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Mini Project Report

Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor

Submitted by
Mohammed Sarwar Shaikh
Arif Shamsher Khan
Mohammed Nasiri

Under the Guidance of



Smt. Indira Gandhi College of Engineering

Koparkhairane ,Navi Mumbai.

University of Mumbai


Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Smt. Indira Gandhi College of Engineering


This is to certify that

Mohammed Sarwar Shaikh
Arif Shamsher Khan
Mohammed Nasiri
Have submitted this mini project report entitled


as part of their work in partial fulfillment of requirement for V semester of BACHELOR
OF ENGINEERING in INSTRUMENTATION Engineering (University of Mumbai)
course during the academic year 2009-10.

(Prof. N. B. JOSHI) (Prof. S. D. Gaikwad)

(Dr. S. K. Narayankhedkar)

Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Flow Transmitters

Flow transmitters are circuitry which are used to

amplify and condition the signal coming from the
particular sensor and transmit it to suitable use (such
as display, transmission or further signal processing).
Flow transmitters can take signals from various type of
sensor depending upon their circuitry, or environment
or process place in which they are going to be installed.
A Flow transmitter must be able to perform at least
three basic operations on the incoming signal from the
sensor i.e. amplifying, signal conditioning, converting
(favorably to the current parameter if used for long
distance transmission).
There are various type of flow transmitters they are,
Differential Pressure flow transmitters, Ultrasonic flow
transmitters, Mass flow transmitters, Wheel flow

Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Differential Pressure Flow Transmitters
In a differential pressure drop device the flow is calculated by
measuring the pressure drop over an obstructions inserted in the flow.
The differential pressure flowmeter is based on the Bernoullis
Equation, where the pressure drop and the further measured signal is a
function of the square flow speed.

The DP transmitter operation is dependent on the pressure difference

across an orifice, venturi, or flow tube. This differential pressure is
used to position a mechanical device such as a bellows.
The bellows acts against spring pressure to reposition the core of a
differential transformer. The
transformer’s output voltage on each of two secondary windings
varies with a change in flow.

Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Differential Pressure Flow Detection Block Diagram

A loss of differential pressure integrity of the secondary element, the

DP transmitter, will introduce an error into the indicated flow. This
loss of integrity implies an impaired or degraded pressure boundary
between the high-pressure and low-pressure sides of the transmitter. A
loss of differential pressure boundary is caused by anything that
results in the high- and low-pressure sides of the DP transmitter being
allowed to equalize pressure.
As previously discussed, flow rate is proportional to the square root of
the differential pressure.
The extractor is used to electronically calculate the square root of the
differential pressure and
provide an output proportional to system flow. The constants are
determined by selection of the
appropriate electronic components.
The extractor output is amplified and sent to an indicator. The
indicator provides either a local or a remote indication of system flow.
Recovery of Pressure Drop in Orifices, Nozzles and Venturi
Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
After the pressure difference has been generated in the differential
pressure flow meter, the fluid pass through the pressure recovery exit
section, where the differential pressure generated at the constricted
area is partly recovered.

As we can see, the pressure drop in orifice plates are significant

higher than in the venturi tubes.

Differential Pressure Flow Transmitters using

Piezoresistive Differential Pressure sensor

The resistance change in a monocrystalline

semiconductor (a piezoelectric effect) is substantially
Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
higher than that in standard strain gauges, whose
resistance changes with geometrical changes in the
structure. Because most control systems operate with
electrical signals, pressure or force must be converted
to current or voltage before further processing or
analysis. Capacitive and resistive signal transducers are
commonly used for this purpose.
In resistive sensors, pressure changes the resistance by
mechanically deforming the sensor, enabling the
resistors in a bridge circuit, for example, to detect
pressure as a proportional differential voltage across
the bridge. Conventional resistive pressure
measurement devices include film resistors, strain
gauges, metal alloys, and polycrystalline

Specific advantages are:

• High sensitivity, > 10mV/V

Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
• Good linearity at constant temperature
• Ability to track pressure changes without signal hysteresis, up to
the destructive limit
Disadvantages are:
• Strong nonlinear dependence of the full-scale signal on
temperature (up to 1%/kelvin)
• Large initial offset (up to 100% of full scale or more)
• Strong drift of offset with temperature
Within limits, these disadvantages can be compensated with electronic
The signal generated from piezoresistive differential pressure sensor
are then given as input preferably to an instrumentation amplifier
which are potent for amplifying and signal conditioning .

Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Block Diagram description.

This is a Low pressure sensor uses the piezo resistive method to
convert the air pressure into electrical signal. This electrical
signal is given to the amplification block.

The electrical signal from the piezo resistive sensor is given to
the amplifier where the noise & disturbances are suppressed
whereas the amplitude level is raised by the suitable gain factor
proper shaping if the signal is alos provided by this block we get
the pure equivalent electrical signal which high amplitude. The
output is given to the V to I Converter.


V to I converter takes the output from the Amplifier in electrical
form (voltage ) and is converted into the electrical current in the
range of 4-20mA.

Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Instrumentation Amplifier

A brief description of an instrumentation amplifier is given below

along with its most commonly used circuit configuration.
An instrumentation (or instrumentational) amplifier is a type of
differential amplifier that has been outfitted with input buffers, which
eliminate the need for input impedance matching and thus make the
amplifier particularly suitable for use in measurement and test
equipment. Additional characteristics include very low DC offset, low
drift, low noise, very high open-loop gain, very high common-mode
rejection ratio, and very high input impedances. Instrumentation
amplifiers are used where great accuracy and stability of the circuit
both short- and long-term are required.
Although the instrumentation amplifier is usually shown
schematically identical to a standard op-amp, the electronic
instrumentation amp is almost always internally composed of 3 op-
amps. These are arranged so that there is one op-amp to buffer each
input (+,−), and one to produce the desired output with adequate
impedance matching for the function.[1][2]
The most commonly used instrumentation amplifier circuit is shown
in the figure. The gain of the circuit is

Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
The rightmost amplifier, along with the resistors
labelled R2 and R3 is just the standard differential
amplifier circuit, with gain = R3 / R2 and differential
input resistance = 2·R2. The two amplifiers on the left
are the buffers. With Rgain removed (open circuited),
they are simple unity gain buffers; the circuit will work
in that state, with gain simply equal to R3 / R2 and high
input impedance because of the buffers. The buffer
gain could be increased by putting resistors between
the buffer inverting inputs and ground to shunt away
some of the negative feedback; however, the single
resistor Rgain between the two inverting inputs is a much
more elegant method: it increases the differential-mode
gain of the buffer pair while leaving the common-mode
gain equal to 1. This increases the common-mode
rejection ratio (CMRR) of the circuit and also enables
the buffers to handle much larger common-mode
signals without clipping than would be the case if they
were separate and had the same gain. Another benefit
of the method is that it boosts the gain using a single
resistor rather than a pair, thus avoiding a resistor-
matching problem (although the two R1s need to be
Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
matched), and very conveniently allowing the gain of
the circuit to be changed by changing the value of a
single resistor. A set of switch-selectable resistors or
even a

potentiometer can be used for Rgain, providing easy

changes to the gain of the circuit, without the
complexity of having to switch matched pairs of
The ideal common-mode gain of an instrumentation
amplifier is zero. In the circuit shown, common-mode
gain is caused by mismatches in the values of the
equally-numbered resistors and by the mis-match in
common mode gains of the two input op-amps.
Obtaining very closely matched resistors is a significant
difficulty in fabricating these circuits, as is optimizing
the common mode performance of the input op-amps.
The output of the instrumentation amplifier is supplied
to the Voltage-Current converter, which converts the
voltage output of the instrumentation amplifier into
current attribute, which are suitable for long distance
transmission and various other application.

Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Voltage To Current Converter

For a variety of reasons, in low-voltage electronics, voltage is a more

frequently used data carrier. Thus electronic devices tend to be labeled
with voltage inputs and outputs. However some devices are labeled in
terms of current-input and -output (for example, a bipolar transistor).
In such cases, a component is needed to convert (change) the electric
attributes into a relay of information.
A voltage-to-current converter changes the electric attribute carrying
information from voltage to current. It acts as a linear circuit with
transfer ratio k = IOUT/VIN [mA/V] having dimension of conductivity.
That is why the active version of the circuit is referred also as a
transconductance amplifier.
Typical applications of voltage-to-current converter are measuring
voltages by using instruments having current inputs, creating voltage-
controlled current sources, building various passive and active
voltage-to-voltage converters, etc.

Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Voltage-to-current converters feeding to grounded loads often find
their way into industrial measurements and control applications. The
conventional textbook circuit needs both positive and negative-supply
This circuit uses one half of the quad operational amplifier LM324.
The first amplifier is configured as a subtractor, while the second
amplifier is configured as a current converter.
The output of the first amplifier at A equals e1 minus ein. Here, e1 is
derived from the positive power supply by potentiometer P1. The
voltage at B equals V minus IL RS.
Op amp inputs at A and B are the same, so:
e1 − ein = V − IL RS
IL = ein/RS + (V − e1)/RS
The first term is proportional to the input voltage, with the second
term a constant. RS is chosen so that the first term gives 16 mA for
full-scale input voltage, and the potentiometer is adjusted such that the
second term supplies a constant 4 mA. In effect, the output is 4 to 20
mA, corresponding to zero to full input voltage. Thus, this circuit
works without using a negative power-supply rail. For the circuit
shown in Figure 2, the current varies from 4 to 20 mA with an input
of 0 to 1 V.

Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Using such circuits we can effectively transmit the signal coming
from the piezoresistive differential pressure sensor, and effectively
amplify and conditioning the signal, as well as converting the voltage
attribute to the current attribute.
1. Measurement is accurate and precise as compare to other
2. Easy to Install.
3. Can be used for corrosive and viscous liquids.

1. Design is complex.
2. Sensor is expensive.

1. It is most suitable for measurement of corrosive and viscous
2. It is used for open tank applications.

Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Future Scope:

Such circuitry and technique have tremendous use and future scope
(i.e. development and implementation) in various fields, specially
mostly in process industry where constant reading and analyzing of
the fluid flow is an important aspect in production cycle.

Flow transmitters have found their way in to various fields, from

process industry, power generation, water supply, oil and gas industry,
etc. Flow transmitter have penetrated into every industry, thus have a
wide use in present as well as future developing industry and units,
and becoming a non avoidable part of Industrial Cycle.

• Differential Piezoresistive Pressure Sensor.
Firtat, B. Moldovan, C. Iosub, R. Necula, D. Nisulescu
• A Linear voltage-to-current converter.(eBook).

Chen, R.Y. Tsung-Shuen Hung.

• Op-Amp and its applications(eBook).
Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor
Walter G. Jung
• A.K. Sawhney
• Instrumentation design by Ranghan, Mani & Sharma.

• A handbook of process control by Bela G. Liptak.

Web Source:-

• of instrumentation and


Flow Transmitter using Differential Pressure Sensor