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Pressure Transducers and Traffic Lights

A Look at the Use of Pressure Transducers with Traffic Lights

If the term pressure transducer seems foreign, you’ll be quite surprised to learn you probably interact with them on a daily basis. Pressure transducers play a major role in the functioning of many different technologies, including traffic lights.

How Traffic Lights Function

Contrary to popular belief, most traffic lights do not work on a simple timer. Most use in-roadway sensors or pressure transducers to calculate how many vehicles are at a particular intersection. This is how it works: Looped wires are placed beneath the pavement of an intersection, and when a car passes over it (or rests on it) it disrupts the magnetic field. The disruption is sent to a control box where a computer analyzes the signal. When the pressure transducer signals that there are multiple vehicles at an intersection, the computer chooses to change the light. There are dozens of other factors that affect the equation, but this is a simplified version for understanding how pressure transducers work with traffic lights.

Pressure Transducers

At Cooper Instruments & Systems, we sell a number of different pressure transducers which can convert a liquid or gas media into an electrical signal. We offer a number of different styles, including the PSG 110, PTG 230, and PTG 400.

  • PSG 110. This pressure transducer is designed to measure pressure ranges from 15 psi to 20,000 psi. It is preferred for its high frequency, flush diaphragm, and small size.
  • PTG 230. This general purpose transducer ranges from 0.5 to 60,000 PSIG. It has a number of different uses and features optional amplified output.
  • PTG-400. Made out of high quality stainless steel, this sensor is intended for measuring gases and liquids. Its high-strength construction allows it to work under difficult circumstances.

Be sure to check out all of our pressure transducers in our catalog.

As always, if you have any questions related to this material, our support staff at Cooper Instruments is available to help. Contact them by calling (800) 344-3921 or emailing sales@cooperinstruments.com.

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