- is the temperature (in kelvins),
- is the resistance at (in ohms),
- , , and are the Steinhart–Hart coefficients, which vary depending on the type and model of thermistor and the temperature range of interest.
Uses of the equation
The equation is often used to derive a precise temperature of a thermistor, since it provides a closer approximation to actual temperature than simpler equations, and is useful over the entire working temperature range of the sensor. Steinhart–Hart coefficients are usually published by thermistor manufacturers.
Where Steinhart–Hart coefficients are not available, they can be derived. Three accurate measures of resistance are made at precise temperatures, then the coefficients are derived by solving three simultaneous equations.
Inverse of the equation
To find the resistance of a semiconductor at a given temperature, the inverse of the Steinhart–Hart equation must be used. See the Application Note, "A, B, C Coefficients for Steinhart–Hart Equation".
To find the coefficients of Steinhart–Hart, we need to know at-least three operating points. For this, we use three values of resistance data for three known temperatures.
With , and values of resistance at the temperatures , and , one can express , and (all calculations):
Developers of the equation
The equation is named after John S. Steinhart and Stanley R. Hart who first published the relationship in 1968. Professor Steinhart (1929–2003), a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was a member of the faculty of University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1969 to 1991. Dr. Hart, a Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution since 1989 and fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, the Geochemical Society and the European Association of Geochemistry, was associated with Professor Steinhart at the Carnegie Institution of Washington when the equation was developed.
Derivation and alternatives
The most general form of the equation can be derived from extending the B parameter equation to an infinite series:
is a reference (standard) resistance value. The Steinhart–Hart equation assumes is 1 ohm. The curve fit is much less accurate when it is assumed and a different value of such as 1 kΩ is used. However, using the full set of coefficients avoids this problem as it simply results in shifted parameters.
In the original paper, Steinhart and Hart remark that allowing degraded the fit. This is surprising as allowing more freedom would usually improve the fit. It may be because the authors fitted instead of , and thus the error in increased from the extra freedom. Subsequent papers have found great benefit in allowing .
The equation was developed through trial-and-error testing of numerous equations, and selected due to its simple form and good fit. However, in its original form, the Steinhart–Hart equation is not sufficiently accurate for modern scientific measurements. For interpolation using a small number of measurements, the series expansion with has been found to be accurate within 1 mK over the calibrated range. Some authors recommend using . If there are many data points, standard polynomial regression can also generate accurate curve fits. Some manufacturers have begun providing regression coefficients as an alternative to Steinhart–Hart coefficients.
- John S. Steinhart, Stanley R. Hart, Calibration curves for thermistors, Deep-Sea Research and Oceanographic Abstracts, Volume 15, Issue 4, August 1968, Pages 497–503, ISSN 0011-7471, doi:10.1016/0011-7471(68)90057-0.
- "Memorial resolution of the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the death of professor emeritus John S. Steinhart" (PDF). University of Wisconsin. 5 April 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Dr. Stan Hart,". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- Matus, Michael (October 2011). Temperature Measurement in Dimensional Metrology – Why the Steinhart–Hart Equation works so well. MacroScale 2011. Wabern, Switzerland.
- Hoge, Harold J. (1 June 1988). "Useful procedure in least squares, and tests of some equations for thermistors". Review of Scientific Instruments. 59 (6): 975–979. doi:10.1063/1.1139762. ISSN 0034-6748.
- Rudtsch, Steffen; von Rohden, Christoph (1 December 2015). "Calibration and self-validation of thermistors for high-precision temperature measurements". Measurement. 76: 1–6. doi:10.1016/j.measurement.2015.07.028. ISSN 0263-2241. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
- "Comments on the Steinhart–Hart Equation" (PDF). Building Automation Products Inc. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2020.