Product Review: Schneider 244LVP buoyancy level transmitter
My engineer friends always told me they hated displacer devices. When I started to do repair, calibration, and adjustment, I began to understand why. Even though vendors call this transmitter easy to set up, you can find better and easier solutions. The displacer doesn’t even come close to making my top 10 list.
However, maybe you have a good relationship with this device, and we want to be fair. So today, Schneider has for us the 244LVP! (By the way, you’ll find other terms connected with this device, like Foxboro and Levelstar. We’ll stick with 244LVP in this review for clarity.) Let’s find out more about this instrument!
Disclaimer: This product review examines only features, not performance. If you’ve used this device, feel free to share your experience in the comments.
Whatcha got there?
The 244LVP has a robust appearance, so you can imagine it supporting processes in harsh and hazardous areas, but its design looks a little old-fashioned. Its housing has two parts, one for the loop power and the other for the local display and electronic module.
Its display shows percent, current output, and process variable values. Beyond that, you can configure the device locally with the push buttons. Oddly, the device has its buttons on the side instead of the front. And even with the manual, you wind up with a less-than-user-friendly experience.
If you don’t want to set up the device using the buttons, you can use the HART communication, and as a standard, the 244LVP has infrared (IR) as well. IR is old-fashioned too, but if you have an IR converter, then this feature might help you.
The 244LVP can integrate into your system with analog, HART, or FOUNDATION Fieldbus. If you need PROFIBUS, then you can use HART over PROFIBUS or switch to the 244LD.
Schneider recommends this device for oil and water separation, ammonia or biodiesel production, and several more applications. For housing materials, it has aluminum, polyurethane coated, or 316L stainless steel.
What can it do?
The 244LVP can do the same things other displacers do! You can measure level, interface, and density of liquids. Although other non-contact level solutions on the market make this one seem dated, the displacer is a very flexible device for many applications.
We seem to have some confusion on the measurement range, though. I’ve seen both 0 to 50 millimeters (mm) and 50 mm to 15 meters. Can anybody out there confirm these ranges?
Schneider’s datasheet has the standard accuracy at +-0.2 percent, and it says you can increase the accuracy with a little adjustment! The wetted parts come in stainless steel 1.4404 or 1.4572, and its displacer has stainless steel, PTFE, and more. The right materials will depend on your products, but you’ll find those when you scale out the device.
You can use it in temps from -50 to 120 degrees Celsius and pressures up to 40 bar. It connects with a process flange available in different sizes: DN50, DN80, or DN100, and 2, 3 or 4 inches. You can also install the device in the 204DC displacer chamber, but you need to combine it with the 204FK and cover flange kit 204BCF. Don’t worry; those are just extra items for correct installation.
Why should I care?
Because you can use the 244LVP for more than level measurement. Plus, you can set it up using a standard field communicator with the right device description.
It’s explosion proof and intrinsically safe, and since it shows up most often in petrochemical or oil and gas plants, then you want that. It also has IP66 and SIL 2 ratings with a safe failure fraction (SFF) of 91 percent. You might chat with a sales rep about other versions if you need them.
Beyond that, the device doesn’t have fancy features. The big thing here is its flexibility for level, interface, and density measurements. Last but not least, one of its documents offers an influence table. This table should help you decide if you should scale this one out or not.
Although the 244LVP is not a high-end device, it can handle standard level, interface, and density measurement. It has some broad possibilities, but side by side with a radar device, the displacer has to work hard to look like a good option.