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What is ultrasonic level measurement? What are the benefits?

Ultrasonics is an effective and reliable technology for non-invasively identifying a wide range of liquids in cylinders/tanks. As ultrasonics use external level sensors, this is a non interacting level system.

Using ultrasound is faster: save time and thus save labour costs by testing tank level quicker than methods such as weighing.

Ultrasonic level measurement is safer, protect your personnel from health & safety risks and the asset in the container from contamination from invasive methods such as dipsticks by testing from the outside.

Save yourself time and cost by thorough, quick and easy testing using industrial ultrasonic level sensor technology.

The Portalevel® MAX INDUSTRIAL is an ultrasonic level sensor for tanks, a non invasive liquid contents verification tool for industrial single-skinned containers/tanks which can be used to support process control.

Below are just some of the case studies of complex applications where the advanced level ultrasonic sensor has been applied. For the full case studies, please see the Portalevel® MAX INDUSTRIAL brochure:

  1. FOOD PROCESSING FACTORY: MAYONNAISE VAT LEVEL
    WHERE? Food processing factory based in the south of the UK producing Coleslaw, packaged salads and pastas for the likes of McDonalds, Tesco, Morrisons, Lidl. Producing over 130,000 pots of Coleslaw a day.
    WHAT? A 2.2 metre high, 5mm stainless steel wall, filled with mayonnaise. Previous monitoring method consisted of employing ladders to peer into the cylinder and check usage and remaining contents. Issues of potential contamination.
    HOW? The implementation of a liquid level indicator for tanks allows the plant to run more efficiently and reduces risks by providing the staff with a means of accurately and non-invasively monitoring the contents within the mayonnaise tank negating the need for physical inspection using ladders which posed a health and safety risk to the operator.
  2. FOOD PROCESSING FACTORY: APPLE PUREE VAT LEVEL
    WHERE? A leading food processing factory in Slovakia processing fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. The customer needed support in checking the liquid levels of apple puree, to be used in baby and toddler food and juice products.
    WHAT? Apple puree stored in large steel tanks, at 4.5metre in height. The client had no way for liquid in-tank inspection of apple puree inside the large tanks, as they did not have watermarks or a liquid level strip on them.
    HOW? The implementation of the simple liquid level control system allows the plant to run more efficiently.
  3. PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURING: AMMONIA LEVELS IN IBCS
    WHERE? A British pharmaceutical company, one of the largest in the world.One of their pharma manufacturing plants in Ireland produces active ingredients that are used in drugs used to treat cancer, Parkinson's and depression.
    WHAT? An ammonia/water in Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs). Monitoring the contents within these IBCs previously involved physical dipstick measurements on the tank to monitor usage and replacement. The fumes given off by the ammonia created a health risk for engineers. Opening the top valve also created risk of contamination to the ammonia.
    HOW? Using the ultrasonic tank contents gauge to test tank levels in several of the IBCs, some were partially full and some were empty. Using an external ultrasonic liquid level meter reduces the amount of partially empty ammonia cylinders returned before emptying, saving the organisation money.
  4. ELECTRIC POWER TRANSMISSION & DISTRIBUTION: TRANSFORMER OIL LEVEL
    WHERE? Steel production facility with two types of transformers that were present on site: (1) 33kV to 6.6kV and (2) 6.6kV to 440V where the former is much larger sized. Across the site, hundreds of such transformers installed.
    WHAT? Many of these transformers do not have the means to indicate oil / fluid level detection externally. The existing solution was to shut the transformer down and inspect oil levels by opening the covers which results in a significant downtime to the power distribution network in the production facility. There were also concerns in the accuracy of many of the existing built-in level meters in the tank.
    HOW? The ultrasonic liquid level measurement device is a portable and reliable non-invasive solution capable of identifying fluid levels quickly and is very simple to operate. Oil inspection can now be done externally and on “live” transformers.
  5. LNG TANKER: HVAC REFRIGERANT R507 LEVEL
    WHERE? A vessel visit to an LNG tanker in order to inspect their R507 refrigerant cylinder.
    WHAT? Large holding container filled with refrigerant R507 which is part of the ship’s HVAC system. Approximately 2.2m in height, 60cm diameter and 4mm steel wall thickness. (2) Two 45 KG blue supply R507 cylinders.
    HOW? Coltraco’s ultrasonic fill level sensor was able to identify one of the tanks as an empty cylinder which was subsequently verified by their common practice, which was to throw a spanner into the cylinder. The level checker comes with two level transmitter sensor options to provide users with greater flexibility to identify the liquid level.

Can ultrasonic sensors detect water level?
Yes, the Portalevel® Intrinsically Safe can test water level through the side walls of the tank, without needing access into the tank, contrary to conventional ultrasonic water sensors which require sensors to be placed in the tank.

INTRINSICALLY SAFE

If you are testing fire suppression systems to identify bottle contents of liquefied gas agents e.g. CO2, clean agent etc, in areas where you require explosion proof instrumentation, you should use the Portalevel® IS. It is the only ExVeritas approved Portalevel® model available from Coltraco Ultrasonics, at II 2 G Ex ib IIA T4 Gb.

What applications are the intrinsically safe gas level indicator designed for?

The level ultrasonic sensor is ideal for environments with gas, vapours and mists (IECEx Zone 1) such as LNG Tankers, Offshore Platforms with flammable gases, Breweries, Chemical plants, Petrochemical and Hazardous material storage facilities plus many more. Catastrophic risks to human life, asset and revenue all result from a fire event in an explosive environment. One simple step towards improving fire safety is ensuring all equipment is intrinsically safe approved, to protect the people against the risk of explosion.

What are the benefits of using ultrasonic liquid level survey equipment?
The Portalevel® IS ultrasonic liquid level detector offers unparalleled accuracy, speed and ease of use in the measurement of liquid. Saving you time & labour compared to weighing, incredibly easy to use and improving your asset safety, the Portalevel® IS is designed for you. The proven technology helps you improve asset safety with an accuracy of +/- 1.5mm off of the true liquid level. Using ultrasonic technology - to pinpoint the liquid level of suppressant agent in the cylinders of the extinguishing system, testing is quicker and easier.

Alongside our other specialist liquid level systems, Coltraco have a range of Nippon units for challenging Japanese cylinders.

Why is a Nippon unit needed for testing fire suppression systems in Japan?

By exploring the Japanese Fire Protection market in detail, several unique requirements were identified to properly serve the local customer base. Thicker, more power absorbing Japanese cylinders demand a specially tailored calibration capability and increased power output. As a result of this, a specially adapted unit was created, allowing customers to take advantage of the 8th Generation ultrasonic level technology, optimized for specific tailored local requirements. This offers customers the usability of the Portalevel technology even on the more challenging applications.