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Thermocouple Amplifier Standard

Thermocouple is the most common sensor in Industrial Temperature Measurement. The Signal Conditioning involves Cold Junction Compensation and High Gain DC Amplification. The output of a Themocouple is in millivolts.

The OP07 is a low offset 75uV opamp, here it is used to amplify the output of a Thermocouple, the gain of this stage is high. The zeners are to protect any high voltage at input zapping the opamp.

Thermocouple Amplifier Standard

The Resistor R6 limits the current. The zeners should be low leakage or use clamping pull-up and pull-down diodes to +5 and -5 respectively.

The RC low-pass filter formed by R6 and C2 reduce the mains hum or 50 Hz pickup of long thermocouple cables laid close to high current heater wiring. R1 is a offset null use or add if required. R11 is gain control of OP07. The TL072 is a FET input opamp used here as a summing amp.

Blind Dial Proportional Temperature Controller

Adding one more inverting amp with some gain to the output of this circuit can give you a 1-5V suitable for ADC or PC analog I/O cards. C1 also serves to filter, it is an integrator here. It suppresses EMI and RFI from motors, contacters etc., R13 sets an output value for 0mV input.

Simple Thermocouple Amplifier

The OP07 is in a non inverting amplifier so as not load the mV of thermocouple, the zeners are to protect circuit if junction contacts heaters or the earth gets broken.

Thermocouple and Pt-100 RTD

The RC is to filter out 50Hz pick up in thermocouple wires if near heater wiring and also reduces reading jumps when high current three phase contacter operates.

Simple Thermocouple Amplifier

The Pull-up 10M is when a Thermocouple breaks the output of circuit will be max. This is open sensor protection, in case Thermocouple breaks, Required only in industrial temperature controllers for protection. This means it will be 3.5V which should make you turn off the heater in software.

J and K Thermocouple with 4-20 mA

The other opamp is for further amplification as OP07 is set to around 30 gain and offset has to be adjusted with R9. If OP07 is kept in > 100 gain it may be difficult to adjust offset of 75uV. If you need very high gain in the first stage use some instrumentation amplifier or chopper stabilized amplifier. I am not very sure. This is the very basic Thermocouple Amplifier used as a front end signal conditioning in Process Control.

Using Thermocouple with DMM or DVM

In the circuit, use only metal film resistors (MFR) of 1 per cent tolerance, as this is an instrumentation application. Power supply should be a stable +5V, -5V supply, for which one can use 7805 and 7905 regulators.

The inputs TC+ and TC- terminals should go to a 4-way barrier terminal block, the 2 extra terminals are used to mount TH1 Cu thermistor. This forms an isothermal block, which is good enough.

A simple way to make a TH1 Cu thermistor, is to take a 1 Meg-ohm 2W resistor as a former and wind 2 meters of 46 SWG enameled copper (Cu) wire (5.91 ohm/meter) over it. This gives a 12-ohm value. Terminate wire ends on resistor leads.

Thermocouple Temperature using DPM or DMM

Test and Calibration –

For calibration, you will need a DMM-DPM and a milli-volt source (as shown in the Fig.). First connect source to terminals TC+ and TC-, then set source to 0.00 mV (verify with DMM for zero). The output across +out and -out (use DMM) terminals must be mV representing the room temperature (RT). For example, if RT is 30° C (use a glass thermometer) then +out should be 30mV at 0mV input. Adjust VR1 till 30mV is read at +out terminal. This is ‘zero cal’.