BASIC INSTRUMENTATION MEASURING DEVICES AND BASIC PID CONTROL Part 2
DP Transmitter Application
A DP transmitter is used to measure the gas pressure (in gauge scale) inside a vessel. In this case, the low-pressure side of the transmitter is vented to atmosphere and the high-pressure side is connected to the vessel through an isolating valve. The isolating valve facilitates the removal of the transmitter. The output of the DP transmitter is proportional to the gauge pressure of the gas, i.e., 4 mA when pressure is 20 kPa and 20 mA when pressure is 30 kPa.
2.1.6 Strain Gauges
The strain gauge is a device that can be affixed to the surface of an object to detect the force applied to the object. One form of the strain gauge is a metal wire of very small diameter that is attached to the surface of a device being monitored. For a metal, the electrical resistance will increase as the length of the metal increases or as the cross sectional diameter decreases. When force is applied as indicated in Figure 8, the overall length of the wire tends to increase while the cross-sectional area decreases. The amount of increase in resistance is proportional to the force that produced the change in length and area. The output of the strain gauge is a change in resistance that can be measured by the input circuit of an amplifier. Strain gauges can be bonded to the surface of a pressure capsule or to a force bar positioned by the measuring element. Shown in Figure 9 (next page) is a strain gauge that is bonded to a force beam inside the DP capsule. The change in the process pressure will cause a resistive change in the strain gauges, which is then used to produce a 4-20 mA signal.
2.1.7 Capacitance Capsule
Similar to the strain gauge, a capacitance cell measures changes in electrical characteristic. As the name implies the capacitance cell measures changes in capacitance. The capacitor is a device that stores electrical charge. It consists of metal plates separated by an electrical insulator. The metal plates are connected to an external electrical circuit through which electrical charge can be transferred from one metal plate to the other. The capacitance of a capacitor is a measure of its ability to store charge. The capacitance of the capacitance of a capacitor is directly proportional to the area of the metal plates and inversely proportional to the distance between them. It also depends on a characteristic of the insulating material between them. This characteristic, called permittivity is a measure of how well the insulating material increases the ability of the capacitor to store charge.