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Sensor helps keep natural-gas vehicles running smoothly

A hermetic pressure transducer is undergoing evaluation for OEM use in natural-gas vehicles (NGVs).

From Texas Instruments, Attleboro, Mass., the 3PP8-Series silicon MEMs strain-gage sensor features self-diagnostics that work with electronic-engine controls in NGVs.

NGVs are powered by internal combustion engines that use natural gas at high pressure for fuel. The fuel must be metered down by pressure-regulating systems that use real-time sensing to control engine performance and monitor status. The 3PP8 sensor features EEPROM memory, letting each device store details of calibration coefficients. It operates with a 5-Vdc supply and provides a linear voltage output. The sensor sits in a stainless-steel housing compatible with harsh environments. "Interest in NGVs is creating a host of new engineering challenges where pressure sensing plays a key role, especially in engine-control technology," says Tim O'Brien, Texas Instruments specialty vehicle global-marketing director.

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