advertisement
from the Automation List department...
4-20ma and loop powered
Application Questions and Problems topic
1 out of 1 members thought this post was helpful...
Posted by Pchan on 3 April, 2008 - 11:37 pm
Moderator's note: At the request of forum members, this thread is closed. The answer has already been given several times before and any additional posts do not add to the discussion.

Can someone explain to me the different between 4-20ma loop powered and 4-20ma?

To my knowledge, 4-20 ma loop powered means that 24Vdc power supply is coming from the DCS Analogue input card for any transmitter connected to the DCS. But, how do you explain 4-20 ma input from a transmitter that is not loop power from the DCS and yet connected to the DCS Analogue input card??


Posted by Vinodh on 4 April, 2008 - 11:31 pm
Hi,

There are 2 types of tramsmitters that can be connected to DCS/PLC or any controller - 2 WIRE & 4 WIRE. By 2-wire it means the transmitter is powered form the system to which it is connected... normally 24VDC and 4-20mA signal is connected to the control system using only one single pair of wires, by 4-wire it means the transmitter is powered from a external power supply and signal 4-20mA which is a separate pair of wires is connected to the system, e.g. a mag flow meter is powered 24VDC or 110VAC or 230VAC and output 4-20mA is connected to DCS/PLC AI board channel.

Hope your confusion is cleared.

Regards,
Vinodh


Posted by king on 4 November, 2010 - 11:53 am
why we have to use 4 wire connection we can measure with 2 wire itself.........

i need to know difference between two wire and four wire............


Posted by Rishi on 10 May, 2012 - 5:26 am
> why we have to use 4 wire connection we can measure with 2 wire itself.........

There may be different cases

case-I: The power supply for the instruments is different from that of 24VDC e.g. oxygen analyzers and all other analytical instruments. Mostly they need 110-220 VAC/DC power supply. So they can never be loop powered.

Case-II: when the load of the instrument is more than that of specified by barriers or interposing devices e.g. LEL detectors. Though they are powered with 24 VDC still we have to do 4 wiring for them.

Like these there may be many other cases, which other forum members may have come across.


Posted by Steve Yates on 5 April, 2008 - 1:12 am
Any 4/20mA field device using 2 wires is probably going to be "loop powered", ie it derives its power from the first 4mA of the signal. There are many other devices that are separately powered but still emit a 4/20mA signal that can be picked up by a DCS input card. In this case the input card would be "passive" and supply no power to the loop.

Steve
MTL Instruments
www.mtl-inst.com


Posted by sandy on 5 April, 2008 - 1:21 am
The norm is to refer to Active or Passive loops. Active loops are powered from the A/I cards in the DCS and Passive loops are powered from the Instrument, you must also be aware that normally DCS A/I cards have different terminations for Active and Passive circuits.


1 out of 1 members thought this post was helpful...
Posted by Robert Scott on 5 April, 2008 - 2:19 am
A 4-20ma loop-powered device extracts the power it needs to run its circuits from the loop itself. There is no separate power feed from the Analog input card or from anywhere else. The current that the device draws becomes part of the 4 to 20 ma. that flows in the loop, therefore the device must not require more than 4 ma. to operate.

A non-loop powered device gets its power from somewhere else. It could be a separate power supply, or it could be power from the analog input card. But it is still considered to be non-loop powered if the power does not come from those two wires in the loop.

Robert Scott
Real-Time Specialties
Embedded Systems Consulting


Posted by Skinner on 5 April, 2008 - 2:16 pm
You can connect a device (for example a pt100-4-20mA transducer) to the PLC using the PLC analogue input card power supply or you can use an other power supply to "power" the loop.
The input card (or plc) should have the ability to get the signal from a device that has its own power supply.

That is, like a simple mili-amperometer, meaning you only read the current value, no matter where the power comes from.

Most PLC, or like you say, DCS, can do that, you must look at the manual and connect it the right way. Donīt worry, Most of these devices have their protections, so it can be, like in my own experience have always been, a try, and try, and try, and then get to the right connection!


Posted by Candy Yu on 13 January, 2009 - 10:29 pm
Please tell me your email, I can send you the diagram. My email is info at szsunyuan. com


Posted by Rick Irvine on 1 October, 2009 - 7:54 pm
Transmitters are called 4 wire or 2 wire. A 2 wire transmitter only has 2 wires connected to it. The power to run it comes from the device it is connected to (in your case, an analog input card) which internally measures the current the instrument is drawing from the card. That is why it is important that there be enough voltage reaching the transmitter to allow the transmitter to operate. You will see a specification for the minimum voltage the transmitter needs. This is measured at the transmitter, not the source.

A 4 wire transmitter, has 4 wires, 2 for the 4-20MA output, and 2 for the power to supply the transmitter. This is usually an AC Voltage. In this case, the transmitter provides the power for the device it is connected to, to measure the 4-20 MA coming from the transmitter. Sometimes it is a device which simply measures the voltage drop of the 4-20 MA across a resistor. For example 4-20 MA across a 250 Ohm resistor gives a 1-5 VDC signal into the analog input card. Most input devices have separate terminals to use either a 2 wire, (loop powered) or 4 wire (field powered) input. But in either case, there will still be only 2 wires connected to the input card. If you can get a schematic for the internals of the input card you will be able to see how the two different inputs are treated.


Posted by rahul on 8 June, 2010 - 9:13 am
I am having a loop powered tx with DCS. Now if my tx got earthed from field side then what could be the affect at DCS AI card. Suppose in normal conditions if I am getting 24 Vdc output at card then after connecting this tx having earth fault what would be the voltage (approx) at DCS terminals.


Posted by Tshenolo on 1 November, 2010 - 9:00 am
Why 4-20ma and not 0-20ma or 0-16ma.

GapeTM [AT] eskom.co.za


Posted by Roy Matson on 1 November, 2010 - 11:58 pm
If you read Robert Scott's response, he explained it well. The 4 mA powers the electronics in the measuring circuit


Posted by Issac Issachar on 2 November, 2010 - 12:03 am
There are 0-20mA analog field signals. But they don't come from 2 wire loop powered instruments.

Loop powered field devices get the electrical power needed to operate the field instrument from the current below the minimum output of 4mA (generally about 3.5mA or below, because the lower fail-safe output can be various values, like 3.6 or 3.8m8.

When the signal range starts at zero, 0-10mA or 0-20mA, there would be no current available for the field device if the output were 0mA.

So analog outputs that start at zero cannot be, by definition, 2 wire loop powered devices and must be 4 wire devices, with electrical power need for operation supplied from a power supply that is not part of the output loop.


Posted by Arthur Mayclin on 4 November, 2010 - 5:58 am
Another benefit of a 4-20ma signal over a 0-20mA signal is the ability to detect a failed loop.


Posted by Bob on 21 June, 2011 - 1:47 am
>Why 4-20ma and not 0-20ma or 0-16ma.
>
>GapeTM [AT] eskom.co.za

By having an offset of 4 ma, you can tell if the transmitter is at a zero process value reading (i.e. when you are getting 4 ma), or the transmitter has failed (you are getting 0 ma).


Posted by Walt Boyes on 21 June, 2011 - 10:34 am
And 24 VDC at 4 mA is generally enough power to operate a two-wire loop.

Walt Boyes
Editor in Chief
Control and ControlGlobal.com
555 W. Pierce Rd Suite 301
Itasca, IL 60143

wboyes@putman.net
www.controlglobal.com


Posted by Maria Meza on 21 September, 2011 - 3:53 pm
Can an Active Device be used as a Passive Device? Or all 4 wire devices need without a doubt the external power supply?

I have an instrument which is passive, but the isolator/converter at the PLC is for Active instruments...would the instrument work just the same? or is ther a specific characteristic on active devices that prevent the from being loop powered?

Thank you!


Posted by David on 21 September, 2011 - 8:59 pm
It isn't clear to me how an isolator/converter can be for only "active" instruments/signals. The isolator might be intended for active outputs because active outputs are prone to ground loop and common mode problems, but the isolator converter 'sees' only the signal, it has no way of knowing or discerning where the power comes from to power the signal/instrument.

If the instrument is passive, it expects an external power supply to power the loop.

So, use a DC power supply to power the instrument to get a signal to the instrument side of the
isolator converter.

The output of the isolator converter goes to whatever analog input you've got.

If it were me, I'd try connecting the 'passive' instrument/power supply directly to the analog input because it'll probably work OK.

> or is there a specific characteristic on active devices that prevent the from being loop powered? <

An active output is already powered. It doesn't need a power supply, it already has one. Put another power supply in the loop and they'll buck each other. Why would you do that?


Posted by Zalahu on 26 January, 2012 - 8:24 am
how we can modify a PLC designed to connect 2 wire system AI to receive 4-20mA which is coming from a externally powered transmitter.

The PLC terminals 23(-AI), 40(+24VDC), 41(-24VDC) & G is designed to use as a 2 wire loop powered transmitter input.

But my application giving the AI value from another PLC 4-20 mA not from a 2 wire transmitter.

Here the terminals 23 & 40 already have 24VDC. so how I connect my 4-20mA to these input by modifying the internal wiring of the PLC.


Posted by peter on 12 March, 2012 - 10:37 pm
get a signal isolator. Weidmuller make several varieties i'm familiar with, one that has 4-20 in with 4-20 out. this will keep both systems separate but able to "talk" to each other

cheers,
peter


Posted by amaresh kumar mishjra on 1 May, 2012 - 11:07 am
> Why 4-20ma and not 0-20ma or 0-16ma.

We use 4- 20 ma not 0- 20 ma because if the loop wire disconnect then how you will come to know that you are getting 0 ma due to open wire or from transmitter itself.


Posted by anynomous on 7 November, 2010 - 1:05 am
I am trying to explain 2 wire & 4 wire system differently.

a] 2 wire xtr[ loop power ] -- means 24vdc is
required to maintain the current loop of 4-20
madc.ie 24vdc PS & 4-20 madc
signal is both through the same pair of cable.
In this event xtr is passive device.[sink]

b] 4-wire xtr[transducer ] -- in this device ps
line [ +ve & -ve ] & signal line [ +ve , -ve ]
through seperate cables. In this event xtr[transducer ] is active device[ source ].

Important issue here is, whenever active component is involved in the field, the life of transducer is much less compared to passive device[2 wire ]. to increase the reliability of process control application 2 wire system have been introduced,today, except loadcells & analyse all majority of instruments, commonly used have
2 wire concept.

we would like to know the name of this genius. He should be awarded Noble prize of Instrumentation Industry.

thanks in advance

regards
anynomous


Posted by techbas on 26 September, 2011 - 12:35 am
Guys,

I have one analog input card where 4-20ma transmitters are connected in two different ways. The first one is as follows: One wire from a 24VDC power supply is connected to one wire of the transmitter, the second wire of the transmitter is connected to the input screw on the analog input card while the other wire from the 24vdc power supply is connected to the "ground screw right next to the input screw on the analog input card. This will close the loop.

The other wiring option I have seen is that the two wires from the transmitters goes straight to the two screws on the analog input cards.

can anyone explain the difference on these two wiring scheme?

any help will be appreciated


Posted by Anonymous on 27 September, 2011 - 3:19 pm
techbas,

1. both AI card and transmitter do not supply power to tx, so external power is mounted btw AI and tx, and it is done the way you described, to close the loop. here AI is connected to 4-20ma and return terminals.

2. this one was already described. here AI is connected to 24vdc and 4-20ma terminals.


Posted by sune on 18 June, 2012 - 9:11 am
Does it matter where the 24 vdc for external supply comes from? Could I use a 24vdc from a normal mcb in my cabinet or does it have to be separately isolated or something like that?

> 1. both AI card and transmitter do not supply power to tx, so external power is mounted btw AI and tx, and it is done
> the way you described, to close the loop. here AI is connected to 4-20ma and return terminals.


1 out of 1 members thought this post was helpful...
Posted by SL on 2 December, 2011 - 6:50 pm
> I have one analog input card where 4-20ma transmitters are connected in two
> different ways. The first one is as follows: One wire from a 24VDC power
> supply is connected to one wire of the transmitter, the second wire of the
> transmitter is connected to the input screw on the analog input card while the
> other wire from the 24vdc power supply is connected to the "ground screw right
> next to the input screw on the analog input card. This will close the loop.

> The other wiring option I have seen is that the two wires from the transmitters
> goes straight to the two screws on the analog input cards.

> can anyone explain the difference on these two wiring scheme?

>
>any help will be appreciated

BOTH OF THE ABOVE SCHEMES SUGGEST THAT THE CONTROL SYSTEM SIDE OR DCS CARD IS PASSIVE. IT BASICALLY SITS THERE AND MONITORS THE LOOP CURRENT. IT ALSO HAPPENS TO BE THE END OF THE LINE IN THAT IT IS CONNECTED TO GROUND AND SINKS THE CURRENT THROUGH THE POWER SUPPLY RETURN.

HOWEVER THE FIELD INSTRUMENTS IN BOTH EXAMPLES ARE DIFFERENT.

1. IN THE FIRST CASE THE INSTRUMENT HAS A PASSIVE OUTPUT WITH THE LOOP POWER BEING PROVIDE FROM THE PANEL 24VDC SUPPLY(THE FIELD INSTRUMENT MIGHT BE LOOP POWERED - IT ALSO MIGHT HAVE A SEPARATE SUPPLY THAT POWERS IT FROM ELSEWHERE).

2. IN THE SECOND CASE THE 4-20mA SIGNAL IS CLEARLY NOT GENERATED FROM THE CONTROL SIDE BUT BY THE INSTRUMENT SIDE WHICH I WOULD CALL AN ACTIVE OUTPUT FROM THE INSTRUMENT. IT IS LIKELY THAT THE INSTRUMENT HAS A SEPARATE POWER SUPPLY (4 WIRE SYSTEM)AND THAT THE 4-20 IS DRIVEN FROM THE INSTRUMENT LIKE IS USUALLY THE CASE WITH EM FLOWMETERS WHICH CAN HAVE A 110Vac SUPPLY AND AN ACTIVE 4-20mA OUTPUT.

HOPE THIS IS USEFUL AND MAKES SENSE

REGARDS
SL


Posted by G.Rajesh on 5 December, 2011 - 4:16 am
Very useful information

thank you
G.Rajesh


Posted by zedd on 30 August, 2012 - 5:01 pm
I'm pretty new to use PLC. I have a ABB AI810-card with module TU810. Do anyone know if I can use a separate 24V supply from a miniature circuit breaker in a 24V distribution cabinet? This supply is not the same supply as the supply to the AI-card. Do I have to connect the zero from distr.-cabinet to the AI-card?

Is it not possible to distribute the 24V directly from TU810, or maybe another TU-module?


Posted by john on 30 August, 2012 - 6:37 pm
> I'm pretty new to use PLC. I have a ABB AI810-card with module TU810. Do anyone know if I can use a separate 24V supply
> from a miniature circuit breaker in a 24V distribution cabinet? This supply is not the same supply as the supply to the
> AI-card. Do I have to connect the zero from distr.-cabinet to the AI-card?

You should go to http://solutionsbank.abb.com, sign up, and get the manual. I see that there is a free subscription (I have the premium subscription at a cost), but have to assume that something basic like a hardware manual is available.

That said, per page 84 of document "3BSE 020 924R501" the AI810/TU810 drawing shows that there are two groups of four inputs that share the same common reference (terminal ZP). So for an externally powered device you connect the power supply common to ZP (L1+) for channels 1 through 4, or ZP (L2+) for channels 5 through 8. A 4-20ma signal is connected to terminal B1-B8, 0-20ma to C1-C8, and 0-10V signal to C1-C8. You can only have two independent external sources per AI810 modules, unless you are willing to tie the commons together.

> Is it not possible to distribute the 24V directly from TU810, or maybe another TU-module?

For 2 wire transmitters, the 24VDC loop power is distributed on the TU810 by connections to L1+/ZP and L2+/ZP. If you have a device that requires a separate 24V supply, you can use the same power connected to the TU810. However, you do of course need to consider the ramifications of a short circuit. I would probably go back to the 24V power supply distribution and get a separately fused feed. If the transmitter is 0-20ma or 0-10V, you then have to consider that a blown fuse may not be apparent since the signal will not go to a bad quality status. Those considerations are not really any different then if you used an external 24V source closer to the transmitter(s).

Your use of this site is subject to the terms and conditions set forth under Legal Notices and the Privacy Policy. Please read those terms and conditions carefully. Subject to the rights expressly reserved to others under Legal Notices, the content of this site and the compilation thereof is © 1999-2014 Nerds in Control, LLC. All rights reserved.

Users of this site are benefiting from open source technologies, including PHP, MySQL and Apache. Be happy.


Fortune
Self Test for Paranoia:
You know you have it when you can't think of anything that's
your own fault.
Advertise here
Advertisement
our advertisers
Help keep our servers running...
Patronize our advertisers!
Visit our Post Archive