Heat dissipation

?At best, a thermometer only ever measures its own temperature?. Desire to is therefore to equalise the temperature of the sensor element to that of the medium to be measured. Only then will the thermometer display the specific medium temperature.
Principles to be looked at
The heat always flows from the warmer body to the colder one
Bodies at different temperatures shoot for a balance of the temperature difference
Heat flow from the warmer to a colder body
Striving for a balance of the temperature difference
Heat transport between thermometer and environment
A thermometer transports heat via its thermowell and its own internal components to the environment. Here, the assumption is that the ambient temperature is lower than the medium temperature. In the converse situation, the process medium is heated by the thermometer.
In general this means that each thermometer generates a heat dissipation. The art is to minimise the resulting error.
Factors affecting the magnitude of the heat dissipation
Temperature difference between your medium to be measured and the ambient temperature of the thermometer
Heat capacity of the medium to be measured
Heat capacity of the thermometer (and its components)
Heat penetration coefficient of the material of the thermometer
Thermal conductivity of the thermometer (and its own components)
Mass ratios (thermowell, neck tube, medium to be measured)
The physical design of the thermometer is, in the final analysis, the consideration of the sum of the all the mentioned influencing factors.
Thankful with high heat dissipation
With electrical thermometers: thermowell, outer sheath of the MI cable, wires
With gas-actuated thermometers: thermowell, stem, capillaries
With bimetal thermometers: thermowell, spindle
Heat dissipation thus occurs predominantly via the metal components of the thermometer; however, the air enclosed in the thermometer also transports heat ? though to a much lesser degree. The heat dissipation is ? for exactly the same material ? also stronger, the bigger the effective area is through which heat is transported. The higher the mass of a thermometer and its thermowell and the greater its thermal conductivity, the higher heat energy is that may be extracted from the measuring point.
Conditions to avoid heat dissipation errors
Example of a measuring point that a considerable heat dissipation/measuring error can be expected
The physical design of the thermometer should be matched to certain requirements of the measuring point (so far as is physically possible).
The thermometer should be immersed sufficiently deep in the medium whose temperature it will measure. If this isn’t the case, under certain circumstances, so much heat will be transported away into the surroundings that the sensor will not hold sufficient heat energy to adequately detect the medium temperature. It’ll then be barely possible to maintain the mandatory class accuracy.
The measuring point should be well insulated as far as possible.
Note
Information on our temperature measuring instruments can be found on the WIKA website.
See also our article:
Temperature ? what happens to be it?

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