How to Choose A Level Sensor
There’s more that goes into selecting a level sensor for your project than simply picking your favorite brand or the latest technology on the market. Many factors contribute to a level sensor’s optimal performance, long-term reliability, and measurement accuracy.
The Right Material for the Fluid and Tank Conditions
First, consider the fluid you are measuring. What type of conditions does the fluid produce and what materials will withstand those conditions? For example, in a Salt Water Disposal (SWD) tank, you can encounter iron sulfide, scale, and paraffin, all combined in a thick crust that is caustic and will eat through steel. In this instance, a fiberglass level sensor is a better option than a stainless steel sensor.
Second, consider the tank conditions. Evaluate caustic gases that may be present in the tank, turbulence, and production volume before selecting your level sensor. For example, high levels of H2S can create a caustic environment detrimental to a stainless steel sensor. In this case a flexible or fiberglass level sensor may be required. If you expect a high amount of tank turbulence or high production volume, a flexible sensor would not be a good fit. A rigid sensor with a robust tube material, such as a fiberglass level sensor would be a wise alternative.
Accuracy and Resolution Requirements
The level of accuracy and resolution required depends on your application. Examine how having the most accurate resolution will benefit your business and if resolutions with slightly less accuracy would have negative implications on your operations.
In a production tank, you may be dealing with custody transfer of oil and want the most accurate device you can buy. When measuring in a salt water disposal tank you may have less stringent resolution requirements and can explore other wider resolution and accuracy options that are less costly.
Ease of Integration
Selecting a level sensor that is easy to install and maintain is important. It is not unheard of to have an installation take several hours.
A flexible sensor does not require additional equipment or machinery and can be installed by a single person. When installing a rigid sensor, a Guide Tool can make the job much easier and reduce manpower requirements.
Additionally, it’s important that the level sensor easily integrates with your data collection and control scheme. Think beyond your current configuration and consider if a change in platforms is in the foreseeable future. Electrolab level sensors have open communications protocols, making system integration simple.
Do your research to confirm that you will be able to support the ongoing maintenance that some level sensors require. One-time calibration and the application of an anti-paraffin treatment to our stainless steel components make Electrolab level sensors easy to use and maintain.
Find the Level Sensor That Fits Your Project Requirements
Reach out to a distributor near you and discuss each of these factors when customizing a level sensor to fit your project requirements.