Posts Tagged radar level

LR560 ignores dust, reports true level

In a coal-fired power plant, the coal is transported from the yard to the silos on a conveyor system.

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The process of dumping coal from the conveyed buckets into the silo creates a lot of dust.

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Using through-air radar on low dielectric materials in petroleum industry applications

Recently, a refinery customer came to use with a level application. Our team determined that it would be a perfect fit for radar level gauges, IF they turned on a Siemens radar algorithm called CLEF, that would let the radar measure accurately all the way to the bottom of the tank.

What is CLEF? How does it work? And why does it matter?

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Why doesn’t my LR560 radar’s analog output match the displayed level value?

Siemens SITRANS LR560 radar level transmitterA customer who had had lots of experience with Milltronics and Siemens ultrasonics was installing his first SITRANS LR560 radar level transmitter.  They had worked with it in the shop beforehand, going through most of the settings.  They even tested it by setting it up to shoot against a file cabinet and used a tape measure the check the indicated distance value.

Everything checked out OK in the shop.

When they installed the transmitter on the top of the bin, they changed the transmitter’s sensor mode parameter from the distance mode they used in the shop for testing to level mode.  After aiming, the level value shown in the local display was dead nuts on, but the 4-20mA signal going back to the control room was way off.

The bin was a third full. The 4-20mA showed it about double that.  Not only that, the 4-20 was going in the wrong direction.  The bin was emptying and the HMI reported an increasing level value.  Someone realized that an inverse-acting output was typical of a distance value, so they reconfigured the sensor mode to distanceThat got the 4-20mA much closer to a distance value, but it was still not exactly what it should be, and besides, the goal was to read level, not distance, in the control room.  What was going on?

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Radar vs Ultrasonic Level Calibration Points (The Devil’s in the Details)

People who have used Milltronics or Siemens ultrasonic continuous level measurement systems are used to the way configuration is done.  It’s not uncommon that when they start up their first Siemens radar transmitter they encounter a stumbling block – the 4-20mA output doesn’t respond correctly. 

The radar will start up and run, and if the tank level is low, they’ll get a valid level reading on the transmitter’s display, but the 4-20mA will be incorrect (too high a percentage).  Or, if the tank level is at a medium or high level, both the indicated level in the display and the output will be maxed out at 20mA.   It’s a misunderstanding about where the span measurement starts from. Read the rest of this entry »

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February 2: A day to look back

Yesterday and today, people all over Chicago and the Midwest were looking at pictures from last year. We had 22″ of snowfall in one day. The roads were closed. The airports were closed. Even the Lesman offices were closed. And today’s weather forecast? 45°… in Chicago… in February.

This morning in Pennsylvania, a groundhog named Phil came out, looked back, and saw… his shadow.

All this looking back made me a little reflective myself. I’ve been writing this blog for about 6 months now. So I thought I’d take a minute and recap the articles people keep coming back to read:

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What is false echo suppression?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about problems a customer encountered trying to move a functioning radar level device from one tank to another. With a little light reading of the user manual, and one change on the radar, the situation was resolved. 

People are usually familiar with the concept of false echo suppression: looking at a tank and mapping out the obstructions that can cause false readings, like baffles, ladders, tank braces. But the Siemens products we work with do it a little differently. It’s a built-in feature on Siemens ultrasonic and radar level devices, and only takes five minutes to run.

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