Wish I knew which temperature measurement is most accurate when I started my career!

Never fear! I’m here to share with you the most accurate temperature sensor on the market! Of course, this answer will always depend on the process you need the measurement for. What, you expected a one-and-done answer? Come on, you know it’s not that easy.

Furthermore, you have a wide range of sensors on the market, with pros and cons in all of them! No “perfect” sensor exists for all applications. So we must know how to scale out a new device. Then we’ll have parameters to figure out which option suits our needs best in the short or long term.

Which temperature measurement is most accurate
Courtesy of Emerson Automation Solutions

This list has some notes about this topic, so you may get some ideas about how you can find out the right sensor for your application:

  • First, the most accurate and reliable sensor for your application will depend on your process requirements.
  • In the short term, thermocouples and resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) have similar accuracy.
  • In the long term, an RTD has more accuracy than a thermocouple because the thermocouple’s sensor will degrade.
  • The specification of the thermowell and the temperature sensor can affect accuracy.
  • Now, you can get surface temperature sensors that can calculate much more accurately than when they were first introduced.
  • Usually, an infrared thermometer offers an accuracy of +-2 degrees Celsius.
  • The IEC 60751 for RTDs specifies classes from least accurate to most accurate.
  • Thermocouple accuracy can vary widely, with the special versions as the most accurate, of course.

Hope that helps!

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