What is Leveling sensor ?When you enter in your car to go somewhere you mostly look at your gas gauge or fuel gauge, which is a type of a level sensor. Industries use several different types of level sensors to detect their products. In this article we are going to talk about the different types of level sensors used in the industry.
Level Sensors can be broken into two classifications
1-Point level measurement
2-continuous level measuring
Point level measurement is a type of measurement which is used to measure certain point and continuous level measuring is used to measure continuous level of a products as it rises and falls. The point leveling sensor are “Capacitance”, “Optical”, “Conductivity”, “Vibrating” (Tuning Fork) and “Float Switch”.
The sensors which is used for continuous level measurement are “Ultrasonic” and “Radar” ( Microwave).
In this article we will discuss about how they work and which applications are best suited for their technology, as well as their limitations in certain applications.
It is a proximity sensor which gives off an electrical field and detects a level by the effect of its electrical field. This type of sensors are small, less expensive than other sensors and this type have accuracy and no moving parts..Capacitance sensors can be used in liquid storage tanks. In water treatment facility which have tank storage can use capacitance sensor for level controlling
Optical sensors working is base upon optics means by converting light rays into electrical signals which measure a physical quantity of light then translate it into a measurement. This types have no moving parts, they are not affected by high pressure or temperature, are small in size, and can be used in liquid applications. However, the lens need continuous cleaning .
Conductivity or Resistance Sensor
This type of sensor uses a probe to read conductivity. The probe is a pair of electrodes to which alternating current is applied .When a liquid covers the probe its electrodes form a part on an electric circuit due to which current will be flow which signals a high or low level. The advantages conductivity level sensor is that they have no moving parts, low cost, and fairly easy to use. The disadvantages are that they must touch the product being sensed, only sense conductive liquids, and the probe will erode over time. The appropriate use of this type is for signaling high or low levels.
Vibrating or Tuning Forks
Vibrating or tuning forks is point leveling sensor which use a fork-shaped sensing element with two tines. The fork vibrates at its natural resonant frequency. When the level changes, the fork frequency will change detecting the level. These sensors are compact and cost effective .They have to touch the material to sense the level. These sensors are easy to install and are essentially maintenance-free.Mining, food and beverage, and chemical processing industries use these sensors for their applications.
Float switches is a device that will open or close by increasing or decreasing the liquid level.The float switch is a non powered device,it provides a direct indication, and they are inexpensive. The disadvantages is that they have moving parts and can be large in size. Float switches will only give an indication for a high or low level and are not used to measure a variable level. A best example of using float switches is in liquid storage tanks for high or low-level indication.
Now, let’s discuss about continuous level measurement sensors.
It work by emitting and receiving ultrasonic waves.. These types have no moving parts, compact in size and reliable. The disadvantage of this type is that it is expensive and in some situation environmental effect on them .The advantage of ultrasonic sensors are that they are non-invasive, have no contact, unaffected by the properties of the material which are sensing, and are self cleaning because of the vibrations they give off. The example of this type sensor used is a hot asphalt tank in a shingle manufacturing plant.
Radar or Microwave Sensor
Radar or microwave is also a type of continuous level sensor. This type transmit microwaves by an antenna on the radar sensor. The product which sensed these microwave reflects back to the antenna and the time from emission to reception of the signal is proportional to the level of the product. Radar sensors does not effect by temperature, pressure or dust. This type of sensor can also measure liquids, pastes, powders, and solids. They are very accurate and require no calibration. This type does not need to touch the product that it is sensing. The disadvantages of this type is that they are expensive as well as have a limited detection range.
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