The Basics Of A Differential Pressure Sensor

All pressure sensors operate to measure the difference in pressure in a gas or a liquid compared to some other measurement. With a gauge pressure sensor, the change is between the atmospheric pressure and the pressure within the system. In some ways, these are still a differential pressure measurement, just against a fixed reference.

An absolute pressure sensor measures the difference between a vacuum and the system, and a differential pressure sensor measures the pressure on two different sides of the system or on two different sides of a valve, orifice, connection or other element in the system.


There are many different uses for the various types of differential pressure sensor designs and models available. Each has its own parameters and is designed to be used with liquids or with gases.

Typical uses of these types of pressure sensors can include use in vehicles to measure the change in pressure through oil filters or through air filters. They can also be used to measure flow rates in pipelines, water systems, or in any other system where the liquid is flowing. Temperature and its effect on pressure can also be measured through a system using this type of an application

Additionally, they can also be used to accurately measure fluid levels in tanks and compartments. In this case, various levels of fluid will produce a difference in pressure below the liquid as well as above, corresponding to a specific reading on a gauge or digital reading through the control.
A common use for a pressure sensor measuring differential pressure is in leak detection. By monitoring where pressure drops off in the pipeline or system, it is possible to narrow down the position of the damage, saving time and money.


For many applications, the use of the differential pressure sensor over a standard gauge or absolute pressure sensors provides a greater range of applications. Since these sensors are not measuring against any fixed element, but rather against two sides, it is very accurate in providing fast readings to allow for optimal control through a system.

New types of these differential pressure sensors that are connected to differential transmitters can have several different output signal forms. The includes the use of communication protocols used in many manufacturing, processing and production types of systems that can be read by the computer system or with a remote access control device.

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