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Application: Emergency Diesel Tank Level Measurement

multiple fuel tank valvesConstruction sites, data centers, warehouses, government facilities, cell towers, and more are kept operational during severe weather and other power interruptions by emergency generators. These very large generators are fueled by diesel stored in nearby tanks, and keeping track of the fuel level is of utmost importance.

For some, this task is simply reliant on a very accurate liquid level sensor. One customer monitors these various diesel storage tanks with our MPE level probe, a magnetostrictive level sensor.

These sensors are extremely accurate, and work by sending electrical pulses down a wire suspended inside the stem of the sensor. When the pulse interacts with the magnetic field from the float (traveling up and down the stem), it results in a return signal to the sensor, and identifies the precise position of the float and the liquid surface.

The accuracy of the measurement is a particularly important factor. Many of the tanks used for generators vary in construction, origin, and size. This customer takes advantage of our slide fitting, which allows the sensor to be moved up and down to better match the depth of the tank. Using this fitting lets our customer standardize on a few different probe lengths, rather than customize each order.

Once the level is known, passing the information along is the next critical step in this application. Communicating the level of the fuel back to the generator owner, or the fuel supplier, can be handled a few different ways, most of which are either labor intensive or cost prohibitive. Our customers have opted for remote communications via the Internet, due to its low cost, ease of use, and shear effectiveness.

Our MPE level probe, along with several other sensors we manufacture, can pass information through the Internet with the addition of one of our Internet communications modules. The data is received through our secure web portal, which can be accessed 24/7 anywhere Internet connection is available. The web portal can also send user-defined alerts via email or SMS text message to notify relevant personnel.

Similar applications involve the management of critical liquid inventory in remote locations. Oil, yellow grease, fertilizer, water, and fuel are all examples of liquid inventory that is commonly spread across entire regions. Our level sensors in conjunction with our Internet communications system offers a low cost, highly effective solution to an otherwise labor intensive and costly task.

For tips on how to get the Internet to remote tanks, read our article titled “APG Level Sensor Monitoring in Remote Places.”

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Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons - Geo Swan

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