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Special Relative

- Journal ofof
Society Humidity
of India, Vol.
No. 2, 2008;(RHT)
pp. 115-121

Calibration of Special Relative Humidity and
Temperature (RHT) Sensors and Evaluation and
Expression of Uncertainty in the Measurement
National Physical Laboratory (NPLI), CSIR
New Delhi - 110 012, India
*e-mail :
[Received : 06.03.2007 ; Revised : 07.01.2008 ; Accepted : 29.05.2008]

This paper reports the calibration of special type of relative humidity and temperature sensor, which
gives the output in terms of millivolts, measured by precision digital multimeter (DMM) to further
estimation of relative humidity in the range of 25 %RH to 95 %RH. The sensor has been calibrated
against the standard aspirated psychrometer having a pair of matched dry and wet bulb quartz
thermometers. The temperature of wet bulb thermometer is effectively depressed when a ventilated
airflow is maintained at a speed more than 3 metre/second. The relative humidity of reference standard
psychrometer is computed using psychrometric equation to relate with the output of the RH indicator
under comparison. The paper also describes the details of estimation and expression of expanded
uncertainty in the calibration of the sensor at measured relative humidity. A sufficient number of data
were undertaken to evaluate the uncertainty at a confidence-level of approximately 95% for a normal
probability distribution.



The measurement and control of relative humidity
plays a significant role in industry, including various
sectors such as electrical, pharmaceutical, textile, food
and aerospace. Its need is increasing day by day with
the modernization of industries and awareness of
quality system in regard to ISO 9000. This awareness
has led to the industries for getting their RH indicators
calibrated against the National Humidity Standard.
The gravimetric method of water vapour measurement
is considered the most precise and accurate. This
method permits the measurement of the amount of
water vapour in a given mass of the moist gas sample.
The quantities measured in this method are
fundamental; it gives an absolute measure of humidity.
Hence the gravimetric method is used as a primary
© Metrology Society of India, All rights reserved.

standard of humidity against which other methods
are compared. The National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST), USA, National Physical
Laboratory (NPL), UK, Physikalisch-Technische
Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany, National Metrology
Institute of Japan (NMIJ), Japan and Korea Research
Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS), Republic
of Korea use gravimetric method [1-6]. Various other
techniques such as two-pressure, two-temperature,
two pressure-two temperature, mixed flow and
aspirated psychrometer [7-11] are used as the
secondary humidity standards. At NPL, India an
aspirated psychrometric technique has been
established [12-14] as the reference humidity
standard. No measurement is complete without
assigning the value of uncertainty to it. The detailed
study of the uncertainty associated with the
measurement has been evaluated and discussed

3. make LT Lutron Sr. the quartz thermometers along with fan) is then placed inside the Gallenkamp environmental chamber (Model OVR-403-010L). Make Indosaw. Experimental Setup The following instruments are required to be used for calibration of RHT Sensor: 1. The entire setup (i. One of these is provided with a clean wick. Anemometer with probe model AM-4201. Calibration Procedure The calibration setup for RH measurements for computing the RH is based on measuring the dry & wet bulb temperatures with the help of two matched. The evaluation of uncertainty is also checked by manual calculation in order to validate the software used.03 ºC for the coverage factor. Mini/small high-speed fan 4. k = 2.480014. Digital indicator (Testo 781) with Quartz thermometers (dry and wet bulb) and PC adapter 2. Environmental chamber Gallenkamp Make (model OVR-403-010L). These two quartz thermometers are supported on stands very near to each other. 5. which collects the data every second/minute of the two thermometers and pressure sensor in a file. P. The expanded uncertainties of both the thermometers have been calculated and estimated to be within ± 0. at a level of confidence 95 % approximately. 7. window heater. immersed in distilled water in a Pyrex bottle. A program (in C++ language) reads the data and computes mean value of relative humidity (RH) and the standard uncertainty with the help of the software.No.001 C. precision quartz thermometers (Model TESTO 781). Special Relative Humidity Sensor under calibration with digital multi-meter. (%) RH = 100 x [Pd/Psd] (1) where Psd = Saturation vapour pressure of water vapour at the dry bulb temperature (td) Pd = Vapour pressure of water vapour at dry bulb temperature (td) Pd = Psw .005 ºC. 2. Model Druck DPI-145 6. 4.AP (td -tw) (2) where td = dry-bulb temperature (ºC) tw = wet-bulb temperature ( ºC) (td . Singh [15-20] as per the GUM/ISO/IEC: 17025 documents. This environmental chamber is being used to generate RH of different levels while the quartz thermometers carry out the measurements. a fan. having a resolution of 0. and a spray cooler. 3. Digital pressure indicator. An anemometer measures the speed of air. Temperature & Humidity Indicator. These thermometers. The environmental chamber is a stainless steel cabinet with glazed door. New Delhi and are found to be reproducible within ± 0. The Quartz thermometers and pressure indicator DPI 145 are hooked on to a suitable compatible computer.5" size operated at 220-230 volts ac supply. The basic temperature and humidity control equipment comprises dry and wet bulb contact thermometers together with an air heater.Bhikham Singh. The RHT sensor is kept very near to the aspirated psychrometer and the readings of the RHT sensor in millivolt/volt are recorded manually at a regular interval of time at the calibration temperature 24 ºC ± 1 º = depression (ºC) Psw = Saturation vapour pressure of water vapour at the wet bulb temperature (tw) 116 . a boiler. have been periodically calibrated against the standard PRT of the National Physical Laboratory. Fig. 1 shows the schematic block diagram of the entire experimental set-up used for the calibration of RHT sensors/ hygrometers (dial and digital type). A small fan is placed near to the thermometers blowing air at a speed of >3 metre/second. The relative humidity of reference standard is evaluated by using the following psychrometric equations [11-14]. The reference humidity standard (an aspirated psychrometer as described above) has an expanded uncertainty of ±1% RH at a confidence level approximately 95 % coverage factor k=2 with normal probability distribution [14]. The use of new wick over the wet bulb thermometer ensures the effect on radiation interchange between the bulbs due to airflow. Hari Kishan and Y.

. The various sources of uncertainty have been identified and described in a mathematical model. we get (%) RH = 100 x [Psw . The Type-A evaluation of standard uncertainty is performed by the statistical analysis of a series of observations.1 Mathematical Model The following mathematical model is expressed on the basis of various components of uncertainty for RH measurement in % for the calibration..... The mathematical model has been formed to include the various error components affecting the measurement and contribute towards the uncertainty in the calibration. 0. Some of the components are already included in the uncertainty due to standard reference RH Standard.. The Type-B evaluation of standard uncertainty is the method of evaluating the uncertainty by means other than the statistical analysis of a series of observations. (1)... In this case the evaluation of the standard uncertainty is based on some other scientific knowledge.. the uncertainty of measurement associated with the input estimates is evaluated by 'Type-A' method of evaluation. 4. (3) Evaluation of Uncertainty In our experiment.. RH(meas) = RH(S) ± ΔRH ΔRH = U(RH) (4) (5) U(RH) = k x uc(RH) (6) uc(RH) = √[u12 δRH(S)+ u22 δRH(C)+ u32 δRH(A)+u42 δRH(P)+ u52 δRH(D)+u62 δRH(R)+u72 δRH(RO)+ u82 δ RH(DVM)+u92 δRH(Rep)] (7) where u1 [δRH(S)] = Standard uncertainty component of Reference Standard Aspirated psychrometer u2 [δRH(C)] = Standard Uncertainty due to environmental Chamber u3 [δRH(A)] = Standard Uncertainty due to Anemometer u4 [δRH(P)] = Standard Uncertainty component due to Pressure Indicator/Sensor u5 [δRH(D)] = Standard Uncertainty component due to Drift of Reference Standard 117 .AP (td -tw)]/[ Psd ] 4.Measurement Fig.. Schematic diagram of the experimental setup for calibration of RHT sensor A = Psychrometric constant... (2) in Eq.Calibration of Special Relative Humidity and Temperature (RHT) ...000666 / ºC for moving air P = Total atmospheric pressure Substituting the value of Pd from Eq..... 1...

Singh u6 [δRH(R)] = Standard Uncertainty component due to resolution of DUC Referring to the data in Table 1.49 x 10-5 118 .5 % RH.3.1 Uncertainty contribution due to reference standard (an aspirated psychrometer) u9 [δRH(Rep)] = Standard Uncertainty due to Standard deviation of the Data on DUC. The expanded uncertainty of the reference standard is ± 1% RH at approximately 95% confidence level with coverage factor k = 2 for a normal probability distribution.21 x 10-6 1 x 10-8 1 x 10-8 1 x 10-8 8.1 x 10-3 2.1 x 10-7 3. Sensitivity coefficient c1=1. Table 1 shows some of the typical observations of RHT sensor in Volts/milli Volts in (DMM) under calibration. Table 1 Observation S.510 0. Assuming rectangular probability distribution.508 0.1 x 10-3 1 x 10-4 1 x 10-4 1 x 10-4 -9 x 10-4 -1. (Vi-Vavg) (Vi-Vavg )2 in volts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Mean 50.650 50.862 50.951 50.507 0.7325 % RH.763 % RH 0.1 x 10-3 1 x 10-4 1. Std DUC reading Vi. It is a set of 10 observations.503 Vavg = 0. in Volts Deviation from average in V. 4. the maximum variation in RH from one corner to the other is found to be 1. calculation of uncertainty (Type-A) was estimated as. u7 [δRH(RO)] = Standard Uncertainty component due to rounding off significant digit ua = 0.521 x 10-5 Σ = 3. uc(RH) = √Σ[δf(RH)/δxi (RH)] 2ui2(RH) Sensitivity Coefficients 'c i' = δf(RH)/δxi (RH) = (1x 102 %RH/V) The components of uncertainty due to anemometer and pressure indicator are included in the uncertainty contribution of the reference RH standard.922 50.010 50. P. Hari Kishan and Y. Sensitivity coefficient. Degree of freedom.2 Evaluation of Type 'A' Component of Uncertainty (ua) at 50% RH 4.928 51. Based on our measurements of uniformity and stability inside the humidity oven. u1 is obtained by dividing the expanded uncertainty by coverage factor.507 0.892 50.41 x 10-6 1 x 10-8 1.Degree of freedom.61 x 10-6 1. Thus the standard uncertainty.No. u1 = 1 % RH/2 = 0.062272 % RH 4.507 0. RH % of Ref.3. therefore.240 50. The reference standard is calibrated and traceable to the national standard of temperature and pressure.465 % giving a limiting value of ± 0. ν1 = ∞.5069 3. the standard uncertainty.3 Evaluation of Type 'B' Components of Uncertainty. u2 = 0.9 x 10-3 -3.423 % RH.2 Uncertainty contribution due to the stability and uniformity of the environmental chamber Besides observations of the reference humidity standard.505 0.507 0. we also note down simultaneously the readings of RHT sensor as shown in the digital multimeter (DMM) display of the special sensor (which is to be calibrated). ν2 = ∞.61 x 10-6 4.7325 % /√3 ≅ 0.861 50.314 50.509 0.Bhikham Singh. (uiB) u8 [δRH(DVM)]= Standard Uncertainty component due to DVM/DMM used 4.506 0.9 x 10-3 9. c2=1.

8867513x10-4 RH /V 1 0. Assuming rectangular probability distribution.00001V.3 Uncertainty contribution due to the resolution of the Device Under Calibration The resolution of RHT sensor in digital multi meter (DMM) is 0. Assuming rectangular probability The effective degree of freedom (νeff) of combined standard uncertainty is calculated using the well known Welch-Satterthwaite equation given as following: νeff = [uc(RH)]4/[ui(RH)4/νi] = 113738 ∞ (9) 4.07 Rectangular Type B.962074 x 10 uc = √Σui2 = 0..8867513x 10-6 V. 4. level of confidence..3. ν5 = ∞.6602498 9 ∞ ≅ ± 1. u3 = 2.4 Combined Standard Uncertainty...Calibration of Special Relative Humidity and Temperature (RHT) .8867513x10-4 % RH. √3 (ua) Repeatability - 0. ν4 = ∞. Uncertainty limit = ± 0...04041% RH. Uncertainty (a) (b) Probability Distribution Divisor (c) 50..06686/√3=0. the 't' factor from student's 't' table is 2..5 ∞ u2 (Hum.Measurement distribution = ± 0. √3 1 0. uc The combined uncertainty uc(y) in output estimate is equal to root sum square (RSS) of all contributions discussed above uc 2 = Σci2ui2 = 0.3204996 119 ∞ ∞ 0.... u5=0. Degree of freedom.. √3 u5 (Round off) - 0. Sensitivity coefficient.69 % RH ±1 Normal Type B..d 1 x 102 % 2.0386 1 Normal Type A.5 Uncertainty due to rounding off significant digits/ decimal places Limiting value of RH for significant digits = ± 0.07/√3 = 0. Degree of freedom.423 ∞ u3 (Resolution) - 5x10-6 V Rectangular Type B.32 %RH ∞ .4 Uncertainty due to drift of the standard RH Drift caused in the Reference Standard in the years 2004-06 = 0. Std. Sensitivity coefficient.6602498 %RH (8) 4. 2 1 0. Sensitivity coefficient.5069 V (uc) Combined Uncertainty - u1 (Ref.6 Expanded Uncertainty.7325 Rectangular Type B. ν3 = ∞.69 % RH Sensitivity Uncertainty Degree Coefficient Contribution of ci (% RH) Freedom (d) f = (b/c).) (U) Expanded Uncertainty 50. Uncertainty Budget Source of Uncertainty Estimated Value Std.07.062272 RH /V 0. so the coverage factor 'k' =2. √3 u4 (Drift) - 0. √10 1 x 102% -3 1. c5= 1.Assuming rectangular probability distribution.0386 % RH.6602498 % RH νeff = 113737 U = uc x k =1. c3 = 1x 102 %RH/V.. u4 = 0.5 Effective Degree of Freedom 4. This gives a voltage resolution limit of ± 5x10 -6 V.3. Degree of freedom.45%.04041 % RH..04041 ∞ 0..06686 % RH. Oven) - ±0.. c4 = 1. standard. 4.3....06686 Rectangular Type B. U For effective degree of freedom.0386%RH. νeff ≅ ∞ at 95.. 4. the standard uncertainty u3 is u3 = 5x10-6V /√3 = 2.

. 229-234.32 ± 1. Natl. London. Pragnell. Vikram Kumar. Std. Std. Wexler. KRISS (Republic of Korea) Private Communication. Shiv Dutt Sharma is greatly acknowledged. These are frequently required to be calibrated against the reference standard of humidity established at NPL.32 ± 1. A case study has been presented on calibration of one RHT sensor in the range 25 % RH to 95 % RH. 53A (1954) 19.D. Development of Primary Gravimetric Hygrometer for the UK National Humidity Standard Facility. 48 (1952) 269. New Delhi.76 95. Bell. Res. for a normal probability distribution.61 The expanded uncertainty. % RH Conclusion The RHT sensor undertaken for calibration was a special sensor device.69 92. Wexler and S. Wexler and D. Establishment of Humidity Standard in Japan. These devices are used in the measurement of wind energy evaluation.Bhikham Singh. [2] A. Pressure Humidity Apparatus.89 50. 25. Bur. 44 (1995) 107-113. Director of the National Physical Laboratory. Bull NRLM. 15-18 April 1985. New Delhi for his constant encouragement. The NPL Standard The reported expanded uncertainty of measurement is stated as the standard uncertainty estimated at a confidence level of approximately 95%. J. Hari Kishan and Y. [6] H. Value of Ref. [3] T. NBS. [7] A. Singh Calibration Results S.G. Measurement. Four numbers of similar sensors have been compared against the reference RH standard. Stevens and S. Hasegawa. Proceedings International Symposium on Moisture and Humidity.F. Calibration of Humidity-Measuring Instruments at the National Bureau of Standards. [8] G. Res. [9] M.A. 6. This is an indirect comparison/calibration of RHT sensor whose output is further evaluated in RH % using a sensitivity coefficient of 1 x 102% RH / V.32% RH 5. 1996. [5] A Guide to the Measurement of Humidity. Nham. 17 (1996) 183-188. Heinonen. The measurements have been reported at 25 % RH. which measures the (RH) output in terms of the electrical potential was calibrated against the reference RH standard generated in the environmental chamber. [4] A. PTB Communication.S. Inamatsu. 2. Washington DC. The help provided by Mr.5069 0. Published by The Institute of Measurement & Control.32 Acknowledgement (10) Results and Discussion The relative humidity & temperature Sensor (RHT). 120 (Germany) Private . Expanded Uncertainty of measurement. (RH %) 1. Raymond. The sensor needs a high stability environmental chamber to produce effectively stable output voltage of the sensor. Scholz.25 50. The authors express their sincere gratitude to Prof. J. The equipment utilized for comparison of such type of sensor was found to be significantly useful in the calibration of specialized humidity sensors. Relative Humidity -Temperature Relationships of Some Saturated Salt Solutions in the Temperature Range 0 to 50 C. which gives an output in the form of an electrical signal in volt to evaluate the relative humidity (RH%). 50 % RH and 95 % RH and associated expanded uncertainty of calibration has also been evaluated and expressed under calibration results.47 Value measured in RHT V RH% 0. k=2.2489 0. No. 3. [10] M. U U = kxuc(RH) = 1. P. ± 1. References [1] A.9261 24. 7 (1968) 356-362. ISA Transaction. Forton and R.

MAPAN. 16-19 September 2002. Wasan... [17] Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurements... [20] Y.S. 62-65. S... V. Bhikham Singh. Reference EAL-4/02. Khandekar. 8-10 February 2001.. Kishan and B.Journal of Metrology Society of India... Establishment of the Indian National Humidity Standard Facility.G. [19] NABL-141. 22 (2007) 235-245. (2000). Sci...P. New Delhi. 12 (1997) 119-122....Measurement Humidity Generator: an Analysis of Uncertainty by Validation of Individual Component Performances.. [18] Expression of the Uncertainty of Measurement in Calibration. Technol. Hari Kishan and Bhikham Singh. [12] Hari Kishan. Published by European cooperation for Accreditation of Laboratories (EAL). Proceedings 3rd International Conference on Metrology in New Millennium and Global Trade (MMGT-2001). Document Manual of Humidity Standards of National Physical Laboratory.. [15] Bhikham Singh and Hari Kishan. Mixed Flow Relative Humidity Generator. 1999.No. Taipei. [11] H. NABL News. Meas. Taiwan. [13] [14] Hari Kishan. Guidelines for Estimation and Expression of Uncertainty in Measurements. MAPAN. Verma and R. 41 (2006) 27-32. [16] Hari Kishan..Calibration of Special Relative Humidity and Temperature (RHT) . Sharma.S. NPL. NPL (India) Humidity Standard.P. MAPANJournal of Metrology Society of India... 3 (1992) 943-952. Evaluation and Expression of Uncertainty in the Calibration of Screw Type Industrial Lamps Using Photoelectric Pyrometer. 4th International Symposium on Humidity and Moisture. Calibration of Relative Humidity Indicators and Evaluation of Uncertainty.3/CP#01.. Development of an Aspirated Psychrometer using Two Quartz Thermometers. First Edition (1995). 566-570..03(Part-C)/Doc. 121 . International Organization for Standardization (ISO). 23 (2008) 21-24. Singh.. New Delhi.DP#1.Journal of Metrology Society of India. Calibration Proc. Singh. R.