Temperature controllers perform numerous control tasks in measurement and control technology and regulate the temperature, e.g. in the control of processes and plants, the room temperature in heating and air conditioning technology or in electrical devices.
For this purpose, a resistance-based temperature probe or a thermocouple is connected to the input, which is to measure the actual temperature value. The controller serves as an actuator by comparing the actual value with the setpoint stored in the controller. If there is a difference (i.e. a deviation) between the actual value and the setpoint, the temperature is controlled. For this purpose, devices that are to be controlled can be connected to the controller via the output. These can be, for example, pump valves that open or close.
Our temperature controllers convince by their compact design, with many different, programmable input and output options and thus with versatile application possibilities.
At the multi-function input you connect your temperature probe (temperature sensor: Pt, Ni, NTC) or your thermocouple Type J, K, S, R.
The output can be used either analog or digital. There are two relays (1x no/nc, 1x no) and a logic level PNP, whose control tasks are adjustable (PID, PI, P, PD, on/off). Alternatively, the auxiliary power supply can be connected to the output.
The PID controller has the special feature of having a self-tuning function, so that the optimum settings for the operation of the control loop and measuring section can also be determined by the PID controller and do not have to be set manually.
The razor-sharp 7-segment display shows up to three-digit values and can be easily read even under difficult lighting conditions.
The temperature controllers can be set either via the operating keys or the LabView software. As an accessory for convenient programming, you can optionally obtain our programming aids in the form of an external programming adapter with memory function. With this, the set values can be easily programmed from controller to controller.
In this guide you will find the most important answers to questions about temperature controllers as well as questions about temperature displays.
What is a temperature controller?
Temperature controllers perform regulating tasks, control and monitor the temperature in measuring processes. For this purpose, they serve as an actuator in the measuring circuit.
In order to be able to take over the control, an actual value is determined by connecting temperature sensors such as resistance-based temperature probes like a PT100 or a PT1000 or thermocouples to the input of the controller.
A setpoint can be stored in the controller itself and it can also be defined how the device connected to the output of the temperature controller is to be controlled.
If there are deviations between the actual value and the setpoint, the device takes over the temperature control. If it is too warm, for example, the heat supply is throttled or the cold supply is increased in order to cool, and vice versa.
How does a temperature controller work?
In the field of temperature measurement, controllers have become indispensable. But how does a controller actually work?
A temperature controller is a mechanical, electronic or digital device that regulates the temperature of a particular system. There are a variety of applications for temperature controllers, from household appliances such as refrigerators and ovens to industrial equipment such as heating and cooling systems.
Simple control tasks include interrupting a current or voltage when a certain temperature is reached. This special form of controller is also called a temperature limiter.
It becomes more complex when the temperature is to be kept at a certain set point, because then the controller must measure the temperature in the room or on the floor and open or interrupt the heat supply. A thermostat is an illustrative example of this type of control.
But also so-called universal controllers, to whose relay output the most different apparatuses can be connected, are good examples.
The situation becomes even more complex if, for example, certain times or other measured variables are also to be taken into account, or if alarms are to be initiated.
Electronic and digital temperature controllers are usually more accurate and versatile than mechanical ones. They use temperature sensors such as a Pt100, Pt1000, or thermocouple to measure the temperature of the system, and can then automatically make adjustments to ensure that the temperature remains within the required range. Some electronic temperature controllers also have programming features that allow users to change the temperature based on schedules or other conditions.
Mechanical temperature controllers are usually simpler and less expensive than electronic ones. They often use a bimetallic spring or mercury vapor lamp to measure changes in temperature and then make adjustments to valves or other apparatus to control the temperature. However, mechanical temperature controllers are often less accurate and less versatile than electronic ones.
In many applications, temperature controllers are critical to system safety and efficiency. If the temperature gets too high or too low, damage can result. Therefore, it is important that the temperature controllers are of good quality and are used properly to ensure that they function correctly.y.
Temperature controllers are an important part of many systems that rely on accurate temperature control.
What distinguishes a temperature controller from a display or a temperature limiter?
Temperature controllers, temperature displays and temperature limiters are used in temperature control (i.e., in the same category), but have quite different functions.
For example, the function of a temperature controller is to measure the actual temperature of a system and match it with a temperature set point, and if there is a deviation, to automatically turn heating or cooling equipment on or off to maintain the temperature within a specified range.
A temperature controller typically uses a temperature sensor, such as a Pt100 or thermocouple, to measure the actual temperature and an actuator, such as a relay, to control the heating or cooling system. The goal of the temperature controller is to take control of the system and keep the temperature stable.
A temperature display is usually passive, with no control function of its own, and only shows the current temperature of the system. A temperature display can be useful to monitor the operating status of the system or to determine if the system is operating within the specified temperature range. Temperature controllers can also be used as temperature displays only, but the reverse is not possible.
A temperature limiter is a safety device that limits the maximum temperature of a system to prevent damage from occurring or to prevent the system from becoming dangerously hot. It is usually a passive device, sometimes a mechanical bimetal switch, that becomes active only when the temperature exceeds a certain level. Some more complex limiters may have an alarm function to inform the user when the temperature limit has been reached or exceeded. Then they are also called temperature monitors. Temperature controllers can be used as limiters, but the reverse is not possible.
What advantages do our temperature controllers offer you?
Our controllers are universal controllers. This means that you can use the controller very versatile and according to your needs. At the same time, it impresses with its compact design.
At the input you can use different sensors like resistance based temperature probes (PT100), thermocouples or Ni sensors.
The output can be used as relay output or as logic level.
Our PID controller can be adjusted in its control behavior (PID, PI, P, PD, on/off) and also has an alarm function.
Easy handling by key control and software completes the package.
What are the applications of temperature controllers?
Temperature controllers are used in different industries. For example, in building management systems to control the temperature in buildings. The temperature controllers measure the temperature with the aid of a temperature probe and then control the air conditioning or heating system to adjust the ACTUAL temperature to the specified setpoint temperature. However, it is also common to use them in industrial processes, for example, when the temperature has to be measured and the plant controlled accordingly. One can also use temperature controllers as a simple display or for switching alarms.
What do you have to consider when selecting your controller?
To ensure that the right controller is used later, there are a number of things to consider when making your selection. The following questions can help you:
In which measuring environment and at which temperature do you need a controller?
The temperature range is largely dependent on the temperature range of the sensors that are connected to the input. The display also plays a role, as it must also be able to show the measured temperature. In addition, you must also consider in which range itself the controller will be installed later, so that operation takes place in the correct temperature range.
When selecting the right temperature sensors, the type also plays an important role: it should ensure that the probe can be inserted into the measuring process without interference and safely
What signals do you need at the output?
Depending on what you want to switch or control and how, you need the right relays and the right control behavior at the output. You also need to pay attention to the right number of outputs. Our temperature controllers offer you a wide variety of configuration options, which you can store via key operation or software.
How should the signals be processed, i.e. what control do you need or what types of temperature controllers are available?
The controllers differ considerably in the way the control unit of the temperature controller processes the signals:
- 2-point controllers have only two switching states: on or off. A 2-point controller switches an output device (e.g. a heater) on or off when the controlled variable reaches the upper or lower threshold value. So there are only two switching points - one for switching the output device on and one for switching it off. They are found, for example, in bottle warmers, electric blankets, or even irons.
- 3-point controllers are a bit more complex and also a bit more expensive because they have three switching points. Besides the lower and the upper one, there is also a middle switching point. A distinction is now made whether the actual value is below the first setpoint, between the first and the second setpoint, or above the second setpoint. 3-point controllers are used for two-stage circuits.
- A PID controller is a more complex controller based on a mathematical model of the process. It calculates the control deviation and adjusts the control output based on the proportional, integral and derivative components. This allows the PID controller to control the process more accurately and specifically according to specifications and to respond more quickly to changes. For example, it can be controlled whether the controller should respond faster or more finely (to smaller changes). It can operate over a wide range of process parameters and can be customized for complex systems. Often, PID controllers have an autotune or self-tuning feature so that the controller can determine for itself what the optimal control setting is in its loop.
How is the temperature controller powered?
Temperature controllers are active components in an electronically controlled loop. Therefore, the first thing to consider is the operating voltage. It is not enough to look at the electrical voltage (volts), you must also distinguish whether the temperature controller is for direct voltage (DC) or for alternating voltage (AC). Make sure to select the correct connection type.