Thermocouple Thermometers and the Seebeck Effect

Thermocouple Thermometers and the Seebeck Effect

GENEVA, OH, July 22, 2019

Editor's note: This blog post comes from our latest white paper, TEGAM's A Guide to Temperature Measurement. You can download it for FREE here and take advantage of a vast amount of information on digital thermometers, probes and thermometry for research and industrial applications.

The Seebeck Effect and Thermocouple Thermometers

A thermocouple’s low cost, ruggedness and broad measurement range makes it the most popular sensor for industrial applications.

A thermocouple is formed by the junction of two dissimilar metals. They are self-powered because the thermocouple creates a small thermoelectric voltage known as the Seebeck Effect. This voltage is proportional to the difference in the temperature between the hot end and the cold end of the thermocouple. As a result, the instrument requires a known temperature at one end of the thermocouple to calculate the temperature at the other end. The calculation is based on thermocouple voltage tables normalized for the “cold” end at 0°C /32°F.

Historically, one end of the thermocouple was literally immersed into a bath of ice water! This method became known as cold junction compensation (CJC). Today, this calculation  is done electronically by all thermocouple instruments at the connection point of the thermocouple to the instrument. No ice baths or hard math needed!

TEGAM designs and manufactures rugged, reliable thermocouple thermometers and thermocouple temperature probes for our thermocouple units. Interested in acquiring these fantastic utility measuring devices for your measurement needs? Reach out to TEGAM with any questions you may have and we'll get back to you promptly.

Thanks for reading!

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