What are Digital Pressure Sensors?

Various industrial systems use pressurized air, water, and other fluids. They use sensors to regulate and maintain proper pressure at different points in their activities. Although many systems continue using analog pressure sensors, digital versions are fast replacing them. A few examples serve to illustrate why pressure sensors are important.

Industrial icemakers need water at minimum pressure between 20 and 40 psi at the inlet—this allows the water inlet valve to function properly—although the exact water pressure requirement is dependent on the particular make and model of the refrigerator.  Pressure sensors with media isolation (waterproofing) provide a quick method of determining whether the water pressure is adequate for making ice.

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations demand that by 2025, the average fuel economy should be 54.5 MPG fleet-wide. Although popular belief is, each car maker’s fleet should have a significant presence of electric and hybrid vehicles to meet CAFE requirements, manufacturers are working towards advanced diesel and gasoline engines that should be able to meet the standards by themselves. One model of such advanced engines is the Achates Power Opposed-Piston engine. It exhibits fuel economy gains of 30-50% with significant reduction of emission, and is more cost effective compared to other solutions. The Achates engine requires a fuel injection system capable of a 2000 bar injection pressure.

For cutting different types of very hard, heat-sensitive, or delicate materials, industrial machines often make use of a water-jet cutting system. This avoids heat damages to the workplace edges or surface. An ultra-high-pressure pump operating at 40,000-100,000 psi produces a high velocity, high-pressure stream of water at 30,000-90,000 psi. Special MEMS pressure sensors are necessary to achieve the desired accuracy, resolution, and repeatability in such high-pressure measurement systems.

All Sensors makes the DLVR Series of mini digital output pressure sensors based on their patented CoBeam2 TM Technology, providing overall long-term stability by reducing susceptibility to package stress. Compared to single die systems, the DVLR differential pressure sensor technology improves the position sensitivity.

The DC supply voltage option of 3.3 or 5 V eases the integration of the sensors into a wide range of measurement and process control systems. I2C or SPI interface options allow direct connection to serial communication channels. The sensor goes into very low-power modes between readings, thereby minimizing load to power supply for battery operated systems.

With a pressure range of 0.5 to 60 inH2O and a common mode pressure of 10 psig, the DLVR pressure sensors offer better than 0.5% accuracy over temperature. While the storage temperatures range from -40 to +125°C, the sensors can operate from -25 to +85°C, under non-condensing humidity limits between 0 and 95%. The sensors are available in ten types of device packages including E1NS, E1ND, E1NJ, E1BS, E1BD, E2NS, E2ND, E2NJ, E2BS, and E2BD.

The DLVR series of digital output sensors are compensated and calibrated by the manufacturer and provide a stable and accurate output over a wide range of temperature. Intended use for this series involves non-ionic and non-corrosive working fluids such as dry gases, air, and similar. Moisture or harsh media protection is also available in the form of an optional parylene protective coating.