Thermocouple Reference Junctions
“How can we properly calibrate thermocouples?”
Thermocouples are very useful for measuring temperature differences due to their quick response times and low costs. However, in order to operate accurately, they must be connected to a zero degree reference point. So how can we use our engineering knowledge to solve this? Well, what if we were to simply connect the thermocouple leads to copper wires in ice water. These would create reference junctions in which the thermocouple leads would be compared against values at 0 degrees Celsius. This system calibrates the thermocouples to much greater accuracy, but extra care must be taken.