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New level radar for chemical pilot plants

21 June 2016

The unrivalled focusing of the new 80 GHz VEGAPULS 64 allows for more flexibility in the chemical industry.

In recent years, non-contact radar level measurement technology has been used in ever more application areas in the chemical industry. The big advantage of radar technology is its immunity to process conditions such as temperature, pressure, vacuum and density. The main limitation in the past has been the vessel size it can work on. With the new VEGAPULS 64, using a much higher frequency, it means the level and volume can now be measured in applications where the process and/or structural conditions were previously not suitable for radar.

Because of the current trend in the chemical industry is towards smaller, specialized more profitable batches. The resulting equipment and containers generally have smaller dimensions and reduced volumes. However, engineers and technicians, especially those in research centres and pilot plants, ran up against limits again and again when they tried to use radar level measurement technology in these very small production setups. Factors like available connections versus size and design of the antennas, large amounts of internal structures and the sensor dead bands, where the reliability and accuracy is reduced at the tank top and bottom, all caused issues. This often led to the use of weighing systems or pressure transmitters instead, which have their own problems with changing density and very small pressures ranges.

The new VEGAPULS 64, the world's first radar level sensor for liquids with 80 GHz, now has an antenna system integrated directly into the flush process fitting. Since no antenna protrudes into the vessel, it is possible to measure right up to the process fitting itself. This gives greater flexibility, because practically all of the container volume can be measured and utilized.

Thanks to the more tightly focused measuring beam – with an antenna diameter of 80 mm the transmission signal has an angle of just 3° – using the instrument in tanks with a lot of internals such as heating coils and agitators has become much easier. It also offers a significant advantage for use in very small vessels, with antenna process fittings from only ¾". Another advantage is its capability in longer, narrower process connections, this new radar can be mounted in longer nozzles that have proved too challenging for many non-contact devices in the past. It is even working through process isolation valves and it can be mounted much closer to the vessel edge, an important factor for larger vessels in the chemical sector.

When process conditions are tough inside the vessel, especially when there is build up, condensation, foam or a turbulent liquid surface in the vessel, the very large dynamic range of VEGAPULS 64 delivers a much higher measurement certainty. Find out more information on this amazing new technology and its abilities by going to www.vega.com/radar

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