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 to ensure that the sensor signals to be evaluated and additional processed. For this, the signal output of the pressure sensor is normally linked to a corresponding input card in the PLC.
In this context it could often be confusing, because the day-to-day using 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?, like a pressure sensor, which represents the ?passive part?. Sometimes the active section of the interconnection is also described as a power source/voltage source and the passive part is referred to as a ?current sink?. To ensure that a power circuit can function, current must flow in a circuit ? even though an instrument is usually known as lots, the current is not consumed by it, rather it only flows from the existing or voltage source through the strain and back to the existing source.
Masterclass works only if an ?energy gap? exists between current source and current sink, therefore 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 situation is complicated in day-to-day application:
When does a pressure sensor work passively (current sink) so when does it work actively (current source)?
So how exactly does the input card in my PLC operate?
Generally of thumb, you can keep in mind that 2-wire sensors usually work passively and thus need a dynamic PLC input card. It really is difficult with 4-wire sensors, since, for example, a 4-wire flow sensor includes 2 wires for a separate voltage supply and 2 wires for a dynamic or passive 0/4 ? 20 mA signal output. Hence, it is vital to check the datasheets for the sensor and PLC input card used.

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