Transducer Types, Ideal Characteristics and Its Applications

There are various electrical and electronic components are used to build the circuits and projects for engineering students. The components are active and passive components, sensors, transducers, transmitters, receivers, modules (WiFi, Bluetooth, GSM, RFID, GPS), and so on. In general, the process of transduction involves the conversion of one form of energy into another form. This process mainly includes a sensing element to sense the input energy and then converting it into another form by a transduction element. Measurand tell to the property, quantity or state that the transducer look to translate into an electrical output. Here, this article discusses about what is a transducer,  transducer types, and applications of the transducer.

What is a Transducer?

A transducer is an electrical device which is used to convert one form of energy into another form. In general, these devices deal with different types of energies such as mechanical, electrical energy, light energy, chemical energy, thermal energy, acoustic energy, electromagnetic energy, and so on.

Transducer
Transducer

For instance, consider a mic we use in daily life in telephones, mobile phones, that converts the sound into electrical signals and then amplifies it into the preferred range.  Then, alters the electrical signals into audio signals at the o/p of the loudspeaker. Nowadays, fluorescent bulbs are used for lighting, changes the electrical energy into light energy.

The best examples of the transducer are mic, fluorescent bulb and speaker can be considered as a transducer. Likewise, there are different kinds of transducers used in electrical and electronic projects.

Transducer Types and Its Applications

There are a variety of transducer types like pressure transducer, piezoelectric transducer, ultrasonic transducer, temperature transducer, and so on.  Let us discuss the use of different types of transducers in practical applications.

Transducer Types
Transducer Types

Some transducer types like active transducer and passive transducers are based on whether a power source is required or not.

Active transducer doesn’t require any power source for their operations. These transducers work on the principle of energy conversion. They generate an electrical signal that is proportional to the i/p. The best example of this transducer is thermocouple. Whereas passive transducer requires an external power source for their operation. They generate an o/p in the form of capacitance, resistance. Than that has to be converted to an equivalent voltage or current signal. The best example of passive transducer is a photocell.

Piezoelectric Transducer

Piezoelectric transducer is a special kind of sensor, and the main function of this transducer is to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. In the same way, electrical energy can be transformed into mechanical energy.

Piezoelectric Transducer
Piezoelectric Transducer

Piezoelectric Transducer Applications

  • This transducer is mainly used to detect the sticks drummer impact in electronic drum pads. And also used to detect the movement of the muscle, which can be named as acceleromyography.
  • The load of the engine can be determined by calculating diverse absolute pressure, that can be done by using these transducers as the MAP sensor in fuel injection systems.
  • This sensor can be used as knock sensor in automotive engine management systems for noticing knock of the engine.

Pressure Transducer

Pressure transducer is a special kind of sensor that alters the pressure forced into electrical signals. These transducers are also called as pressure indicators, manometers, piezometers, transmitters, and pressure sensors.

Pressure Transducer
Pressure Transducer

Application of Pressure Transducer

Pressure transducer is used to measure the pressure of the specific quantity like gas or liquid by changing the pressure into electrical energy. The different kinds of these transducers like an amplified voltage transducer, strain-gage base pressure transducer, millivolt (mv) pressure transducer, 4-20mA pressure transducer and pressure transducer.

The applications of pressure transducer mainly involve in altitude sensing, pressure sensing, level or depth sensing, flow sensing and leak testing. These transducers can be used for generating an electrical power under the speed breakers on the highways or roads where the force of the vehicles can be converted into electrical energy.

Temperature Transducer

Temperature transducer is an electrical device that is used to convert the temperature of a device into another quantity like electrical energy or pressure or mechanical energy, then the quantity will be sent to the control device for controlling the temperature of the device.

Temperature Transducer
Temperature Transducer

Application of Temperature Transducer

Temperature transducer is used to measure the temperature of the air such that to control the temperature of several control systems like air-conditioning, heating, ventilation, and so on.

Arduino based automatic fan speed regulator controlling of temperature Block Diagram
Arduino based automatic fan speed regulator controlling of temperature Block Diagram

Let us consider a practical example for temperature transducer that is used to control the temperature of any device based on necessity for different industrial applications. An Arduino based automatic fan speed regulator controlling of temperature and exhibiting measure of temperature on an LCD display.

In the proposed system, IC LM35 is used as a temperature transducer. An Arduino board is used to control the various functions that include analog to digital conversion and an LCD display that are connected in the above fig.

Practical Application of Temperature Transducer by Edgefxkits.com
Practical Application of Temperature Transducer by Edgefxkits.com

The temperature can be fixed by using settings like INC and DEC for increasing and decreasing. Based on the temperature measured a pulse width modulation o/p will be generated by the program of an Arduino board. The output of this is used to control the DC fan through motor driver IC.

Ultrasonic Transducer

The main function of the ultrasound transducer is to convert electrical signals to ultrasound waves. This transducer can also be called as capacitive or piezoelectric transducers.

Ultrasonic Transducer
Ultrasonic Transducer

Application of Ultrasonic Transducer

This transducer can be used to measure the distance of the sound based on reflection. This measurement is based on a suitable method compared to the straight methods which use different measuring scales. The areas which are hard to find, such as pressure areas, very high temperature, using conventional methods the measurement of the distance is not a simple task. So, this transducer based measuring system can be used in this kind of zone.

Application of Ultrasonic Transducer Projects kit by Edgefxkits.com
Application of Ultrasonic Transducer Projects kit by Edgefxkits.com

The proposed system uses 8051 microcontroller, power supplies, an ultrasonic transducer module that includes of transmitter and receiver, LCD display blocks are used which are shown in the above block diagram.

Here, if any obstacle or any object is found that is detected by ultrasonic transducer then it transmits the waves and gets reflected back from the object and these waves are received by the transducer. The time consumed by the transducer for transmitting & receiving the waves can be noted by considering the velocity of sound. Then, based on the sound velocity and pre programmed microcontroller is performed such that the distance is measured and displayed on an LCD display. Here, the display is interfaced with microcontroller. The ultrasonic transducer produces 40kHz frequency waves.

Transducer Characteristics

The characteristics of a transducer are given below that are determined by examining the o/p response of a transducer to a variety of i/p signals. Test conditions create definite operating conditions as closely as possible. The methods of computational and standard statistical can be applied to the test data.

  • Accuracy
  • Precision
  • Resolution
  • Sensitivity
  • Drift
  • Linearity
  • Conformance
  • Span
  • Hysteresis
  • Distortion
  • Noise

Thus, this is all about different types of transducers used in several electrical and electronics projects. Are you fascinated in implementing projects by using transducers? Then, please give your suggestions by commenting in the comment section below. Here is a question for you, what is the main function of the transducer?

6 Comments

  1. Oladotun Olanrewaju says:

    This is really great as I’ve been able to find all that I need about the transducer, but I wouldn’t know which type is the best to use for a BIOCHIP?

    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi Oladotun Olanrewaju
      Thank you so much for your feedback
      Optical transducer is the best to use for a BIOCHIP

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  3. JOHN MULINDI says:

    Well written and informative article on Transducers, many people tend to confuse Transducers and Sensors. Maybe you can also write something on Sensors used in Industrial Instrumentation.

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