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Level sensors ? the agony of choice?

If one is searching for a level sensor, one can be quickly overwhelmed by the huge selection. A level sensor for limit level detection or continuous measurement can be ordered in a number of technologies and design variants. But how do you find the right level sensor for my application?
If one wants to decide on a level sensor, the most important selection criterion is the electrical output function. If one really wants to monitor a limit in a tank, e.g. dry running (empty) or overfilled (full), then the level sensor should actually be considered a level switch. However, if it is important to monitor the contents of a tank at length (e.g. 0 ? 100 % fill level), the other needs continuous measurement (= level sensor).
The distinction between level sensor and level switch automatically results in the exclusion of several technologies, if one wants probably the most economical solution. Although an even sensor with combined electronics can communicate both an analogue signal and switching signals, a pure level switch is always the cheaper solution, if the application is limit level measurement only.
The selection of the best option measurement technology
Continuous measurement with float
Level sensors typically feature continuous analogue output signals, such as 4 ? 20 mA or 0 ? 10 V, which let the accurate measurement of level and its own variation. Faith can be based on various measurement technologies such as for example magnetostriction, reed-chain technology, hydrostatic, ultrasound, radar and more ? the choice which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Point measurement with optoelectronic level switch
Level switches in a traditional float switch design offer a mechanical switch contact or, in electronic version, generally a PNP or NPN transistor output. In neuro-scientific switches, additionally, there are many different measurement technologies such as reed contact technology, optoelectronics, conductivity, vibronic and many more.
Each one of these technologies has advantages and disadvantages, and complex, application-specific limiting factors such as for example conductivity, dielectricity, density, contamination, colour, pressure strength, etc. A trusted statement concerning which technology is most suitable or may be used in a particular application environment can only just be produced after thorough assessment and often also a final test in the plant itself under real application parameters.
Note
WIKA offers you a very wide range of level measuring instruments. Further information on optoelectronic level switches, hydrostatic level sensors, float switches and further instruments can be found on the WIKA website. You will discover videos on the functionality of the average person measuring principles on our YouTube channel. Your contact person will be pleased to advise you on selecting the most likely product solution.

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