Surface or thermowell sensors?

Q&A Temperature Wireless

I know RTDs and thermocouples normally go in thermowells, but I see a lot about surface sensors lately. I hear that surface sensors actually offer the same accuracy and easier installation. Could you share your opinion?

Expert’s answer: Surface or thermowell sensors?

Certainly, I can walk you through surface or thermowell sensors. Yes, you can install a surface sensor more easily than a resistance temperature detector (RTD) or thermocouple. The market has a broad range of options that may suit your needs for pipe monitoring.

Surface sensors allow quick installation because most of the time they sit on the pipe and have straightforward supports. You can also choose a wireless sensor. This option not only costs less in structure than wired devices, it also saves setup time.

Temperature surface solution - Surface or thermowell sensors
Rosemount X-well – Courtesy of Emerson Automation Solutions

The technical manual may not tell you the accuracy of the sensor’s measurement, but it should suffice for a simple piping monitoring system. Surface sensors can work in a variety of processes, but each brand has specific recommendations to follow for best accuracy.

These companies have good options:

Other resources that might interest you:

Thermocouple basics: How to test a thermocouple loop
How do you test a thermocouple loop? Click through to find out!

Surface sensor installation
Can you help me with finding the right information for a surface RTD installation on pipes? Here’s what you need to know!

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