Everything You Need To Know About Thermal Sensors

Thermal sensors are used to measure temperature in space or a system. These sensors are mainly made for use in a wide array of applications, ranging from environmental control to industrial process monitoring. These sensors measure various signals like acceleration, temperature, and angular flow.

Thermocouples are the most frequently used thermal sensors, as they can be used for industrial, consumer, and automotive applications. Below we discuss everything you need to know about thermal infrared sensor.

Thermal sensors are everywhere, including microwaves, refrigerators, and heaters. Most electronic gadgets are designed to work within different temperatures. However, sudden temperature variations can affect the appliance’s electronic performance.

Thermal characteristics are essential in the appliance’s performance, reliability, and applications.

Types of Thermal Sensors 

Knowing the different types of thermal sensors before buying is advisable to choose the best design for your application without compromising accuracy and sensitivity. Thermal sensors are classified into the following categories;


These are types of sensors with varying sensitivity ranges and temperatures, depending on the materials put together. This sensor has low accuracy but provides a vast operation. Thermostats are the most common sensors for various applications.


Thermistors use resistance in temperature measurement and use polymer or ceramic materials. These sensors are available at low prices but are less accurate than others. Thermistors occur in two forms; PTC and NTC.

The NTC thermistor, or negative temperature coefficient, is widely available, and resistance change depends on temperature change.


Thermometers play an essential role in measuring a liquid’s temperature. This item’s accuracy depends on the fluid used and device size.

Resistance Temperature Detectors 

The resistance change in resistant temperature detectors is used to detect temperature. These sensors require materials with a well-defined temperature-resistance relationship. Platinum is the best material for RTDs because of its relationship between resistance change and temperature variation.

Infrared Sensors 

Infrared sensors detect temperature using IR radiations. These sensors are non-contacting, and users make the trade-off between accuracy and cost.

Semiconductor Thermal Sensors  

These thermal sensors occur as sensor ICs that detect temperature changes from the variation within quantities like resistance, voltage, and current.

These circuits are integrated, meaning they are linear and accurate from different temperature changes.

Radiation Thermometers 

The thermal radiation emitted by a material increases depending on the temperature. Radiation thermometers detect body temperature changes by measuring exposed radiations. Radiation thermometers are mainly used in industries for monitoring control and process.

Acoustic Thermometers

Acoustic thermometers are used to measure temperature using sounds of liquids, gases, or solids. These temperatures are essential in harsh conditions where you cannot use ordinary sensors.

Sensor Applications 

Sensors are available in different types, and all serve various tasks. Thermal sensors are becoming widespread in multiple fields, and it is hard not to see why. The main applications of sensors include the following;


High-quality thermal images can be used to detect thieves at night, even if they are hiding. Homeowners and the authorities can use sensors to pursue thieves any time of the day or night. Thermal imaging is also used in night driving for clear views.

Heat Detection 

One of the most essential applications of thermal imaging is in firefighting. This imaging is used to detect hot zones, thus making this process much more manageable.

Industrial Maintenance 

You can use thermal cameras to monitor electricity meters and circuit breakers. Detecting these malfunctions is essential as it prevents the machine from overheating.

Search and Rescue 

Thermal imaging plays a crucial role in saving lives by locating missing individuals in water bodies, mountains, etc. Detecting heat losses is essential to improve the environment and enhance a building’s energy efficiency.


Thermal imaging can be utilized to detect high temperatures in patients. This technology is also used by surgeons to detect inflammations during surgery or unconscious patients.


Thermal imaging can be used to locate games by hunters both in the morning and at night.

Final Thoughts

Thermal sensors are used in almost all electric components and play a crucial role. These sensors are available in different designs, all with unique features and functions.

The above article has discussed everything you need to know about thermal sensors, and more information is available online.