6/05/2009

1
Lecture 2
Chapter 2: Mechanical and Electrical 
Sensors
By Dr. Hung Nguyen
NC for Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics
Chapter 2
• Learning outcomes
• Assessment criteria
• Overview – Main topics
– Temperature
– Pressure
– Flow
– Level
– Strain
Temperature
• Basic theory:
– Physical variable: Temperature is referred to the “hotness” and 
the “coldness” of a body
– Units/Scales: Celsius degree (
o
C), (SI) Kelvin (K), and 
Fahrenheit (
o
F)
– Relationships:
) 32 F (
9
5
C − =
32 C
5
9
F + =
15 . 273 C K + =
Celcius - Kelvin
Celcius - Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit – Celcius
Temperature
• Basic Theory:
– Measurement of temperature does not take place 
directly.
– Effects of temperature: expansion, thermal 
conduction, convection and radiation
– Common methods: expansion, electrical and radiation
• Common temperature instruments:  liquid in 
glass thermometers, filled‐system thermometers, 
bi‐metallic thermometers, thermocouples, RDT, 
thermistors and pyrometers
Temperature
• Liquid‐in‐glass thermometers:
– Principle: expansion of fluids (mercury Hg, alcohol)
– Range: depends on fluids & gas at high pressure
•Mercury: ‐30
o
C to 600
o
C
•Alcohol: ‐80
o
C to 70
o
C
ASTM = American Society for Testing and Materials
Temperature
• Filled‐system thermometers:
– Principle: liquid, vapour or gas filled types
– Construction: bulb, connecting capillary and a 
Bourdon tube mechanism Bourdon tube mechanism
6/05/2009
2
Temperature
• Bi‐metallic thermometers:
• Differential expansion of two different 
materials rigidly joined together
Temperature
• Thermocouples:  emf generated if two 
end junctions at different temperatures
Construction
1: Measuring junction
2: Thermocouple wires
3: Ceramic insulators
4: Protective sheath
5: Connection head
Temperature
• Thermocouples: different types
Type Materials Max. Range (
o
C)
T Copper (+) / Constantan (—) -270 to + 400
E Chromel (+) I Constantan (—) -270 to + 1000
J Iron (+) I Constantan (—) -210 to +850
K Chromel (+) / Alumel (—) [also known as T1/T2] -270 to + 1370
S Platinum-10% Rhodium (+) I Platinum (-.) -50 to +1760
R Platinum-13% Rhodium (+) / Platinum (—) -50 to +1760
B Plat.-30% Rhodium (+) / Plat.-6% Rhodium (—) -50 to +1 820
Temperature
• Thermocouples: sensitivity
50
60
o
r
c
e
,

m
V
change in output
K
changein input
=
E l 2 1
-10
0
10
20
30
40
-300 0 300 600 900 1200 1500 1800
Temperature, C
T
h
e
r
m
a
l

e
l
e
c
t
r
o
m
o
t
i
v
e

f
o
TypeK
TypeJ
TypeT
TypeS
• Example 2.1
Thermocouple Tables
Temperature
• Thermocouples:
– Compensating (extension) leads
– Cold conjunction compensation
Basic thermocouple circuit – Basic thermocouple circuit
Temperature
• Thermocouples: Use of thermocouple tables
– Example 2.2
– Example 2.3
A ti iti • Activities:
– Activity 2.1
– Activity 2.2
– Activity 2.3
6/05/2009
3
Temperature
• Thermocouples:
– Thermocouple interfacing
Temperature
• RTD: Resistance Temperature Detector
– Principle: resistance (of metals) increases when 
the temperature increases
– Construction: as shown in Figure 2 9 Construction: as shown in Figure 2.9
Temperature
• Theory of RTD:
– Resistance at temperature T
2
R R 1 aT bT ⎡ ⎤ + +
⎣ ⎦
– For a limited range of temperature
T 0
R R 1 aT bT ⎡ ⎤ = + +
⎣ ⎦
[ ]
T 0
R R 1 aT = +
Temperature
• RTD:
– Platinum RTD 100 (data sheet)
– Example 2.4
Three wire system: – Three‐wire system:
Temperature
• RTD:
– Measuring system
Fig. 2.12 Null balance system w 
Wheatstone  bridge
Fig. 2.13 An electronic resistance thermometer
Temperature
• RTD:
– RTD interfacing (to 
indicator, recorder 
or controller or PCs)
• RTD:
• An example of 
RTD application
6/05/2009
4
Temperature
• RTD: Activities
– Activity 2.4: Discuss the operating principles and 
normal temperature ranges of thermocouples and 
resistance thermometers (RTDs). ( )
– Activity 2.5: An RTD‐100 Platinum resistance 
thermometer is tested at a temperature of 160
o

and found to have a resistance of 162.1 Ω. 
Determine the temperature being measured at a 
time when the resistance of this thermometer is 
150 Ω.
Temperature
• Summary of temperature measurement:
– Common methods: expansion, electrical and 
radiation
– Common temperature instruments:
•liquid in glass thermometers
•filled‐system thermometers
•bi‐metallic thermometers
•thermocouples
•RTDs: resistance temperature detectors
– Applications: indication and control of temperature
Temperature
•Question?
Pressure
• Basic theory:
– Pressure is one of the most commonly measured 
variables on board a vessel
– Steam pressure, feed water pressure, condenser 
pressure, lubricating oil pressure, gas pressure, air 
compressor pressure etc.
– Pressure is the measurement of force acting on 
area of surface, thus:
F
P
A
=
• SI Units: Pa, kPa, MPa
• British: PSI (pounds per square inch)
• Common: bar (100 kPa)
Pressure
• Basic theory:
– Absolute pressure (P
2
= zero)
– Atmospheric pressure (101.3 kPa) (standard: temperature = 
20 °C (68 °F), air density = 1.225 kg/m³ (0.0765 lb/cu ft), altitude = sea level, and 
relative humidity = 20%) y )
– Gauge pressure (P
2
= atmospheric pressure)
– Vacuum (P
2
smaller than atmospheric pressure)
– Differential pressure (P
2
= at a certain pressure)
1 2
P P P Δ = −
Pressure
• Pressure head: static 
pressure head or static 
head
– 760 mm Hg
Glass tube
– 760 mm Hg
– Approx. 101.3 kPa
– Approx. 1 bar
6/05/2009
5
Pressure
• Pressure at depth:
– Acts equally in all directions
– Acts normally to surface
p hg = ρ
p p
h
g
= =
ρ γ
Pressure
• Manometer
( )
1 2 B A
P P P gh Δ = − = ρ −ρ
1 2 B
P P gh − = ρ
• Application: indication 
and monitoring
• Example 2.5
Pressure
• Bourdon tube:
– Principle: C‐type
– Construction: as shown in Figure 2.20a
Pressure
• Bourdon tube:
• Alternative: Spiral & 
Helical types
• Applications: pressure 
transmitters
Activity 3.1
Pressure
• Differential pressure cell:
– Pressure gauge with a flexible metal diaphragm
– D/P cell with two separate bellows 
Pressure
• D/P transmitters: Bellows, 
resistance, inductance (lvdt), 
capacitance, diaphragm, piezo‐
electric types
http://www.pressure-transducer.com
http://www.enercorp.com
http://www.foxboro.com
6/05/2009
6
Pressure
• Applications of D/P transmitters:
– Three basic functions: indication, alarm and control 
(pressure, flow, level control systems)
– Environmental concerns: 
•Atmospheric pressure: Pressure instrument is •Atmospheric pressure: Pressure instrument is 
sensitive to variations in the atmospheric pressure 
surrounding the detector – cause the indicated 
pressure to change
•Ambient temperature: resistance of components, 
then reduce accuracy and reliability
•Humidity: high moisture affects electric/electronic 
equipment: short circuits, grounds, corrosion
Pressure
• Summary of pressure measurement
– Basic theory
– Pressure head
Pressure at depth – Pressure at depth
– U‐tube manometer 
– Bourdon tube
– Differential pressure cells (many types)
Pressure measurement
•Question?
Flow
• Basic theory:
– Various physical properties are considered: density, 
pressure, flow rate (velocity, volume flow rate and 
mass flow rate) and viscosity
– Flow measurement involves liquids (water oil) gasses Flow measurement involves liquids (water, oil), gasses 
(compressed air) and pneumatic and hydraulic 
systems
– Piping and pumping systems
– Offshore gas and oil industry
• SI Unit: m
3
/s
• Other units: m
3
/h, litter/min, etc.
• Differential pressure – Bernoulli’s equation for 
flow measurement
V
1
V
2
Flow
Flow
1 3
2
P
1
P
2

+
ρ
+ =
ρ
+ f
P
2
V P
2
V
2
2
2 1
2
1
restriction
ρ
Δ
=
P
K V
2
Flow
• Flow measurement
– Flow sensors: orifice, flow nozzle, venturi, variable 
area flowmeter, turbine, positive displacement 
meters
– Differential types of flowmeter – Differential types of flowmeter
– Applications: indication and control (flow, level)
6/05/2009
7
Flow
• Orifice: cheap and 
simple
Flow
• Office:
– Pressure distribution
Flow
• Tapping points:
– Vena contracta taps
– Flange taps
Corner taps – Corner taps
– Radius taps
– Full flow taps
The positioning of the tapping points must be chosen
with care. Poor positioning of the tapping points may lead
to inaccurate flow readings due to turbulence!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vena_contracta
Flow
• Flow nozzle
Flow
• Venturi:
– Construction: consists of a relatively long convergent 
section upstream of the ‘throat’ followed by another 
long divergent section downstream
Flow
• Variable area flowmeter (rotameter):
6/05/2009
8
Flow
• Turbine flowmeter
Flow
• Positive displacement meters
Flow
• Example 2.6
– An orifice plate is being used to measure the flow 
of sea water through a pipe. The differential 
pressure measured across the orifice is 5.0 kPa  p
when the rate of flow is 40 tonne/hour. Determine 
the flow rate when the differential pressure is 
indicated as 8.0 kPa (density of s.w. = 1025 
kg/m3).
• Activity 3.2
Flow
• Differential pressure types of flowmeters
– Principles: different types
– Construction: flow sensor + transmitter unit
Flow
• Differential pressure transmitters: flow, level 
and pressure:
– Resistance/potentiometer
Inductance or lvdt (linear variable differential – Inductance or lvdt (linear variable differential 
transformer)
– Capacitance
– Diaphragm or bellows types
– Piezo‐electric types
Flow
• Differential pressure 
transmitters:
– An example of 
datasheet datasheet
Model CO Compact Orifice
for use with
Foxboro® Differential Pressure
Transmitters
6/05/2009
9
Current Status – Control Lab
• Flow control system: DAQ and LabVIEW
• PLCs: updated
• Possible projects control algorithms for
I/P Converter
Control valve
Compressed air
(pneumatic supply)
D/P Transmitter
• Possible projects: control algorithms for 
flow control, hydraulic control
• Control laws: PID, self‐tuning, optimal, 
neural network, etc.
D/P Transmitter
Orifice plate
PC-based controller
Flow
• Other types of flow transmitter
– Magnetic
– Ultrasonic
– Thermal mass Thermal mass
– Coriolis
– Vortex
Flow measurement
•Question?
Level
• Basic theory:
– Level is always relative to some datum (reference) 
that applies to that particular situation: bottom of 
the tank, bottom of the gauge glass, ground level
– Depth: when assessing the quantity of liquid in a 
tank, level is often measured from the bottom
– “Ullage”: the level of the surface in a tank is relative 
to some datum above the surface (top of the tank)
– SI Units: m, mm
– Methods: direct and indirect, most common –
differential pressure
Level
• Sight gauges:
Level
• Float operated
6/05/2009
10
Level
• Sealed diaphragm pressure‐head type
Level
• Pneumatic “Bubbler” Pressure‐Head Type
Level
• Other types:
– 4.7 Capacitance Type (Capacitance Probe)
– 4.8 “Radar” Type
4 9 Resistance Type – 4.9 Resistance Type
• Example 2.7: A bubbler type gauge
• Activity 4.1:
Level
• Differential pressure level detector
Level
• Closed tank, dry reference leg
Level
• Level sensor 
and alarm
6/05/2009
11
Level
• Activity 4.2: Describe the 
operating principle of the float 
type of level sensor in Figure 
2.40
Level
• Activity 4.3:
Describe the 
operating 
principle of the principle of the 
capacitance type 
of level sensor for 
level control in 
Figure 2.41
Level
• Summary of level measurement
– Basic theory
– Sight glass
Float operated – Float operated
– Sealed diaphragm pressure head type
– Pneumatic “bubbler” pressure head type
– Capacitance type
– “Radar” type
– Level sensor and alarm (boilers)
Level measurement
•Question?
Strain
• Basic theory:
– Definition of strain:
L
L Δ
= ε
– Stress:
http://www.tml.jp/e/product/strain_gauge/what_strain.html
P
A
σ =
• No dimension
• Usually 1x10
‐6
E σ = ×ε • E: elastic modulus 
(Young’s modulus)
Strain
• Resistor strain gauge:
– When a metal (resistor) is expanded or contracted 
by external force, it experiences a change of 
electrical resistance. By bonding a metal (resistor)  y g ( )
on the surface of a specimen with an electrical 
insulator between them, the metal changes its 
dimension according to the expansion or 
contraction of the specimen, thus resulting a 
change of its resistance. Strain gauge (electrical 
resistance strain gauge) is a sensor to detect the 
strain of a specimen by this resistance change…
6/05/2009
12
Strain
• Wire wound type
• Foil type
Strain
• Gauge factor
• Axes of sensitivity
• Cross sensitivity
• Temperature compensation
• Example 2.8 (pp. 46‐47)
• Activity 5.1 (p. 47)
Strain
• Strain measurement using a Wheatstone 
bridge circuit
Strain
• Summary of strain measurement:
– Basic theory of strain
– Resistance strain gauges
– Wire wound type
– Foil type
– Gauge factor
Strain measurement
•Question?
Strain
• Further readings:
– http://www.tml.jp/e/product/strain_gauge/what_
strain.html
– http://zone ni com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/3092 http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/3092