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The Thermocouple Reference Design demonstrates how to instrument a Thermocouple and accurately sense temperature over the entire Thermocouple measurement range.
This solution uses the MCP3421 18-Bit Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) to measure voltage across the Thermocouple. The ADC has an internal 2.048V reference voltage and a Programmable Gain Amplifier with 1, 2, 4, 8V/V. At a Gain of 8V/V the PGA effectively adds 3LSb to the ADC. This increases the ADC resolution to 21-bit or 2 µV/LSb. Therefore, the Thermocouple EMF voltage is measured with 2 µV resolution. For K-type Thermocouple, measurement system provides a ±0.05°C resolution. The cold-junction compensation is done using a ±1°C accurate 0.0625°C resolution silicon temperature sensor, the MCP9804.
This solution provides a reliable and accurate Thermocouple instrumentation without the need for extensive circuit compensation and calibration routines. The ADC output is read using a PICmicro Microcontroller. This controller is also connected to a PC using USB interface. The Thermal Management software is used to plot the Thermocouple temperature data in stripchart format.
The Thermocouple Reference Design has the following features:
Thermal Management GUI
MCP9804 Temperature sensor with ±0.25°C (typical) accuracy from -40°C to +125°C
18-Bit ADC MCP3421
PIC18F2550 PIC® Microcontroller
USB interface to PC
|Eval Board Part Number||TMPSNSRD-TCPL1-ND|
|Eval Board Supplier||Microchip Technology|
Normally In Stock
-40°C ~ 125°C (Local)
GUI / Design Software
|Main I.C. Base Part||
|Component Count + Extras||
20 + 8