Electrical circuit for pressure sensors: when is really a sensor active, and when passive?

When using pressure sensors, the output signals 0 ? 20 mA, 4 ? 20 mA and DC 0 ? 10 V are generally chosen in order for the sensor signals to be evaluated and additional processed. Because of this, the signal output of the pressure sensor is usually linked to a corresponding input card in the PLC.
In this context it can often be confusing, as the day-to-day usage of the terms ?active?, ?passive?, ?current source?, ?voltage source?, ?current sink? and ?load? are often wildly mixed together. Any electrical signal processing always requires a voltage supply (an ?active part?) and a ?load?, for instance a pressure sensor, which represents the ? Bona Fide ?. Sometimes the active the main interconnection is also described as a power source/voltage source and the passive part is known as a ?current sink?. In order that a power circuit can function, current must flow in a circuit ? even when an instrument is usually known as lots, the current isn’t consumed because of it, rather it only flows from the current or voltage source through the load and back to the existing source.
This works only if an ?energy gap? exists between current source and current sink, so the power source operates actively (= sending out current) and the existing sink passively (= current flows through it) . Therefore, an interconnection of two current sources or two current sinks will not operate normally. This example is complicated in day-to-day application:
When does a pressure sensor work passively (current sink) and when does it work actively (current source)?
How does the input card in my own PLC operate?
Generally of thumb, you can understand that 2-wire sensors usually work passively and thus need a dynamic PLC input card. It is difficult with 4-wire sensors, since, for instance, a 4-wire flow sensor consists of 2 wires for another voltage supply and 2 wires for a dynamic or passive 0/4 ? 20 mA signal output. No Good is therefore vital to check the datasheets for the sensor and PLC input card used.

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