Choosing the Right Level Gauge

A level gauge is an instrument whose function is to detect and indicate the level of a fluid in real time in a tank or any other type of reservoir. Level gauges are often used when direct physical measurement of the level is not possible or practical, with hazardous fluids or a sealed, pressurized tank, for example.

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  • What are the applications for different level gauges?

    There are level gauges for tanks, fuel, water, etc. They can be mechanical or electronic.

    • Tank level gauges: As the name suggests, they monitor the volume of fluid that a tank contains.

    • Fuel level gauges: These are used in motor vehicles to indicate to the driver how much fuel is available. They have two main components: the sensor and the display. The sensor is the part that measures the fuel level in the tank with a float connected to a rheostat. The display shows this information in real-time so that the driver can assess the remaining range.

  • What are the different types of level gauges?

    Depending on their measurement technology, level gauges can be tubular, reflex, transparent, two-color, or magnetic. The choice of one technology over another depends on the final application and the properties of the fluids. These can be liquids, such as water (hot, cold, salty, etc.), gasoline and viscous fluids, or solids, such as powders and granules.

    Tubular level gauges: Suitable for monitoring non-toxic, low-pressure liquids.

    Reflex level gauges: Indicate the level in a tank using the optical principle of light refraction in a transparent glass element. They are ideal for monitoring clear liquids that would otherwise be difficult to see. These gauges have two main advantages: an affordable price and low maintenance costs.

    Transparent level gauges: These are similar to reflex gauges, as they also work by refracting light. The main difference is that they use two glass elements to allow light to pass through. They are a good option if you have to observe two different fluids.

    Two-color level gauges: These are used to detect the level of water and steam in a boiler. They rely on the optical principle of light refraction through two colored optical filters, each with a different refractive index. A special red and green illuminator, used to create a dual lighting system, is mounted on the back of the gauge body. The light passes through the fluids and allows you to see the vapor in red and the liquid in green. This makes it possible to determine water and steam levels in boilers.

    Magnetic level gauges: Unlike the technologies mentioned above, these gauges do not contain a glass element to measure a level, but an opaque chamber. Similarly, they do not use the principle of light refraction, but rather the principle of magnetic attraction. These gauges have several advantages:
    – They are very easy to use.
    – They offer high precision and reliability.
    – They provide a continuous indication of the level and make it possible to record this information.

  • What are the criteria for choosing a level gauge?

    There are several factors to consider when choosing a level gauge:

    Measuring range: This is the range between the minimum and maximum level that the gauge can measure. It is essential to know what range you will need to measure, taking into account your intended applications to select a level gauge with a suitable measuring range. Some gauges have adjustable measuring ranges, which can prove very useful, especially when they are intended to operate in conditions that vary (variable environmental conditions, different types of reservoirs or fluids, etc.).

    Temperature range of the material: This is the range between the minimum and maximum temperature of the material with which the gauge can operate.

    Material density: Corresponds to the maximum density of the material for which the device was designed.

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