An instrument or a device that is designed to monitor, maintain and measure levels of different media such as liquid, granules, powder, viscous, etc. is called a level sensor. Once the media level is detected, the level sensor changes the considered data into an electric signal.
Level sensors are essentially used in every process and manufacturing of Dairy, Pharma, Automotive, Chemical, Paint, Water Treatment, Food and Beverages industries, etc. Moreover, they are also used in many household appliances such as ice makers in refrigerators.
Types of Level Sensors:
There are different types of level sensors designed specifically for continuous level measurement and point level detection; that provide optimum solutions using a unique technology selection. They are economical standard sensors that are very easy to integrate with matching process connections.
Level sensors can be divided into two categories: Point Level Sensors and Continuous Level Sensors; let us understand more about each sensor type.
Point level sensors
The point-level sensors are designed to alert if the media has reached a particular point in the container and are also known as invasive sensors. The invasive sensors are directly in contact with the element they are measuring, hence all types of point-level sensors are invasive. Below mentioned are different types of Point level Sensors:
The float switch is designed for point-level measurement in any task and industry. Universal in use, Baumer’s CleverLevel switch works on a new technology called high-frequency sweep signal, capable of detecting all media solid, liquid, pasty, or viscid; and has several benefits over the traditional vibrating fork. The CleverLevel sensor has an intelligent media detection without parameterization with an adaptive trigger. It not only distinguishes foam and liquid but also detects separating layers in a container. This level sensor is easy to clean and maintain.
Optical level sensors
Level detection with optical sensors enables the level and leakage control using the principle of photoelectric level measurement. These sensors are robust and chemically resistant sensors for direct contact and also facilitate contactless level detection in ascending pipes. Furthermore, they suppress foam and air bubbles up to 3mm.
Capacitance Level Sensors
The capacitive level is used to determine liquid levels in tanks by utilizing the aid of an electric field and can be performed both non-contact from the outside and with media contacts.
Tuning Fork Sensors
Tuning fork sensors use differences in pressure and vibration to measure liquid levels. Although used widely, over time they are bound to give faulty measurements. Build up of foam, high viscosity, electrostatic and adhesive substances that get lodged in the forks are the major reasons for faulty readings.
Continuous Level Sensors
Continuous level sensors are used to render precise level measurements and they are non-contact sensors that use microwaves or sounds to detect levels. Below mentioned are the types of continuous level sensors:
Ultrasonic Level Sensors
Ultrasonic level sensors measure the transmission time of the ultrasonic signal reflected by the medium to be measured. It is a contactless sensor that is material independent with high contamination tolerance appropriate even for very small containers. These sensors are insensitive to dust, light, or water and remain protected against aggressive media being contactless sensors.
Radar sensors are devices or instruments that transform microwave echo signals into electrical signals. They use wireless sensing technology and can provide very precise level information and also compensate for fixed structures within the container. This sensor is among the few technologies that work well in foam and sticky substances.
Hydrostatic Pressure Transmitter
Hydrostatic Pressure Transmitter detects extremely accurate levels, as the level measurement is based on pressure measurement. Any change or fluctuation in the hydrostatic pressure reflects in the filling level and is accurately detected by the sensor.
While deciding on a level sensor it is important to identify the product that you are sensing and the type of feedback that your application requires. Level sensors like capacitance, tuning fork, float switches, and optical level sensors can be used to indicate a high or low level. On the other hand, ultrasonic and radar level sensors can measure your level to give specific feedback on how much of the product is in a tank.
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