Large Pressure Drop Indicates a Bomb Cyclone

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Large Pressure Drop Indicates a Bomb Cyclone

One of the first weather oddities to hit the United States in 2018 was the bomb cyclone, or bombogenesis, as meteorologists call it. This type of winter storm with unusually low temperatures is indicated by a low pressure drop of at least 24 millibars (0.35 psi) in 24 hours. With normal pressures around 1000 millibars (14.7 psia) near sea level, this represents a 2.3% change from the normal reading.

In this year’s bomb cyclone, the pressure dropped by 54 millibars in 24 hours, more than twice the standard criteria, indicating a very strong storm. In fact, it was considered one of the greatest rapidly deepening rates ever observed by the National Weather Service.

With the continuous resolution capabilities of microelectromechanical (MEMS) pressure sensors, even the change of a few millibars can be easily observed with an absolute pressure sensor.

NOAA GOES-16 Weather Satellite

The 2018 bomb cyclone as observed from the GOES-16 weather satellite, which is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Propane Tank Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Propane Tank Pressure

Keeping warm in a mobile home or camper in the winter or enjoying an outdoor barbeque in the summer would be much more difficult without propane. Even patios can be made comfortable by a propane-powered heater. This highly portable energy form is typically conveyed and stored in one-pound, twenty-pound, 30-pound or 100-pound tanks.

Pressure Gauges

To know how much gas is in a consumer tank, especially one that is stored for a long time in between uses, pressure gauges with rather broad indicators are used. Green (full), yellow (low gas), and red (empty) bands display the fuel level and account for the variations due to different ambient temperatures.

Propane Tank Pressure Gauge

Unlike, natural gas appliances that operate at pressures around 7 inches of water column (WC) or 14.9 millibars, 1743 Pa, or about 0.25 psi (pounds per square inch, a common operating pressure range for propane (liquid petroleum or LP gas) appliances is 10 – 11 inches WC or 27.4 millibars, 2491 – 2739 Pa or about 0.36 – 0.40 psi.

Since the pressure in a propane tank can range between 100 and 200 psi, its pressure must be reduced and regulated for use in a home, motor home, camper or an outdoor gas appliance, typically to 10.5 inches water column.

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The Pressure to Automatically Make Ice

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

The Pressure to Automatically Make Ice

The ice dispenser on a refrigerator is a great feature and, in most cases, taken for granted – until it doesn’t make ice. One of the reasons for an icemaker failure is insufficient water pressure. To work properly, most refrigerators require a minimum of 20 to 40 psi for the icemaker. This ensures that the water inlet valve functions properly. For a particular make and model of refrigerator, the exact water pressure requirement is specified in the installation manual. To verify the pressure value to use in the manual, the manufacturer would make several measurements to determine the minimum pressure.

Since refrigerators (and most home owners) do not have a pressure gage, how can insufficient water pressure be ruled out as a cause of an icemaker failure? One manufacturer recommends dispensing water into a large measuring cup for 20 seconds and if the amount of water is more than 13.5 ounces (400 cubic centimeters), the water pressure is OK. If a person really wanted to know the exact amount, they could use one of All Sensors’ SPM 401 Series or CPM 602 Series pressure sensors with media isolation to prevent interface problems.

Kenmore Accela Ice Caddie

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Increasing Pressure: To Improve Performance & Fuel Economy

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Increasing Pressure: To Improve Performance & Fuel Economy

With existing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations that include a fleet-wide average fuel economy requirement of 54.5 MPG by 2025, many people conclude that electric and hybrid electric vehicle will have to be a significant part of each car maker’s fleet. However, advanced gasoline and diesel engines may be able to make these standards all by themselves.

One example is the Achates Power Opposed-Piston Engine. It has already demonstrated fuel economy gains of 30-50% as well as significant emissions reductions, more cost effectively than other solutions. Achates engine programs are in development at 12 leading engine manufacturers.

The Achates engine’s proprietary combustion system has two identical opposed pistons with injectors located at the end of the long axis and consumes gasoline rather than diesel fuel. The engine uses a 2000 bar injection pressure-capable common-rail fuel  injection  system and has been tested at pressures well above 1000 bar.

Achates Power Opposed-Piston Engine

The Achates opposed-piston, gasoline compression ignition (OPGCI) engine.
Source: Achates Power.

While indirect injection systems in internal combustion (gasoline) engines typically operate in the 40 to 60 psi range, conventional direct rail fuel injection systems on diesel engines already operate at pressures in excess of 100 MPa (15,000 psi). One injection systems supplier, has had a 2,500-bar common-rail system in production since 2014. The higher injection pressure atomizes the fuel more finely, improving combustion to deliver improved fuel economy and increased performance.

Comments/Questions?
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
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