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A Temperature Compensation Circuit for Thermal Flow Sensors Operated in Constant-Temperature-Difference Mode

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3 Author(s)
Sosna, C. ; Microsyst. Center Bremen, Univ. of Bremen, Bremen, Germany ; Buchner, R. ; Lang, W.

This paper presents a new temperature compensation technique for thermal flow sensors that are operated in a constant-temperature-difference (CTD) mode by means of a simple analog circuit. The resistive heater of a thermal flow sensor is maintained at a constant temperature some tens of Kelvins above fluid temperature with the help of a Wheatstone bridge circuit. In case of a change in media temperature, an adjustment of the heater temperature is necessary; otherwise, the temperature difference falls/rises with respect to the temperature change, and the sensor output signal deviates from its calibration. Temperature compensation can be performed by the use of an additional resistive temperature sensor. The circuit design presented here includes a potentiometer that is capable of changing the resistance of the temperature sensor and its temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) for an easy adjustment for temperature compensation. This gives the freedom to use any material such as platinum, aluminum, or, in our case, an alloy of tungsten and titanium (WTi) for the temperature sensor, regardless of its resistance value and TCR with respect to the heater of a thermal flow sensor.

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Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 6 )