The Best Temperature Sensor for Process Control: Thermocouple vs RTD – 8500918

Criteria for Temperature Selection of T/C and RTD Sensor Types

This is part three of a comprehensive three-part series that provides information for choosing an industrial temperature sensor from Thermocouple (T/C) and Resistance Temperature Detector (RTD) sensor types.

The Best Temperature Sensor for Process Control: Thermocouple vs. RTD

Thermocouple vs RTD

Many users simply look to fill the basic needs of their application and do not worry further about their choice of temperature-sensing technology. That is, they will make a selection based simply on temperature range and their own bias, perhaps based on their familiarity with a particular sensor type.

At a minimum, an informed sensor choice should first consider the following:

  • Response time
  • Sensor stability, accuracy, and sensitivity in the application environment
  • Measurement range; including the range extensions of shutdown, startup, and process upset

When we start to cross the boundaries between choosing one type of sensor over another, the optimum choice between thermocouple and RTD can be difficult. There is a lot of overlap between these sensors at the (more popular) lower end of the operating temperature range:

  • Sensors that cover the same operating range
  • Applications where response time is not a driving issue and stability, accuracy, and sensitivity are acceptable

As a result, it’s important to drill deeper and compare characteristics between sensors to find the best fit for a given application.


To download the complete whitepaper; The Best Temperature Sensor for Process Control: Thermocouple vs RTD, click the link at the bottom of the page.


Learn More

You can find the other whitepapers in this three part series in the links below:

Part 1: How to use Thermocouples for Temperature Measurement

Part 2: How to use RTDs for Temperature Measurement