The Difference Between Ultrasonic and Radar Level Sensors

Both radar and ultrasonic sensors transmit wavesThere is a tendency, at least in the industrial media, to put Ultrasonic and Radar level measurement technology in the same hat. Even though many people use the terms interchangeably, the two technologies are quite different.

So, at the risk of sounding a bit nit-picky, we feel that defining the differences between ultrasonic and radar sensors is important, as it affects how sensors are selected and applied. In this blog, we will look at ultrasonic vs. radar sensors and explain the difference between the two level transmitter types.

3 Reasons the Series PRL True Echo™ Pulse Radar Level Transmitter For Liquids Excels in Water and Wastewater Measurement

Waste Water Pond

The Water and Wastewater industry provides many opportunities for liquid level measurement. (It helps that there is so much water to keep track of.) Opportunities can turn into challenges, though, if the measurement technology chosen can’t meet the demands of the job. No matter what the demands may be, APG’s new Series PRL True Echo™ Pulse Radar Level Transmitter For Liquids is up to the challenge.

Does Your Ultrasonic Sensor Need Maintenance?

ultrasonic sensor with corrosionMaintenance is important, but it’s often hard to quantify. How much time does maintenance take? How often does your system need it? Does maintaining one part necessitate a complete system shut down? What does that represent in lost income because your system is not making product? Maintenance is important, but minimizing maintenance is even more important.

Maintenance is also important for your sensors. While everyone (yes, us, too!) would really like for sensors to maintenance free for life, reality dictates that all equipment needs a check-up from time to time. It’s true for pumps and motors, and it’s true for sensors.

So, when’s the last time you gave your ultrasonic sensor a checkup?

Ultrasonic Sensors: Range Vs Frequency

ultrasonic sensor over canalUltrasonic sensors are pretty cool. Transducers send and receive waves, measurements magically get spit out by the sensor, and nothing had to touch anything, right? You can choose sensors based on range, or type of transducer, or even safety ratings. Most sensors declare their range and frequency together, which seems kind of odd. Why is the range of an ultrasonic sensor tied to its frequency? For the answer, we turn again to our old friend, high school physics.

Myth Busted: Floats Don’t Stick On Continuous Float Level Transmitters

continuous float level transmitters use buoyancy to measure levelSometimes we develop myths about certain technologies. None are more frustrating than the belief that floats on continuous float level sensors get stuck.

We like to get as much industry feedback as we can. Trade shows are a good opportunity to do this. Over the last several years attending OTC in Houston, many have told us that they resist using float level transmitters, or magnetic level probes, because they’re worried the float will get stuck.

So we decided to debunk the myth here. Bottom line, we have 10,000 + units in the field (most from long time customers), in anything from Wastewater lift stations to Oil and Gas mud tanks, and the floats never get stuck.

That’s not to say it isn’t possible, but in the applications where this sensor technology works well, it just isn’t happening. This is due to three important factors:

Can A Remote Level Sensor Help Us Harness Mother Nature?

Remote level sensors play a critical role in monitoring river levels around the worldIt’s hard to imagine a less predictable and more dynamic environment than nature. However, as unyielding as it is, we continue to develop ways to harness, and be prepared for, natural phenomena. One of the ways you can do it is to put a level sensor on everything from roaring rivers to irrigation canals, from great lakes to small ponds.

This is most common at manmade structures meant to control natural water resources for things like power generation and irrigation...

When to Use Heavy vs. Light Duty Pressure Transducers

Pressure transducers vary in designPressure transducers come in all shapes and sizes, and some are simply tougher than others. For example, our PT-400 is built for harsher applications than our PT-L1, and therefore costs a little more. So to avoid making the mistake of either spending too much on something you don’t need, or spending too little on something that doesn’t work, be sure to select the right sensor for the right job.

So when is it appropriate to use heavy duty pressure transducers vs. their light duty counterparts? Below is a basic list of factors to look for in your application that will help you make this decision:

Pressure Range

The higher the pressure range the more durable the sensor you will need. Typically, once you are experiencing pressure spikes exceeding 5,000 PSI you will be better off using heavy duty pressure transducers.

Purchasing Level Probes & Floats: Float Buoyancy and Specific Gravity

A line up of floatsSpecific gravity is an important factor when purchasing a level probe. A float will rest higher or lower in a liquid depending on the liquids density or specific gravity.

Water is the reference liquid for density, with a specific gravity of 1. Less dense liquids will have a smaller specific gravity, such as propane at 0.5. Higher density materials have a higher specific gravity. For example, Mercury at room temperature has a ...