Voltage Divider Heat Sensor - Thermister

Voltage Divider Heat Sensor

A graphic showing an example of a voltage divider. A thermistor is connected in parallel to a resistor and an input voltage. The output voltage is the voltage across the resistor. The output is high if the temperature is high

A thermistor is a component that has a resistance that changes with temperature. There are two types of thermistor. Those with a resistance that increase with temperature (Positive Temperature Coefficient – PTC) and those with a resistance that falls with temperature (Negative Temperature Coefficient – NTC).

A thermistor is a resistance thermometer, or a resistor whose resistance is dependent on temperature. The term is a combination of "thermal" and "resistor". It is made of metallic oxides, pressed into a bead, disk, or cylindrical shape and then encapsulated with an impermeable material such as epoxy or glass.

There are two types of thermistors: Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) and Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC). With an NTC thermistor, when the temperature increases, resistance decreases. Conversely, when temperature decreases, resistance increases. This type of thermistor is used the most.

A PTC thermistor works a little differently. When temperature increases, the resistance increases, and when temperature decreases, resistance decreases. This type of thermistor is generally used as a fuse.

Typically, a thermistor achieves high precision within a limited temperature range of about 50ºC around the target temperature. This range is dependent on the base resistance.

 

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