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Application Considerations When Specifying Ultrasonic Contact Technology for Liquid Level Sensing

Ultrasonic contact level measurement technology plays a key role in the safe and effective measurement of liquids across all process industries. To ensure that you implement an optimal solution for your facility, it’s important to learn about the different applications where an ultrasonic gap switch can be used – and the advantages and limitations of using this technology.

In this post, we’ll discuss ultrasonic contact technology applications. To learn about the principles of ultrasonic contact technology, please read our previous blog post. To continue to receive information about ultrasonic contact technology and other level and flow control topics, consider subscribing to our blog.

Challenging process conditions such as suspended solids or aeration are best managed with pulsed-signal technology.

ECHOTEL Model 961/962 ultrasonic contact switches further minimize the effects of mild turbulence or splashing with adjustable time delays.

Ultrasonic contact technology, the operating principle used by Magnetrol® Echotel®Models 961 and 962 level switches, provides single- and dual-point liquid level measurement in virtually every process industry today, including the chemical, petrochemical, pulp and paper, food and pharmaceutical, water and wastewater and power industries.

This technology also has a wide array of industrial applications that can help prevent equipment damage, including pump control, pump protection and seal pot level control. Ultrasonic contact technology also offers important tank overfill protection safety features, including high level alarms and low level alarms that can help your process, plant, pipeline terminal or tank farm comply with the recent API RP 2350 4th Edition updates.
Benefits and Limitations
The advantages of contact level sensing using ultrasonic technologies include:
  • Low cost single- and dual-point sensing that is accurate and reliable in a wide variety of liquids.
  • Advanced self-test technology that provides unsurpassed testing of electronics, transducer, piezoelectric crystals and electromagnetic noise, which makes this technology suitable for use in Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 2 loops.
  • Adjustable time delay for turbulent aerated liquids that prevents false level alarms due to waves or splashing.
  • Integral or remote mount electronics that enable easy installation and simple configuration.
  • Pulsed signal technology that works well in challenging process conditions such as aeration, suspended solids and high viscosities.
  • Extensive FM, CSA and ATEX explosion proof and intrinsically safe approvals.
  • The ability to transmit a stable signal despite liquid property changes in specific gravity, conductivity, pH and dielectric or temperature shifts.
  • Electronic switches that contain no moving parts, which prevents degradation and high maintenance costs.

Certain process conditions may interfere with the ultrasonic signal. These conditions include:

  • Slurries with a very high percentage of solids.
  • Extreme aeration of the liquid.
  • Liquids that generate crystallized coatings.
  • Very aggressive turbulence and splashing.

Follow Our Ultrasonic Level Control Discussion
In next week’s post, we’ll demonstrate how ultrasonic level control may be a more cost-effective – and reliable – technology alternative to tuning fork technology. For more information on the subject of ultrasonic level control, you can also download the MAGNETROL Contact Ultrasound Technology Guide.