Chemical Monitoring with Pressure Sensors

Dangerous chemicals, such as ammonia, are employed across a range of industrial and HVAC systems. While useful for particular applications, they can present a danger and pose a serious human health risk.

The ability to detect leaks, no matter how minor, is absolutely vital for health and safety. A common way to measure the flow of dangerous chemicals and ensure systems operate as intended is the use of differential pressure sensors.

Chemical Monitoring with Pressure Sensors

Image Credit: Superior Sensor Technology

Example: Ammonia

Ammonia is frequently used as a coolant in refrigeration and HVAC systems. However, in the event of a leak, ammonia is a severe health hazard. Exposure to breathing air that contains ammonia is hazardous.

Pressure sensors, in particular differential pressure sensors, can be used effectively to monitor the pressure and flow of ammonia as it moves through the refrigeration or HVAC system. By measuring the ammonia levels through the system, the sensor is able to determine whether there is a sudden drop in pressure from one point to another.

A drop may indicate a leak (health hazard) or a clog (safety hazard). Either way, the problem must be addressed immediately. The more precise the differential pressure sensor can measure the change in flow, the earlier it can warn system operators of the hazard.

The NimbleSenseTM Architecture

Superior Sensor Technology’s NimbleSense architecture is integrated into all of its differential pressure sensors as a fully integrated sub-system. Combining processing intelligence with signal path integration and proprietary algorithms, Superior Sensor Technology has created modular building blocks that are readily selectable to support an expansive range of applications.

The NimbleSense architecture enables product designers to generate highly differentiated advanced pressure sensing systems from a technology toolbox. This methodology significantly improves system performance in the final application while supplying enhanced features and cost-effective manufacturing solutions.

The overarching development goal of the NimbleSense architecture was to eliminate all noise and prevent it from reaching the customer’s system.

Noise is broadly defined as anything that can interfere with an ideal sensor response, and this includes mixing noise, thermal errors, long-term drift, and thermal or pressure hysteresis. It is vitally important to reduce the inpact of these noises when being used in safety applications, such as exposure monitoring for dangerous chemicals.

With access to an extensive range of proven and tested building blocks, product designers are able to integrate the appropriate modules to produce differential pressure systems optimized for specific chemical monitoring applications.

HV Series and ND Series

Superior Sensor Technology offers two product lines optimized for chemical monitoring: The HV Series and the ND Series.

The HV Series has been specifically designed for HVAC and other air handling applications. With one device capable of delivering up to 8 pressure ranges in addition to an integrated 50/60 Hz notch filter, optional integrated pressure switch, state-of-the-art digital filtering, and closed loop control, the HV Series is able to support pressures as low as ±0.1 inH2O (±25 Pa) with accuracy to within 0.05% of the selected range.

The ability to detect changes at such low pressures is critical for safe chemical monitoring.

The extended temperature range of the ND Series has been developed to support an extensive range of industrial applications.

The ND Series is able to support up to 7 pressure ranges in one device with accuracy within 0.05% of the selected range. Similar to the HV Series, the ND Series has an integrated 50/60 Hz notch filter, an optional integrated pressure switch, state-of-the-art digital filtering and closed loop control.

In addition to the extended temperature range, the ND Series supports pressures from as low as ±0.25 inH2O to as high as ±150 psi. The ND Series is the ideal solution for applications where operation occurs at more extreme temperatures.


The HV and ND Series of differential pressure sensors offer several advantages for monitoring chemical leaks, including:

  • Exceptional zero stability
  • Highly integrated sensors with ADC and DSP
  • Industry-leading accuracy to within 0.05% of the selected pressure range
  • Integrated 50/60 Hz notch filter
  • Optional closed-loop control integration
  • Optional advanced digital filtering
  • Optional 3-mode integrated pressure switch
  • Selectable bandwidth filter
  • Support from pressures from as low ±0.1 inH2O to as high as ±150 psi
  • Up to 8 calibrated pressure ranges in one device

Both the HV Series and ND Series are in production and available through Digi-Key and Mouser.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Superior Sensor Technology.

For more information on this source, please visit Superior Sensor Technology.


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