Wireless temperature transmitters
Hey, how about another list? Today I have for you seven wireless temperature transmitters you must know! Just like it says on the box.
Wireless tech constantly evolves, so more and more devices have excellent performance, great battery life, and update rates in seconds rather than minutes. Users in North America, Latin America, and Asia are quite open to installing this technology in their processes. Unfortunately, Europe lags behind, and the strongest vendors bow to demand, so it may take a while for wireless to catch on in Europe.
Of course, when companies begin using wireless, they need to keep in mind the benefits of standardized protocol. Believe it or not, some people think proprietary is better.
But trust me, you don’t want to chain yourself to one vendor.
Temperature measurement gives you huge opportunities to use wireless communication. Most devices already have a good battery life and fast update rates, allowing you to add a wireless transmitter with very little hassle.
Below you have a list of companies with excellent solutions available on the market. Read on to learn more about these devices so you can pick the most relevant for you!
Rosemount 848T – Emerson Automation Solutions
We recently reviewed the Rosemount 848T from Emerson. It offers good cost benefits because you can have up to four independent inputs to connect different types of sensors.
The 848T also has excellent battery life. If you want to check the performance of the battery in your process, you can use the power module life estimator that Emerson provides online. It even has a long-range antenna for your more remote installations. However, if you want a local display, then you’ll need to shop around for something else. Read more about the device here.
XYR 6000 – Honeywell
This transmitter supports discrete inputs as well, up to three, and you can mix sensors with other inputs. With up to 10 years of battery life and a nice variety of antennas, you have some good options here!
Speaking of antennas, this one has four different types, three omnidirectional monopole and one directional parabolic. Honeywell knows exactly how to play this game! It also has a display for local visualization of your process data. Check out the official page for more on this line.
YTMX580 – Yokogawa
Yokogawa has a really flexible device in the YTMX580, with up to eight inputs! Having one transmitter that can read eight different points in your process makes adding new points a breeze.
It has decent juice, with a battery that should last up to 6 years and an update rate of 60 seconds. As with most of these devices, the YTMX580 supports a variety of sensors like thermocouples, RTDs, millivolts, ohms and current input. Yokogawa has more deets here.
SITRANS TF280 – SIEMENS
Siemens has a strong position on the automation market and can provide the whole package – system, instrumentation, and services. However, this simple wireless temperature transmitter provides more cost benefits than flexibility. Let me know in the comments if you have one of these and feel like you’ve gotten good value for your savings.
The TF280 only supports RTD sensors, but at least you can choose among two, three, or four wires. It also promises a battery life of up to 5 years with update times in minutes. Compared with the competitors, this device falls a little short here.
You have a display for local setup, and that’s about all I know at this point. Although it offers good cost benefits, check it against the cost of battery replacement for the life of your application. For more on the TF280, go here.
TT481WH – SMAR
We published a review of this transmitter from SMAR. It may not look like much from the start, but I have to tell you this company did a good job on this device.
The TT481WH can accept up to eight sensors, but if you don’t need that many, you can choose a version with only four inputs. One would hope that version costs less, so if anyone knows, sing out! It supports the usual sensors like thermocouples, RTDs, millivolts, ohms and analog.
You also get a local display that you can’t see. Yup, you need to open the transmitter to read the display. I’ll take a guess and say the display is not for process information, just maintenance in the field. Give the site or our review a look if you want to know more.
TSP300-W – ABB
This fancy wireless temperature transmitter has a built-in energy harvester! Man, I love this concept. It means you can extend the device’s battery life with its micro-thermal generator. So cool!
As for its more usual features, you can get traditional measurement with thermocouples or RTDs installed in a thermowell, or you can use a surface temperature sensor. Surface sensors simplify installation, meaning less work on setup and maintenance. Sounds good to me.
It also offers a local display and a local button to let you change the setup without an external HART communicator. More data on the TSP300-W lives here.
TD5100 – Armstrong
Ever heard of this one? American and Canadian readers surely know this company! They have excellent solutions for process monitoring. Of course, that means they have a wireless temperature transmitter, the TD5100.
You can install this simple device in pipes, vessels, and equipment to monitor surface temperatures and easily send the data to your control system. It also has a local display for basic info on the transmitter and the process. I really like the documentation because it explains step by step how to install and set up the device. Good job, Armstrong!
However, the temperature limit confused me a bit. It says 315 degrees Celsius, but the installation doc said that you shouldn’t install the TD5100 on a surface in excess of 200 degrees Celsius. Pardon? I figured it out, though. If you want to use the sensor on a process that goes up to 315 degrees Celsius, then you need a heat sink. If you can’t implement one, then you can install only up to 200 degrees Celsius. So there you go. And here you go if you want more.
With tons of wireless temperature transmitters on the market, you can find small, medium, and large companies offering good solutions. Remember to scale out and check the features and your budget. Most of all, choose a standardized protocol! You don’t want to get stuck with one vendor, do you? So standardize it!
You don’t want to get stuck with one vendor, do you? So standardize it!