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RTDs provide differential temperature measurement


John Wynne, Analog Devices Inc, Limerick, Ireland
IS ou sometimes need to measure the 400 A RL1 differential temperature beR1 Figure 1 AIN 1 ( ) RTD1 tween two points in a system C1 to a greater accuracy than that required in measuring the absolute temperature at RL2 R2 either of the individual points. DifferenAIN 1 ( ) C2 tial-temperature measurement is necesRL3 AD7705 sary, for example, in monitoring heatingRL4 R3 energy consumption in an apartment. AIN 2 ( ) RTD2 C3 Hot water enters from one pipe, circulates around the apartment through the RL5 R4 radiators, and exits through a second AIN 2 ( ) pipe. Billing depends on the temperature C4 differential between the entry and exit REF IN ( ) copper pipes, so absolute temperature is RREF irrelevant. One way of measuring is to atREF IN ( ) tach an RTD (resistance-temperature detector) to each pipe as it enters or exits the apartment and to take the voltage dif- This ratiometric differential-temperature measurement system eliminates ohmic wiring drops as ference across the two RTDs. To ensure sources of errors. that the measurements are truly relative, you must wire the RTDs in series and ex- flows through RL2 and RL4. The RC com- system. To combat this initial error, you cite them with the same current source, binations act as lowpass filters that at- must either request a matched pair of IS (Figure 1). The same excitation cur- tenuate high-frequency noise that the RTDs from the manufacturer or calibrate rent also flows through the reference re- wiring picks up. This filtering function out this difference at the time of instalsistor, RREF, and generates the voltage ref- is especially important with RTDs that lation. For instance, some sensor manuerence for the ADC. Hence, the entire are remote from the AD7705 and related facturers sort PRTDs into tolerance circuit is ratiometric. Therefore, both the measurement electronics. Choosing these groups with maximum t of 0.05 C current source, through, and the refer- components is straightforward, accord- over 0 to 100 C. Alternatively, you can ence resistor need not be particularly sta- ing to the data sheet at www.analog.com. easily calibrate out the error by using the ble over temperature for the circuit to The RTDs give rise to a certain source AD7705s separate gain and offset regisoperate properly. The circuit is also tol- of errors. Consider a common 100 ters for the two channels. erant of ohmic drops in the connections platinum RTD with a resistance coeffiThe AD7705 specifies integral nonlinto the three-wire RTDs. cient of 0.0038 / / C. This type of sen- earity at 14 bits or better. However, the Channel 1 of the AD7705 reads an in- sor, the European PRTD, is the most ADC measures the two inputs with 16 bits put voltage equal to ISRRTD1 ISRL1. Chan- common RTD sensor. It is available in ac- of peak-to-peak resolution. All this resonel 2 reads an input voltage equal to curacy-tolerance classes A and B (or DIN lution is useful, because the ADC has the ISRRTD ISRL5. RL1 and RL5 represent the A and DIN B), which specify both the same linearity for either channel, whatwiring resistances between the local elec- initial accuracy at 0 C and the inter- ever that resolution may be. This premtronics and the remote RTD elements. changeability over the operating range. ise assumes that the gain of the ADCs inYou should wire the RTDs such that Class A specifies (0.15 0.002|t|), and ternal PGA does not change between RL1 RL5. Using software, subtract the Class B specifies (0.3 0.005|t|), where channels. Changing channels via the inADCs Channel 1 reading from the Chan- t is the specified interchangeability tem- ternal multiplexer does not contribute nel 2 reading. The ohmic drops cancel, perature. You can buy two Class A, 100 , any additional error sources. Thus, difleaving the differential temperature as the platinum RTDs from the same manufac- ferential-temperature measurements only remaining term. The inter-RTD turer and find that one is reading 0.2 C have a resolution of 14 bits or better. wiring resistance, RL3, does not appear in high at 25 C and the other is reading the equations and, therefore, has no ef- 0.2 C low at 25 C. This difference repre- Is this the best Design Idea in this fect. The input impedance of the AD7705 sents an apparent 0.4 C difference before issue? Vote at www.ednmag.com/edn is very high, so essentially no current you even commission the measurement mag/vote.asp.

100 edn | December 21, 2000

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