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TANK LEVEL SYSTEMS
Tank level systems can be used simply to monitor the level in one or more tanks, or as part of a larger control system to collect and deliver real-time data about the tanks. In a stand-alone system, each tank would be equipped with a level transmitter and signals from those transmitters would be received at a central location for display. When used as part of a larger system, additional sensors might be installed on the tanks to collect temperatures, pressures, digital signals, etc., which would then be used by a control system as inputs for calculations and control logic.
For example, in automated blending systems prior to batch authorization, the tank level system is typically queried to verify sufficient available stocks in the raw material tanks and sufficient empty space in the destination tank. Tank temperatures and pressures can be used for real-time volume/mass calculations to fine-tune formulations on-the-fly during batch execution. High level switches on the tanks can be used to close valves and shut down pumps to prevent tanks from over-filling.
But regardless of its end-use, the heart of a tank level system is always its level sensors, and depending on the physical and/or chemical properties of the materials in the tanks; e.g., pH, temperature, vapor pressure, boiling point, flammability, etc, they could be any of several types. The most commonly used sensor in our systems is a simple head-pressure transmitter located at the bottom of the tank. Other types could include differential pressure, float & tape, ultrasonic, radar, capacitance, load cells on the tank legs, and others. Some applications use two pressure transmitters mounted at predetermined levels and an associated temperature transmitter so the computer can calculate the mass of the material in the tank instead of just the level. The particular sensor selected will typically depend on a combination of factors such as accuracy, precision, temperature range, electrical classification, and of course, cost. Some typical devices are shown in the following table; our level systems can utilize virtually any type.
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