ed., 2005.

If you are in need of sensors for thermal measurement, click now to ATS’ sensor family. Including our industry leading Candlestick Sensor.You can also email or call us with your questions on temperature measurement and one of our engineers will be happy to help you. Email us at or call us at 781-769-2800.

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