Magnetrol® Introduces Pulsar® Model R96 Non-Contact Radar Level Transmitter

Magnetrol International, a leading level and flow instrumentation manufacturer, has launched the Pulsar® Model R96 Non-Contact Radar transmitter for accurate, reliable level control in process applications. Virtually unaffected by the presence of vapors or air movement within a vessel’s free space, the two-wire, loop-powered, 6 GHz Radar Pulsar-R96-Horn-sidetransmitter measures a wide variety of liquid media in process conditions ranging from calm product surfaces and water-based media to turbulent surfaces and aggressive hydrocarbon media.

The PULSAR Model R96 offers state-of-the-technology performance, offering:

  • Best-in-class signal processing for exceptional accuracy and reliability
  • An extensive measurement range of 130 feet (40 meters)
  • Advanced diagnostics with automatic waveform capture and data logging
  • A powerful device type manager (DTM) with industry-leading field configuration and troubleshooting capabilities
  • SIL 2 suitability with a Safe Failure Fraction (SFF) = 92.7%. (FMEDA available upon request)
  • HART® and FOUNDATION fieldbusTM digital outputs

This new Radar transmitter joins the company’s ground-breaking Eclipse® Model 706 Guided Wave Radar (GWR) transmitter to offer process industries a complete portfolio of advanced radar technologies for level control solutions. For information about the new PULSAR Model R96 Non-Contact Radar level transmitter, visit radar.magnetrol.com or contact a MAGNETROL representative.

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A New Resource for Understanding Thermal Mass Flow Measurement

Thermal mass flow measurement is an essential part of ensuring the safety of flow applications in the process industry. Magnetrol® has collected its wealth of knowledge on the subject in a new portal, flow.magnetrol.com. This site serves as the gateway for a comprehensive understanding of how thermal mass flow meters can be used as a flow measurement solution for your applications.

thermal_mass_flow_measurement_1Finding information about flow control solutions is easier than ever on this flow portal, which includes an applications section covering everything from pump protection to compressed air systems. With information on how thermal mass flow meters can improve efficiency and safety, you can determine whether or not a thermal mass flow meter is right for your process application.

You can also find general information about thermal mass flow meters and how they function in the Technology section of the site.

White papers, case studies and special applications bulletins that explore flow meter functionality and usage can also be found on the site. Some of these downloadable resources include:

You can also watch a video demonstration that explains how to verify calibration of a thermal mass flow meter in the field. And if you have further questions about the applications and functionality of thermal mass flow meters, you can submit them to the “Ask the Expert” page.

Explore the site today and learn more about thermal mass flow measurement by visiting flow.magnetrol.com.

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Comparing Displacer Level Transmitter and Differential Pressure Transmitter Technology

Level measurement in the process industry is typically accomplished using a variety of technologies. Although the industry is continually innovating, many level applications are still regulated using older technology. One of these older technologies commonly used in the process control industry is the differential pressure (DP) level transmitter, which first was introduced in the 1950s. It measures the hydrostatic head pressure of a liquid in a vessel and converts this to a level measurement, based on an input specific gravity/density of the liquid.

The Magnetrol® E3 Modulevel® displacer transmitter

The Magnetrol® E3 Modulevel® displacer transmitter

A newer technology that is also dependent on specific gravity is the displacer level transmitter. Changing buoyancy forces caused by liquid level change act upon the spring-supported displacer, causing vertical motion of the core within a linear variable differential transformer (LVDT). As the core position changes with liquid level, voltages are induced across the secondary windings of the LVDT. These signals are processed in the electronic circuitry and converted to a useable output signal. The enclosing tube acts as a static isolation barrier between the LVDT and the process media. Magnetrol® manufactures a displacer level transmitter called the E3 Modulevel®, an advanced, intrinsically safe two-wire instrument.

There are significant differences between displacer level transmitters and differential pressure transmitters, which affect the installation, maintenance, and accuracy of the level transmitter chosen. Displacer level transmitters can improve process performance in a wide range of applications, offering significant advantages over differential pressure transmitters in several areas, including:

  • Calibration
  • Temperature range
  • Mounting
  • Installation cost

MAGNETROL has produced a white paper that outlines the benefits of displacer level transmitter technology over differential pressure transmitters, including a side-by-side comparison chart. To learn more about these transmitters, download the whitepaper.

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Advantages of A Thermal Dispersion Switch For Pump Protection

Running pumps in a dry state can damage parts or cause cavitation in centrifugal pumps. Replacement parts can add up to thousands of dollars. These costs do not include inefficiencies in pump operation or downtime that affects production or operation.

Technologies Used for Pump Protection 

There are many technologies that can perform the function of pump protection. Flow meters can be used, but a continuous flow measurement is not always needed and flow thermal_dispersion_switch_1meters typically cost more than switches. Mechanical flow switches use a mechanical operation to actuate a relay; however, moving parts can be subject to wear and increased maintenance over time, and if a viscous liquid or build-up is present, reliability of the switch may be adversely affected.

Tuning forks and ultrasonic gap switches are a few other technologies that are used for pump protection. It is inherent in the technologies that the fork or gap must be wet or dry for detection. Therefore, they cannot detect decreasing flow rates and the opening creates room for possible plugging.

Why Choose a Thermal Dispersion Switch?

A thermal dispersion switch can be ideally suited for pump protection applications. Thermal dispersion switches use similar principles as thermal mass flow meters. Fluid carries heat away from the probe tip reducing the temperature difference between a heated resistance temperature detector (RTD) and a reference RTD. As the temperature difference increases or decreases due to heat transfer, the set point is reached and the relay de-energizes. Manufacturers will refer to the switch being in “alarm” at set point. How the relay is wired (NC-CO or NO-CO) depends on the needs of the application. High or low flows can both be detected by a thermal dispersion switch.

With thermal dispersion, the user gets the most robust feature set and flexibility. The technology’s advantages include:

  • No moving parts, requiring less maintenance
  • Many probe types for water or more viscous liquids
  • Installation in horizontal or vertical lines, removing need to be installed top dead center
  • Optional remote mount electronics
  • Hot tap options available
  • Low flow detection as opposed to dry pipe
  • Current output for trending and fault indication
  • Temperature compensation to reduce set point drift under varying operating temperatures

Magnetrol® has produced a white paper about the pros and cons of various liquid flow technologies compared to thermal dispersion switches, including details about probe types, installation options, and probe electronics. Download the white paper to learn more.

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Magnetrol® Switches Keep Steam Turbine Generators Secure For Over 50 Years

Magnetrol® has been producing high-quality level and flow instrumentation for over 80 years. Many of our products are still providing reliable control even after years of usage in the field. Here’s a story, recently shared with us, of how one of our products has withstood the test of time and half a century of hard work.

This T67 switch has been going strong since 1963.

This T67 switch has been going strong since 1963.

Fossil fuel power plants often use steam turbine generators to create electricity. In order to minimize resistance and cool the mechanism, the generator shells are filled with hydrogen gas. Because of the highly combustible nature of hydrogen, it is important to prevent the gas from leaking out into the power plant environment. To prevent leakage, oil lubricated seal rings are used to contain the hydrogen in the generator shell.

MAGNETROL offers a solution for these systems—the T67 switch, which is generally used as a high-low switch on hydrogen seal oil vessels where temperatures are around 200°F and pressures are less than 100 psi. A power plant in the southeastern United States has been using the same T67 switch since 1963—and it’s still going strong, providing important protection for the plant’s steam turbine generators. We hope your MAGNETROL technology continues to serve you well for years to come.

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Best Wishes for 2016

Magnetrol International wishes our customers, employees, partners, families and friends a safe and happy New Years’ and a prosperous 2016.

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Happy Holidays From Magnetrol

Magnetrol International wishes you a peaceful and joyous holiday season. Happy Holidays from all of us!

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Key Questions Answered About Industrial Level Measurement

Magnetrol® buoyancy product manager Kenny Heidel was recently interviewed by Flow Control Magazine for a story on industrial level measurement technology. This week’s blog shares his Q&A on the state of industrial level technology today. To learn more about this topic, read the full article from Flow Control Magazine.

How has technology for industrial level measurement and monitoring evolved over the past 10-20 years?

Over the last 10-20 years, level measurement has changed drastically. Previous methods of

Boiler feedwater heaters in power plants represent an application opportunity for modern guided wave radar level measurement.

Boiler feedwater heaters in power plants represent an application
opportunity for modern guided wave radar level measurement.

level measurement primarily involved mechanical level switches, which are passive elements that only identify a level when that switch point is achieved. These devices do not provide continuous level measurement, which is what most users presently require. Other methods used in the past were differential pressure, but this technology can require significant calibration to ensure that the process specific gravity and temperature are known. The real game changer was the introduction of guided wave radar (GWR) to the market. This is a level measurement technology that could produce a continuous output and is independent of changing media characteristics, like specific gravity and temperature. GWR is an emerging technology that provides instrumentation people more flexibility to optimize their process.

How can industrial level measurement technology be leveraged today, in ways that were not previously possible, to increase the efficiency of industrial process applications?

One key way to leverage level measurement is with respect to utilizing the heat rate measurement for power plants. It is important in a boiler feedwater heater to maintain a certain level of water; this helps the boiler run efficiently with the correct portion of steam being created. Deviations from the appropriate water level could cause damage to downstream equipment, or cause the heat required to increase and reduce efficiency. By using a continuous level measurement technology like guided wave radar, process engineers can ensure that the feed water is at the appropriate level for optimal performance.

In your experience with customers, where do you most often see missed opportunities regarding industrial level measurement technology and applications?

People are creatures of habit, and opportunities are being missed with customers who are unwilling to change. Many users are simply more comfortable with older technologies, regardless of whether newer, more advanced technologies can offer advantages, such as, for example, additional diagnostics.

What are some examples of end-user applications where novel methods for industrial level measurement and monitoring are being utilized to produce a significant impact on the bottom line?

As discussed above, helping to ensure the desired feed water level in boiler feedwater heaters and how it affects the overall heat rate of the power plant. Newer technologies offer more advanced, proactive diagnostics that allow users to better utilize technicians and reduce overall down time, which also affects the bottom line.

How do you see industrial level measurement and monitoring evolving in years to come? How will the technology and systems for level measurement and monitoring be better tomorrow than they are today?

The evolution from point contact switches to continuous level transmitters will continue. Many customers still have mechanical level switches used for level alarms and level monitoring. These will begin to be replaced with transmitters that have continuous level monitoring capability, as well as advanced diagnostics. The push will be to give customers as much information as possible so they can make smarter decisions and make their processes more efficient. Wireless will become more prevalent, but is very slow to be adopted in the process measurement market. Security is one concern limiting the uptake of wireless, and the other is the selection of a standard to use, as there are a few standards out there for wireless communication.

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Magnetrol® Presents Two Seminars On Level Control

Are you attending the PowerGen conference? On Wednesday, December 9, Magnetrol® will be hosting two seminars on level control for PowerGen conference attendees. The breakfast seminar, from 9:00 am to 10:45 am, will focus on heat rate and feedwater heater level control, with a special emphasis on reducing heat rate. The lunch seminar, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, will discuss the latest advancements in steam drum level control. Both seminars will be led by Donald Hite, Power Industry Business Development Manager at MAGNETROL. Join us in room N901 and increase your knowledge about level control! Register for the seminar of your choice at our booth, 6835, to ensure your spot. And be sure to visit us throughout the conference for even more level and flow solutions.

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Magnetrol® Announces “Just Can’t Stop A Magnetrol” Contest Winners

Earlier this year, we asked you to share your stories of long-lasting Magnetrol® level control instrumentation and how it’s helped you throughout the years. You delivered—showing just how these reliable products have kept your processes running smoothly. We’re excited to announce the winners of our JUST CAN’T STOP A MAGNETROL contest:

First Place:
Power Plant, United States
Preventing high water levels in HP feedwater heater

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Second Place:
Oil Refining Plant, Singapore
Installed in low pressure separator

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Third Place:
Chemical Plant, India
Measuring carbonate solution application

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Thanks to everyone who submitted their level control applications. We hope your MAGNETROL instrumentation continues to serve you well for years to come.

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