Thursday, October 6

How Do Differential Pressure Sensors Work?

A differential pressure sensor is used to compare the pressure at two places. It helps calculate the difference in pressure between two points. These devices are utilized in various industrial settings and have many applications.

Basics of Differential Pressure Measurement

Sometimes, when keeping an eye on a system, it’s necessary to know the difference in pressure between two points. In that case, you can use differential pressure sensors. These instruments rely on the Differential Pressure Measurement Principle, which states that the difference in applied pressure between two points, say A and B, is Δp = Pressure at point A minus Pressure at point B. This is simple math; no conversions are needed since the pressure measurements at the two points are in the same unit. Other names for Δp are Delta P and DP.

Differential sensors usually feature two ports for attaching pipes. The pipes are then joined to the system whose measurement you want to take. Industrial differential sensors can come in standardized fittings so that they can easily be integrated into existing pipework. Compared to gauge sensors, measurements taken by differential sensors do not include air pressure.

Pressure Sensors

How Do Differential Sensors Work?

Normally, a single diaphragm is subjected to two pressures on its opposing sides. The diaphragm’s deflection, which can be negative or positive relative to the resting position, determines the DP. 

Some differential sensors feature two independent, absolute sensors with internal electronics used to compute and transmit the DP to a control system.

It’s also possible to use two independent, absolute pressure sensors to get pressure measurements at two points and then transmit them to a control panel where the DP is calculated.

Classification of Pressure Sensors

The most well-known DP sensors are:

  • Resistive
  • Capacitive
  • Optical
  • Piezoelectric
  • MEMS

In Which Industrial Applications Are Pressure Sensors Used?

Differential pressure sensors can be used in a variety of applications. Here’s a look:

  • Flow sensing: a venturi tube with two segments of different widths is used to measure DP. The DP between the two segments directly affects how much fluid is flowing through the tube.
  • Level sensing: DP can help determine the depth of a sunken body or the amount of liquid in a tank.
  • Leak testing: leaks can be detected by checking the pressure between two points and comparing the measurement to that of a known leak. Usually, a drop in pressure implies a leak. 

Installation Techniques for Differential Pressure Sensors

  • Direct pipeline installation: This installation is straightforward and requires the fewest materials.
  • Flange installation: This setup measures the liquid level using the liquid’s own static pressure.
  • Bracket installation: This style of installation is preferred because it’s easy to set up and simple to maintain.

Common Differential Sensor Problems

A damaged diaphragm is the most common problem with differential sensors. As a result, the sensor becomes distorted or loses its flexibility and responsiveness to pressure changes. Another common problem is damaged port areas due to contaminants or debris built up in the tube or port, interfering with correct fluid flow. Always check for these faults in your system and fix them for smooth operations.

Wrap up

Differential pressure sensors help determine the difference in pressure between two points and have a wide range of industrial applications. Contact a reputable manufacturer of differential pressure sensors if you want to integrate this equipment into your industry’s infrastructure. They’ll assist you in making the best technology and design choices as well as modify the sensors to suit your specifications.

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