Experimenting with Thermal Switches

Table of contents

About the Competition

Thermal switches (also called thermal sensors) are used in a variety of industrial, home/kitchen appliance, and HVAC products. They are typically used as protection against overheating, overcooling or overloads when used in a motor protection circuit. The most widely used thermal switches are bimetallic thermal switches and thermistors.

Bimetallic thermal switches consist of two strips of different metals that are bound together. Bimetallic thermal switches leverage the expansion of metals when they are heated. As the strip is heated, the different metals bend in different directions opening or closing a switch contact (NO/NC).

A thermistor is a type of resistor whose resistance changes with temperature changes. Thermistors are widely used as inrush current limiters, self-resetting overcurrent "fuses", and self-regulating heating elements.

The bimetallic thermal switches have been a mainstay for the design of thermostatic temperature controls and over-temperature protection over many decades. Thermistors have also been widely used, but neither type offers high accuracy or stability needed to meet the latest demands of consumers and industrial end users.

In response, thermal ferrite materials such as KEMET’s Thermorite® have emerged to enable a new generation of thermal switches (temperature sensors) that deliver greater accuracy, faster response times, and better stability with respect to ageing and environmental conditions such as humidity.

In this design challenge, participants will be given a kit of thermal switches based on KEMET’s Thermorite® to experiment with their use, application, response, and more.

Product Name Manufacturer Quantity Buy Kit
Thermostat Switch, Reed Switch, TRS Series, Axial, 30 °C, Normally Closed, 100 Vdc, Molded Kemet 2 Buy Now
Switch, Thermal Reed, 0.5 Ohm, 120 Deg C, Break, Quick Connect, Screw Type Kemet 2 Buy Now
Thermostat Switch, Thermal Guard, OHD Series, Radial, 90°C, Normally Closed, 100 Vac/dc, 0.3A Kemet 2 Buy Now
Thermostat Switch, Thermal Guard, OHD Series, Axial, 30 °C, Normally Closed, 100 Vac/dc, 0.3A Kemet 2 Buy Now
Thermostat Switch, Thermal Guard, OHD Series, Axial, 50 °C, Normally Closed, 100 Vac/dc, 0.3A Kemet 1 Buy Now
Thermostat Switch, Thermal Guard, OHD Series, Axial, 90 °C, Normally Open, 100 Vac/dc, 0.3A Kemet 2 Buy Now
Thermostat Switch, Reed Switch, TRS Series, Axial, 30 °C, Normally Closed, Wire Harness, 100 V Kemet 2 Buy Now
Thermostat Switch, Thermal Guard, OHD Series, Radial, 105°C, Normally Closed, 100 Vac/dc, 0.3A Kemet 2 Buy Now
Thermostat Switch, Thermal Guard, OHD Series, Panel Mount, 115°C, Normally Open, 100 Vac/dc, 0.3A Kemet 2 Buy Now
Thermostat Switch, Reed Switch, TRS Series, Axial, 60 °C, Normally Closed, 100 Vdc, Molded Kemet 2 Buy Now
Thermostat Switch, Thermal Guard, OHD Series, Axial, 110 °C, Normally Open, 100 Vac/dc, 0.3A Kemet 2 Buy Now
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