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What is a Temperature Transducer?

A temperature transducer is a device that converts temperature data into electrical signals, enabling precise monitoring and control in various applications. From home thermostats to industrial systems, these instruments play a crucial role in maintaining optimal conditions. How does this technology adapt to the diverse environments it encounters? Join us as we unravel the science behind temperature transduction.
Alexis W.
Alexis W.

A temperature transducer is an electrical device usually used in automated air-temperature control sequences. Its purpose is to take a measurement of the air temperature and relay the information — after translating it into a readable form — to a power source for the mechanical part of the system. Once the information has been taken by the temperature transducer and relayed, the information is sent to the unit power source. Usually, when a transducer is telling a mechanical unit, such as a furnace or a cooling system, that it needs to engage in order to create the desired temperature, it will also tell the unit when it has reached that desired temperature. This signals the unit to disengage, allowing for the efficient operation of many central air or heating units.

When the unit power source reveals the information from the temperature transducer, it either tells the system to stand idle or engage depending on the temperature that has been measured. If the temperature reads lower than the setting input to the system by the user, the heating unit is told to engage until the air is measured by the temperature transducer to be as high in temperature as the user desires. The same principle is applied to cooling systems, however in these cases the temperature is read to be higher than the setting input before the cooling system is engaged.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

Temperature transducers send the information they collect to more sources than just the power source for the heating or cooling unit. Digital thermostats installed in many households and businesses utilize digital LCD screens to display the information that is read by the temperature transducer. The transducer measures the air temperature and translates it into information the screen is able to display at the same time the information is being sent to the power source telling it whether or not to engage.

These transducers can also be used in a number of useful applications, from telling an individual the outside temperature from inside the house or building, to informing researchers at what temperature a certain chemical or physical reaction happens. The transducer itself is basically a sensor that has the ability to transfer the information it obtains to another medium in a form different than it was originally read. This information can be translated back to a digital screen, without having to tell any sort of mechanical unit to actuate, disengage, or take no action.

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Discussion Comments


@anon309817, it doesn't.

The transducer voltage or current reading would most probably be converted to a digital signal (ADC). This data would be read by a CPU which in turn would decide on the action to take based on the set point programmed into it.

This decision would then be relayed (most likely through) a DAC to the heat pump.

The article is very misleading as it deviates in its narrative from a strict description of a transducer.


How can a temperature transducer control a pneumatic control valve in a heating and cooling system?


@NathanG - I wish I had the same story to tell. Our AC stopped working too, and the temperature sensor was the first place the technician checked.

It turned out that it was working fine. That left the air conditioning unit, and sure enough it was on its last leg.

In hindsight I learned that we had missed out on some preventative maintenance, like filter changes. Most importantly, we shouldn’t have kept it running at full blast during the summer months.

Oh well, we know better now. Be good to your air conditioner and your transducer.


People worry about having their air conditioning or heating units going bad. But you should be just as concerned about a faulty temperature sensor in my opinion.

That happened with us one summer. It was very hot; we “told” the transducer what temperature we expected inside by setting the thermostat, and the unit failed to engage.

I thought the air conditioning unit went bad, and in my mind I heard the “cha ching” of how much a new unit was going to cost me. However, after we called the heating and air people the technician said that it was a faulty sensor, which he was able to fix for a lot less money than I would have spent on a whole unit.

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