Level sensors ? the agony of choice?

If one is looking for a level sensor, one can be quickly overwhelmed by the huge selection. A level sensor for limit level detection or continuous measurement could be ordered in a variety of technologies and design variants. But how do I find the right level sensor for my application?
If one really wants to select a level sensor, the most important selection criterion may be the electrical output function. If one really wants to monitor a limit in a tank, e.g. dry running (empty) or overfilled (full), then your level sensor should actually be a level switch. However, if it’s vital that you monitor the contents of a tank in detail (e.g. 0 ? 100 % fill level), the other needs continuous measurement (= level sensor).
Tickled 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 form 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 permit the accurate measurement of level and its variation. The sensors can be based on various measurement technologies such as magnetostriction, reed-chain technology, hydrostatic, ultrasound, radar and many more ? the choice of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Point measurement with optoelectronic level switch
Level switches in a normal float switch design provide a mechanical switch contact or, in electronic version, generally a PNP or NPN transistor output. In neuro-scientific switches, there are also a number of measurement technologies such as for example reed contact technology, optoelectronics, conductivity, vibronic and much more.
Each one of these technologies has advantages and disadvantages, along with complex, application-specific limiting factors such as for example conductivity, dielectricity, density, contamination, colour, pressure strength, etc. A trusted statement concerning which technology is the most suitable or may be used in a particular application environment can only be produced after thorough assessment and often also a final test in the plant itself under real application parameters.
Note
WIKA offers you an extremely 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 can get videos on the functionality of the average person measuring principles on our YouTube channel. Your contact person will undoubtedly be pleased to advise you on the selection of the most likely product solution.

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