Level Measurement & Control

Guided wave radar level transmitters designed for harsh environments

August 2006 Level Measurement & Control

K-TEK, a leading manufacturer of instrumentation for liquid level measurement, manufactures the MT5000 Series of guided wave radar level transmitters. This series is designed for use in a variety of harsh environments, such as oil and gas processing, and power generation. The series is available in the MT5000 liquid level transmitter and the MT5100 level and interface transmitter configurations. Both devices feature an integrated graphic display for quick and easy viewing of waveform screens. A concentric waveguide directs the radar beam, alleviating divergence problems and echoes from tank walls and surrounding structures. In addition, the devices are unaffected by variations in specific gravity due to temperature or pressure changes, and accurate level measurements are provided even with widely varying pressures and temperatures at up to 34,4 MPa (344 bar) or 427°C. The MT5100 also features a patent-pending interface weak signal detector that is able to detect the possible presence of a rag layer before emulsions can become a problem.

The MT5000 Series features an all-digital design that delivers speed and accuracy in a compact unit. Built-in linearisation functions allow users to minimise the unmeasurable or 'dead' zones that can occur at the end of probes. While competitive products assume standard dead zones, all MT5000 Series devices incorporate a linearisation table that can also be used for tank strapping. This series includes an integrated graphic display with waveform screens that detail signal activity. Configuration and commissioning are quick with easy-to-follow set-up menus. The waveform screens can be used for fine-tuning transmitter operation or for troubleshooting.

With displacers or DP transmitters, measurement is dependent on specific gravity, which varies with temperature and pressure. This results in varying accuracies. By design, the guided wave radar of the MT5000 Series measures level independent of specific gravity and therefore is unaffected by temperature or pressure changes. A wide selection of waveguide coupler and probe options allows the MT5000 series transmitters to measure level even in the presence of saturated steam, and in high temperature or high pressure hydrocarbon applications.

"Unlike open air radar devices that must grapple with beam divergence and echo problems, the radar signal of the MT5000 Series travels along a waveguide," said Robert Hotard, product manager for Radar and RF products at K-TEK. "This eliminates false echoes and minimises signal loss. Being unaffected by variations in specific gravity, temperature or pressure, the MT5000 Series is ideal for use in a wide variety of applications, including flare knock out drums in refineries and feed water heaters in power generation plants."

The MT5100 level and interface transmitter provides the same robust features as the MT5000 liquid level transmitter configuration, but is specifically created for interface measurement. The device needs only one probe mounted in a displacer chamber or stilling well to measure fluid interface, reducing buildup problems, simplifying installation and setup, reducing costs, and minimising maintenance. Using guided wave radar, the device can measure both the top surface (upper level) and interface level in tanks containing multiple fluids, such as oil and water. This product is also able to detect the possible presence of a rag layer.

Employing a patent-pending interface weak signal detector, the device is able to determine the signal strength coming from the interface, compensate for a weak signal return, and provide a visual indication of the possible presence of an emulsion layer.

The MT5000 Series features a 2-wire, looppower design with 4-20 mA output. The device can also be equipped with HART or Foundation Fieldbus communications. The newest data transmission option, support for the Modbus protocol, features a 4-wire, half-duplex configuration with FM approval pending.

Able to work under even the most extreme conditions, the MT5000 Series level transmitters provide a wide selection of probe materials, including 316 Stainless Steel, Hastelloy C-276, Hastelloy B3, Monel, and Titanium. The standard housing is powder-coated aluminium with an optional stainless steel housing to handle corrosive environments. A dual-compartment design allows users to isolate the wiring and terminations from the sensing elements and internal electronics. The MT5000 is FM Approved for use in hazardous areas in its 2-wire, 4-20 mA, Hart configuration.


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