Many measuring temperature methods are available today, and the Thermocouple takes a top spot here. The thermometer was the widely-used device for the purpose in the early 90s. Yes, people use thermometers today as well for several applications including food temperature measuring and for medical purposes. A data logger is another option that comes with several benefits such as accuracy and automatic monitoring. In this article, we compare every temperature monitoring methods such as the thermometer, data logger, and the Thermocouple. Let’s get started!
Every temperature monitoring method comes with unique advantages. For example, ease-of-use is a top advantage of using a thermometer. But, this device comes with limitations on the temperature range. So, if you have to measure high-temperature such as 800 Celsius; you need a robust measuring method that can withstand extreme conditions. And, this is where the Thermocouple comes in handy, which is a temperature sensor. This versatile device comes with two dissimilar wires joined at one end. A wide range of models, temperature range, and applications are the top advantages of this versatile temperature measuring device. Understanding its structure, ranges, and functionality is important though.
As mentioned, a Thermocouple comprises two dissimilar metals joined at both ends (the probe is one end here.) When you insert the probe into the temperature source, a current flows in the electric circuit. The higher the temperature, more the current flows in the circuit. The circuit then converts current into reading, and display on the LCD screen. J, K, E, and T are the most common Thermocouple types being used for various applications today.
The metal combination is a thing to consider here. For example, the type K has a different metal combination when compared to type E. So, the maximum temperature that you can measure with the device depends on the metal combination. Also, the diameter of the wires is a thing to consider here. The metal combination can be the same, but if the wire diameters are different; the temperature range can be too. Not like with other measuring temperature methods, you can measure negative values with this device:
* J 0° to 750°C (32° to 1382°F)
* K -200° to 1250°C (-328° to 2282°F)
* E -200° to 900°C (-328° to 1652°F)
* T -250° to 350°C (-328° to 662°F)
So, you can measure higher temperature values up to 1250°C with the type K Thermocouple.
Temperature measuring methods comparison
General thermometers can measure temperatures up to 100 Celsius. Now, you can understand the downside of it. 100 Celsius is nothing when it comes to commercial and industrial applications. In the food industry, meat is usually fried in high-temperature oil of around 180 Celsius. So, you cannot use a thermometer for checking oil temperature here. The commercial grills that are widely being used in fast-food restaurant chains for grilling meat at temperatures over 200 Celsius. Food and health law have set rules and regulations on cooking foot at correct temperature ranges. As a result, world-leading fast-food restaurant chains perform a temperature check to make sure the grills are achieving the minimum required temperature for safe meat grilling. Can you use a general thermometer here?
Thermocouple, on the other hand; is a versatile temperature measuring device that you can use up to for 1250°C-applications. So, it is more practical when it comes to day-to-day commercial and industrial applications. Modern manufacturers have made this device easy-to-use today. Most devices come with a meter and a probe to insert into the temperature source.
Well, measuring temperature is not enough when it comes to commercial and industrial applications. With general thermometers and a Thermocouple, you can only measure the temperature. These devices don’t store the data or perform the task automatically. In other words, somebody has to be there to measure temperature with general temperature-measuring devices. In case of commercial and industrial applications, you need to monitor the temperature for further analyzing purposes. OK, we can explain it to you with an example. Let’s imagine; you are asked to monitor the temperature in a commercial freezer. What can you do with a general temperature-measuring device here? Would you stay in the freezer for a day and record the temperature manually? Well, you can do it that way, but you will die from Hypothermia. No employer can ask their employees to do this job. The temperature data logger is the best option you got here. It is a device that is optimized to measure and store the data unattended for days, weeks or even months. Automation of the process is the top advantage here. So, you can monitor the temperature in your freezer by a single measuring/monitoring device.
Thermocouple buying guide
Determine your application first. You will not benefit from investing money in a type T device for high-temperature applications. Also, you will not benefit from buying a type J for negative temperature applications. The accuracy of measurements is a thing to consider here. For applications such as in the food industry, you should buy a highly-accurate Thermocouple. Some type J devices come with a standard limit of error of 2.2°C. You know that bacteria can multiply on food when the temperature drops/rise even by one degrees Celsius.
The probe type is another factor to consider when buying a device. Some metals can react with solutions such as chemicals. So, for such applications; you should by a chemical-resistant Thermocouple. Also, for some industrial and commercial applications; you should buy abrasion and vibration resistance ones. How much would you have to spend to buy a one? Well, suggesting an exact price is not practical as it depends on several factors such as the manufacturer, metals being used, the accuracy of the device, the type, and so on. Anyway. General devices are very cheap today.
Some final words
When considering unique advantages, a Thermocouple is a reliable temperature-measuring device. Yes, it is expensive when compared to general thermometers, but thermometers aren’t the best choice for commercial and industrial applications where high-temperature is involved. A temperature data logger deserves a special mention. Data logging devices are used for continuously measuring and data storage. A temperature data logger may be fitted with a Thermocouple. Our product range has all the devices we have explained so far in this article. Should you have any questions about our product range, please contact us today. Talk to a professional in the industry or a reputable distributor if you are not sure of the right type for your specific application. Buying the wrong Thermocouple type is just a money waste.