Low cost, radar sensors for aggregates.

Solids level sensing just got easier and more affordable.

VEGA has extended its already proven VEGAPULS family for continuous level sensing and  indication in bulk solids and liquids. They are designed to deliver even more flexibility, safety, confidence and reliability to aggregate processing and handling businesses.  The new non-contact level sensors are based on the latest FMCW 80-GHz technology with a specially developed VEGA radar-level microchip and low price, it represents a real alternative to ultrasonic level technology in the aggregates industry. It makes it highly economical for those applications found in the sector, from small hoppers to large storage silos and crushers. The compact loop powered radar is available in two versions:  with a standard housing and as an ultra-compact with fixed cable connection (IP68). They all offer safer, easier, and faster Bluetooth set up and monitoring via the free, award winning VEGA TOOLS App. Totally self-contained, which means no control box on the wall is needed.

Strong focusing ensures measurement without the jumps.

With 80-GHz technology, the radar beam is much more focused and can be aimed at the surface level to be measured with pinpoint accuracy. Thanks to this strong signal focusing, build up and deposits on the container wall or on the sensor face itself are no problem. This technology offers a solution for accurate, consistent level indication, even in narrow shafts, or when there are deposits on hopper vessel walls, or where silo internals such a braces and reinforcing could create false signals and readings that jump around. To optimise the measurement to the bottom of your silo an easy aiming option is in the VEGA TOOLS App too.

No dead zones  for measurement in confined spaces.

One special advantage of these new affordable radar sensors is they also have a smaller dead/blanking zone, thus enabling them to measure closer to the top of the vessel. Typical areas of application are areas where headspace is limited, like crushers, mills, or hoppers when capacity is at a premium. They even feature a right-angle cable option for when installation space is tight, and the sensor sizes are much smaller too.

Handles build up and noise.

Many non-contact sensors constantly struggle with the problem of short- or long-term dust and build-up - maintenance call outs to ultrasonic, laser or infra-red devices, ‘needing a wipe’, are commonly reported.  This is because contamination or condensation on the sensor face can greatly affect the reliability of the sensing or measurement signal, resulting in unreliable indication or control. Using radar technology, the situation is different, a combination of the microwave-based measuring principle and optimized signal processing, enables these radar sensors to better ignore the interference caused by build-up on their antenna system. This means bulk solids can be measured and controlled reliably with radar - no effect from dust or even acoustic noise generated during the process. This is because they are highly resistant to the individual, or combined, effect of condensation and dust, noise and dirt thus reducing nuisance outages and cleaning.

Liquids, Chemicals and EX approval.

Storage and buffer tanks supply fuels, oils, flux, and special chemicals for various plant applications. The new radar sensors can exploit their strengths here too, as they can be installed in very confined spaces and small process fittings. Or they can look through plastic tanks and safely measure the chemicals inside. Even if the medium generates gases, or condensation, the sensors remain unaffected and deliver reliable measuring results. In addition, they have an Ex-approval for flammable media. So, it makes them highly versatile for use in a wide range of applications.

Reliable level independent of process and environmental influences.

Due to their physical measuring principle, traditional ultrasonic sensors are easily affected by ambient conditions: for example, strong air and dust movement can all affect measurement reliability. Strong winds, rain, or even fog, extremes of temperature can affect the transducer efficiency, damp the emitted sound waves, and restrict their measuring range, for example when out measuring on open heaps or hoppers. Radar sensors, however, are not affected by these conditions - or even temperature change, pressure, vapours, gases, or vacuums -  they continue with accurate readings.

In some areas such as run off from the quarry or processing site, open channel flow measurement needs to be made for discharge into local rivers. The radar sensors offer the highest possible accuracy and stability. In applications like lagoons or collection basins, whether in rain or intense sunlight, the new radar sensors still perform accurately without any temperature effects. 

Low power for remote sites and telemetry.

There are also devices that can be completely battery powered and use wireless networks, GPS, and mobile networks to send their data, measuring ranges for bulk solids up to 30m silos, and up to 10 years battery life, depending on how often the measurements are made and reported.

Simple wiring, with optional controllers and Bluetooth built in.

Radars do not require an external control box, unlike long range ultrasonic sensors with dedicated cables and big transducers. Radar can operate from a single, standard 24V DC two core cable, measuring up to mighty 120m with their big brother – the VEGAPULS 69  (that's a tall silo!). However, an optional controller is available if needed for local display, extra outputs, and level alarms. Both sensors and controllers can be easily and safely adjusted remotely via Bluetooth with a smartphone or tablet using the award-winning VEGA TOOLS App  – ideal for harsh environments, tall silos, operational safety, or Ex areas. All your PIN codes are also securely, safely, and automatically stored in the cloud, if you register for a free ‘myVEGA’ account.

If you would like a personal video demonstration, distanced site visit, discuss a requirement  or a free trial unit to test, please contact us. 

Associated Businesses

  • Maresfield, TN22 2DU