How to choose a level transmitter: Ultrasound, radar, or laser?

In the current industry, accurate level measurement plays a critical role in several processes ranging from the control of storage tanks to the management of liquids in production systems. By disregarding the level transmitters that are immersed in stored substances, there are three main technologies for non-invasively measuring the level: Ultrasound, radar, and laser. 

Understand what each of them is capable of and what the criteria are. 

Ultrasonic level measurement 

Ultrasonic transmitters are an option for very low-complexity applications. These devices use high-frequency sound waves to measure the distance between the sensor and the surface of the material, whether liquid or solid. 

This technology tends to be affordable, allowing for more economical decisions and sporadic maintenance, but is limited in range. It has a “dead zone”, an area just below the sensor where no measurement is taken. 

It can easily suffer interference from other devices that use sound waves. Besides, the sensor should be cleaned regularly to avoid the accumulation of dirt or debris that can affect measurements. 

Radar level measurement 

Widely used in large tanks, radar level transmitters use electromagnetic waves to measure the distance to the surface of the liquid or solid. Even in challenging conditions, level transmitters using radar are often more accurate than their ultrasonic competitors. 

For this reason, it is necessary a greater investment when purchasing the equipment and a technical team with advanced training to configure the device.

Radar signals do not work well in uneven environments and with internal obstacles that reflect undesirably, which can be considered another negative point. 

Laser level measurement 

The best of both worlds when you’re looking for exceptional measurement accuracy at an affordable price. A laser level transmitter can instantly transmit its readings, allowing real-time monitoring. Installation is quick and easy. 

The choice between ultrasonic, radar, and laser transmitters depend on the specific needs of your application. Ultrasonic transmitters can be the right choice for less complex applications. Radar is an option for harsh environments. Laser technology, on the other hand, is ideal for situations where precision is a critical requirement and application flexibility is seen as another benefit. 

Remember that it is essential to select the right technology to carry out level measurement, as it guarantees the operational efficiency and safety of your industry.

Carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each technology, comparing them to the specific needs of your application, and choose wisely.

With the right technical knowledge, you can make informed decisions and achieve outstanding results in your industrial operations. 

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