Electrical circuit for pressure sensors: when is a sensor active, so when passive?

When using pressure sensors, the output signals 0 ? 20 mA, 4 ? 20 mA and DC 0 ? 10 V are frequently chosen to ensure that the sensor signals to be evaluated and additional processed. Because of this, the signal output of the pressure sensor is normally connected to a corresponding input card in the PLC.
In this context it can often be confusing, as the day-to-day usage of the terms ?active?, ?passive?, ?current source?, ?voltage source?, ? Wondrous ? and ?load? tend to be wildly mixed together. Any electrical signal processing always takes a voltage supply (an ?active part?) and a ?load?, for instance a pressure sensor, which represents the ?passive part?. Sometimes the active the main interconnection is also referred to as a power source/voltage source and the passive part is known as a ?current sink?. In order that an electrical circuit can function, current must flow in a circuit ? even though an instrument is normally known as lots, the current isn’t consumed by it, rather it only flows from the current or voltage source through the strain and back to the current source.
This works only when an ?energy gap? exists between current source and current sink, therefore the power source operates actively (= sending out current) and the current sink passively (= current flows through it) . Therefore, an interconnection of two current sources or two current sinks won’t operate normally. This example is complicated in day-to-day application:
When does a pressure sensor work passively (current sink) and when does it work actively (current source)?
So how exactly does the input card in my own PLC operate?
Generally of thumb, one can keep in mind that 2-wire sensors usually work passively and therefore need an active PLC input card. It really is difficult with 4-wire sensors, since, for example, a 4-wire flow sensor consists of 2 wires for another voltage supply and 2 wires for an active or passive 0/4 ? 20 mA signal output. It is therefore vital to check the datasheets for the sensor and PLC input card used.

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