Nuclear Power

Pressure Sensors Monitoring Nuclear Power

The importance of monitoring nuclear power plants

Accurately monitoring nuclear power plants is important for many reasons, including guaranteeing the safety of the facility and the surrounding community, averting accidents, preventing the release of radioactive materials, and complying with regulatory requirements. Regular monitoring and inspections can help identify issues before they become major problems and can ensure that the facility is operating within safe and legal limits. Finally, monitoring can help detect and prevent acts of sabotage or terrorism.

The role of pressure sensors in monitoring nuclear power plants

Pressure sensors play a vital role in monitoring two key areas to ensure the safety of nuclear power plants:

Leakage of radioactive materials:  by monitoring the pressure inside the containment vessels of nuclear reactors, pressure sensors can provide early warnings of any leaks that could lead to a release of radioactive materials. This is done by tracking the pressure inside the containment vessels and notifying the system if pressure drops below a predetermined acceptable level.

Proper functioning of the reactor: by monitoring the pressure inside the coolant system of a reactor, the pressure sensor can confirm that it is functioning properly. In the event the pressure travels outside the acceptable band, the system can generate an alarm to notify a technician.

Superior Sensor Technology’s Pressure Sensor Advantages

Superior Sensors’ proprietary NimbleSenseTM architecture is the industry’s first System-in-a-Sensor integrated platform. Incorporating a highly differentiated advanced pressure sensing system with the ability to integrate optional building blocks enables us to combine the highest accuracy and reliability with application exclusive features. With unique technology deployed in our ND Series, Superior’s products offer many advantages for critical monitoring applications such as nuclear power plants.

The ND Series measures differential, gage and absolute pressures from as low as 62.5 pascal to as high as 150 psi. Having an expanded operating temperature range to go along with the industry’s lowest noise floor and the ability to support up to 7 factory calibrated pressures in one device, the ND Series is ideal for the most demanding monitoring applications.

The ND Series measures dry air and non-aggressive gas pressure with very high accuracy and a stable zero point. Non-linearity is also industry leading which is typically 0.05% FSS. The ND Series has a selectable bandwidth filter from 1Hz to 200Hz, and 16-bit resolution. For added performance, the ND Series has an integrated 50/60Hz notch filter to minimize impact of power noise spikes. Finally, the ND Series is an excellent choice for applications requiring the utmost reliability.

The ND Series provides a new level of integration combining an advanced piezoresistive sensing element with integrated amplification, ADC, DSP and interface which greatly simplifies design and integration efforts. Advanced digital processing enables new functionality thus simplifying system development and manufacturing while increasing product reliability.

With optional integrated closed loop control customization, advanced digital filtering and a 3-mode pressure switch, the ND Series is more than a pressure sensor – it is a complete pressure sensing sub-system.

The ND Series consists of three product families:

  1. The ND Series Low Pressure products are a family of differential/gage pressure sensors that measure pressures from as low as ±62.5 Pa to as high as ±7.5 kPa.
  2. The ND Series Mid Pressure products are a family of differential/gage pressure sensors that measure pressures from as low as ±0.5 psi to as high as ±150 psi.
  3. The ND Series Absolute products are a family of absolute pressure sensors that measure pressures from 15 psia to 150 psia.

All the ND Series sensors are in production and available through Digi-Key and Mouser.

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