Difference between gauge pressure and absolute pressure measurement

Again and again, we have been asked the question about the difference between an absolute pressure measurement and a gauge pressure measurement. To answer this question it can help to look at the definition of gauge pressure and absolute pressure. The difference between the two measurements is then explained relatively simply and thus also the choice of the correct measurement.
Definition of absolute pressure
Absolute pressure is really a pressure that is in accordance with the zero pressure in the empty, air-free space of the universe. This reference pressure is the ideal or absolute vacuum. It is denoted with the subscript ?abs?: Pabs.
Definition of gauge pressure
The gauge pressure means the difference between an absolute pressure (Pabs) and the prevailing atmospheric pressure (Pamb). Excited is denoted with the subscript ?e?: Pe and is calculated as follows: Pe = Pabs ? Pamb.
Absolute vs gauge pressure measurement
The difference between the two measurements is relatively easily clarified: in a gauge pressure measurement, it is usually the difference from the current ambient pressure that’s measured. However, this pressure changes with the elements and the height above sea level. A complete pressure measurement measures the difference from the perfect or absolute vacuum. This is why this measurement is independent of environmental influences such as weather or altitude. Which measurement is currently the right one?
In practice, the two measurements can be differentiated as follows: normally, the measuring task would be to determine the gauge pressure. This is why this kind of sensor is most widely used. However, in case a gauge pressure sensor is used in an application in which the actual measuring task would be to measure the absolute pressure, the next additional errors should be expected:
+/- 30 mbar caused by changes in weather
up to 200 mbar when changing the positioning (e.g. from sea level to 2,000 m)
With respect to the measuring range, these errors could be substantial (e.g. in pneumatics at a measuring selection of 1 bar) or negligible (in hydraulics at 400 bar).
Note
In case you are uncertain whether your measuring task needs an absolute pressure or gauge pressure measurement, simply e mail us ? we?ll be glad to work with you.

Leave a Comment