Magnetostrictive Level Transmitter

magnetostrictive level transmitter for process measurement and control
Magnetostrictive level transmitter, showing electronics (head)
mounting plate, sensing tube, and float.
Courtesy Jogler
The numerous level control technologies, methods, and instruments all have an application range or niche where they provide a feature set and performance advantageous to other measurement means. The particular set of attributes that can push one instrument over the top in the selection process is specific to each user and application.

Magnetostrictive level transmitters provide a continuous signal indicating liquid level in a vessel. They should not be confused with what are called magnetic level gauges, an instrument that locally provides a visual indication of liquid level.

Magnetostrictive level measurement employs a precise measuring of the transit time for an electric pulse travelling on a wire extending down an enclosed tube oriented vertically in the subject media. A magnetized float on the exterior of the tube moves with the liquid surface. The float’s magnetic field interacts with a magnetic field produced along the wire to generate a return signal to the transmitter head. Processing the time from emission to return provides a measure of distance to the liquid surface.

These level transmitters offer good accuracy and ease of installation and maintenance. They are best applied with relatively clean fluids. Media that will impede the free movement of the float along the sensing tube should be avoided. Magnetostrictive level instruments are often employed alongside, or integrated with, a magnetic level gauge. The magnetic gauge provides a local indication of tank level, while the magnetostrictive transmitter delivers a level signal to monitoring and control equipment.

Share your level measurement requirements and challenges with a process measurement specialist, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Keep Condensation at Bay in Your Facility

condensation on glass with cold drink
Condensation accumulates water on
the exterior of this cold glass
Condensation, the accumulation of liquid water on a surface through contact with humid air, can be harmless in some settings, an undesirable or even damaging occurrence in others. In situations where condensation is undesirable, taking steps to prevent the conditions that preclude its formation are relatively simple and deliver a good payback.

What is condensation? In general usage, the term refers to the formation of liquid water droplets that occurs when humid air contacts a cooler surface. It is the liquid moisture that accumulates on the exterior of a glass containing a cold drink. Properly, the term condensation names the process of a vapor changing to a liquid. It is the opposite of evaporation. Condensate (note the different word form) is the liquid accumulated through the condensation process. This article is limited to condensate that forms when atmospheric air contacts a cold surface, so the general usage term condensation will be used.

Where can it happen? Water vapor is contained in air when it has sufficient energy to remain in the vaporous state. Remove some of that heat energy and a calculable quantity of the water vapor will no longer be supported, condensing into liquid water. The temperature at which any given quantity of air will start to shed some of its water vapor content is primarily determined by the concentration of water vapor in the air. A higher water vapor content will result in a higher temperature at which the water vapor will begin to condense. In everyday terms, higher relative humidity leads to a higher temperature at which condensation takes place.

What is the range of impact? Condensation appears to us as water that almost magically manifests on a surface. It seems to come right out of thin air.....because that is where it came from. It can form locally or broadly throughout an area. The potential impact of condensation arises from the fact that it is liquid water. Anything that will be damaged by water will be adversely impacted by condensate formation on its surface. This includes rust and corrosion of metals, spotting on material or object surfaces, the promotion of mold and mildew, and a wide range of other undesirable effects. Accumulated condensate on overhead objects or surfaces can eventually drip onto equipment, materials, and work areas situated below. Puddles of water on a floor can also create a hazard.

Prevention is the best, maybe the only cure.

How to prevent condensate formation?

  • Ventilation - If there is a source of moisture in a space that is elevating the humidity, continually diluting the space moisture content by introducing fresh air with a lower moisture content may be an effective prevention method. Ventilation relies on the fresh air conditions always being sufficient for moisture reduction without creating some other adverse impact on the space. For example, ventilating with outdoor air may be effective throughout only part of the year. Without a reliable source of ventilation air with known conditions, this method may not always deliver the desired results. Ventilation is an active method that requires energy to move the ventilation air. Additional energy may be required to adjust the temperature or moisture conditions of the ventilation air, as well.
  • Insulation - The surfaces where condensation occurs can be isolated from the moist air by insulating materials. This is common with HVAC ductwork and process piping. If done properly, this method is effective. The goal is to create a new surface that does not exhibit the cooler temperatures of the isolated surface. The thickness and reduced thermal conductivity of the insulation material will achieve this. There is also a vapor barrier on the exterior of the insulation that prevents entry of moisture laden air into the insulation material.  It is important the the vapor barrier installed as part of the insulating process remain intact and undamaged. Otherwise, water vapor will enter the insulating material and condense, with the potential for a localized failure of the insulating scheme. Insulation is a passive measure that requires no added energy to remain effective.
  • Dehumidification - Outright reduction of moisture contained in the air of an enclosed space will reduce the temperature at which water vapor condenses. Dehumidification machinery is available in a wide range of sizes and performance levels to suit almost any scenario. Though it requires energy to operate, the machinery is generally simple and operates automatically to maintain a space condition that will not support condensation.
  • Heating - Some cases can be most effectively treated using the application of a small amount of heat to the surface where condensation forms. This active method can be very effective when the need is localized. Also, surface heaters can be fabricated that will fit where insulation will not, and the heating assemblies may be more resistant to impact and damage than insulating materials. Proper control of heating equipment will minimize energy consumption.
Implementing an effective plan to combat condensation involves the identification of the conditions that promote its formation in your own facility. Selecting the best prevention plan calls for consideration of costs and reliability of various schemes. Active methods, such as heating or dehumidification, have some capacity for adjustment if conditions change over time. Insulation plans should have sufficient headroom or safety factor in their design to accommodate unforeseen conditions.

HF Scientific - Water Quality Measurement

Alliance Technical Sales recently commenced representation of HF Scientific, a manufacturer of water quality instrumentation and chemistry products. The arrangement complements the already broad line of analytical products offered by Alliance for fluid processing and analysis across a wide range of applications and industries.

Chloride & Sulfate Process Analyzer

Determining the levels of chloride and sulfate in water is especially useful to power plant operators. Contamination of the power plant process water by chloride and sulfate leads to corrosion, pitting, and stress corrosion cracking in pressurized equipment and piping. The deposits that can result from contamination reduce heat transfer efficiency. Boilers and turbines suffer under the effects of excessive chloride and sulfate levels, so monitoring of their levels at critical locations in the steam system provides operators with actionable information that can be used to maintain efficiency and reduce maintenance demand.

Mettler Toledo, under their Thornton brand, provides a reliable and affordable analyzer for chloride and sulfate concentration in water. The video included with this post outlines the operational advantages of microfluidic capillary electrophoresis, the measuring technology employed in their system.

Share your on-line process analysis challenges with product application specialists, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop and effective solution.

Complete Bioreactor Package for Streamlining Bioprocess Applications

bioreactor and bioprocess controller
Complete Bioreactor Systems 2 to 20 Liters
Courtesy ILS Automation
Planning, purchasing, and configuring a bioreactor and an associated control system can be a time consuming project that taxes the limits of your technical knowledge. Coordinating the connectivity of all the components and getting everything to work in harmony takes time away from devotion to the mission goals of your project or organization.

ILS Automation, experts at bioreactor process control, now offer fully packaged and integrated complete bioreactor systems that allow customers to get up and running with a minimized time commitment. The new packaged systems include reactor vessels from 2L to 20L and combine useful design principles into every unit.

  • Non-proprietary components that are readily available.
  • Design empowers customer, or a third party, to perform service.
  • Software and interfaces match customer requirements.
  • Complete documentation and source code provided.
  • Ongoing support and technology upgrades made available
More detail is provided in the datasheet included below. Share your bioprocessing and analytical requirements and challenges with application experts. Combine your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Sensor Mount Transmitter Delivers New Functionality to Smart Sensors

sensor mounted transmitter for smart sensor dissolved oxygen pH
The new M100 Sensor Mount Transmitter affixes directly
to ISM type sensors.
Smart sensors for pH, DO, and CO2 deliver a high level of performance and productivity enhancement for analytical users. Reduction in the time needed for sensor maintenance and calibration channel more time into delivering analytical results.

The new M100 SM (Sensor Mount) transmitter from Mettler Toledo streamlines the integration of their ISM smart sensors into bioprocess control systems. The transmitter mounts directly to the sensor, without the need for separately housed electronics. The compact configuration combines the advantages of the ISM smart sensor with several analog and digital outputs for connection to bioprocess controllers.

The M100 SM is available for use with  a variety of Mettler Toledo ISM sensors, including those for pH, DO, and CO2. The transmitters provide two 4-20 mA outputs and one digital Modbus RTU connection. Configuration and sensor status check can be accomplished via Bluetooth using a desktop PC or mobile device.

More detail is provided below. Share all your analytical challenges with application specialists, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.