Digital sensors are used in the sensors, ie not resistance measuring elements, but elements with a communication bus, which already give a numerical value of the measured temperature (or humidity). The measurement error of the element itself, other than that stated in the catalog sheet of their manufacturer, is therefore practically ruled out.
What may bother us is:
1. influencing the measuring element by the heat loss of the controller electronics
Under normal circumstances:
- the sensor is mounted in a vertical position
- the ventilation openings at the top and bottom are not covered and allow free air flow
- the installation box, if used, and the installation pipe are properly sealed- wall temperature does not matter (but would usually reduce the measured temperature…)
- the sensor is not exposed to environmental influences, such as heat loss from the refrigerator, sunlight, etc., see eg here
There is an error caused by the sharing of the heat of the processor and the source on the printed circuit board, approx. 1.5 K. This correction is already set at the factory and we adjust it so that it maximally compensates for the actual inaccuracy of the measuring element. However, as the practice shows, an increase in the measured temperature can occur even if the supply voltage of the controller exceeds 27 V AC. Then they take over the overvoltage protections, cut off the tips of the power sine wave, and convert this energy into heat, which then affects the measured temperature. Check this first. Today's transformers can have a no-load voltage slightly higher than at full load (when it should not fall below the nominal 24 V AC), and therefore this phenomenon can occur at low transformer loads. The countermeasure is to use a different power supply for the drivers.
2. the difference caused by the measurement method in the controller vs. measurement with a reference thermometer
The customer usually uses a laboratory mercury thermometer or an electronic probe as a reference thermometer. Both of these devices have a measuring element of small dimensions and usually glossy, ie only the temperature of the medium (air) is measured, this thermometer is intended for this, not the radiant component. However, after impact on the plastic cover of the sensor, it is sensed and affects the measured temperature. The controllers therefore measure not only the air temperature, but also the radiant component (this is perfectly fine and desirable from the point of view of regulation, because this is exactly how a person perceives temperature). The contribution of the radiant component can be approx. 2 K.
We therefore recommend the following steps:
- check that the controls are not affected by another heat source
- check the correct installation
- control of the supply voltage (ideally with an oscilloscope, it would be possible to see how the tips are cut off)
- more tips are in pdf in the link above
We also found that the customer used a cheap digital thermometer, located on a coffee table, about 3 m from the sensor and 1 m lower. A view with a thermal imager proves that the temperature conditions in the room can have a large variance.