What do I need to know when choosing a temperature controller?

 5th Feb 2014

Q: What do I need to know when choosing a temperature controller?

The temperature controller is only one part of the temperature controlled system, and accurate control is a function of all of the elements correctly playing their part

To ensure reliable control, controller needs to know the true temperature. So the first thing we need to know is what type of temperature probe is being used in the system. This will be the input to the controller.

We also need to consider what the controller is going to be connected to, so that it can change the temperature. Will it be a heater that can be switched on and off, if so, how much current (in amps) will the heater use. If it is a large heater there may be the need for a solid stare relay or contactor. Alternatively the heat may be supplied via a control valve (as in steam systems). Knowing this will allow the user to choose between three different output types. Relay output , Solid State relay drive (SSR output) and 4-20mA.

How accurately you want to control the temperature will affect the type of temperature controller that you choose and the control type (algorithm). For more details, see below:


If you are unsure about which controller is right for your application, please follow the guide below:

- What is a temperature controller and how does it work?

- I'm not sure which input I need

- I'm not sure which output I need

- I don't know which control (algorithm) type to choose. Tell me more about on/off controlPID control and Fuzzy Logic.


- Temperature or process controller? What is the difference?

- I just want a simple on/off control, what shall I choose?

- I want to have my controllers on a network.

- What is cascade control? I want to achieve cascade control, what do I need?

If any of the above questions use jargon that you are not familiar with, why not give us a call and we will help you to select the right controller for the job. 


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