Product Review: SITRANS LC300 capacitance level transmitter
I only saw a few capacitance level transmitters during my time in the field. (We posted a #WishIknew on these devices here.) However, when I interacted with them, most of them seemed pretty straightforward. After all, you don’t need a fancy device in this sort of level measurement.
I say this because the product we have to review today doesn’t count as a high-end product, but you can employ it in a wide range of applications. Today, the gang from Siemens offers the SITRANS LC300 for our perusal. Let’s find out where you can use this level transmitter and what it can and can’t do.
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 folks at Siemens didn’t invest much time in beefing up the SITRANS LC300 with new or fancy features; “simple” describes this device best. Too bad Siemens didn’t use some of that saved time on its lousy website. I’m getting better at navigating it, but it always makes reviewing a Siemens product hard. User experience, people. Think about it.
The SITRANS LC 300 has a four-digit LCD local display to set up the device in your measurement range. Four digits, and that’s all! You use a rotary switch to select menu options and two push buttons to scroll through the configuration. Well, at least it has a local display, right?
However, this device lacks digital communication, which makes this display the only option you get. Integration happens with our old friend the analog signal. The LC300 uses loop power, which is nice, but if you want a digital experience, then you’ll have to go elsewhere. And if you need a housing material other than epoxy-coated aluminum, then you’re out of luck again. Jump to another product review if this one won’t do it for you!
What can it do?
There are two different types of SITRANS LC300. The version with the rod probe gives you a measurement range from 300 to 5000 millimeters (mm), and the cable version goes from 1000 to 25000 mm. We’ll focus on the rod probe because its future competitor has a rod probe as well. At least now you know you can get a different option in this product line.
This probe comes with only one insulating material, Teflon PFA. The PFA insulates the sensor part that stays in contact with the product, which helps protect the probe from corrosion. That PFA bumps the probe’s diameter to 19 mm, but if it fits your application, it should work well. If you need a different material, then other vendors offer plenty of options.
Now, how can you install this device in your vessel? You have two choices. First, you can install it using a threaded connection in a range of sizes – ¾ inch, 1 inch, 1¼ inch, and more. Second, you have flanged versions from 1 to 4 inches ASME or DIN DN25 to 100.
Oh, one more thing, pressure and temperature limits! You can use the LC300 in temps from -40 to 200 degrees Celsius and pressures of -1 to 35 bar.
Why should I care?
Well, the SITRANS LC300 certainly doesn’t have much to its name. But if you want a simple device and don’t need diagnostics or digital, then you can scale it out for the accuracy and price for your process.
Speaking of which, if your process requires approvals or specific protections, the LC300 has a few tricks up its sleeve, such as ATEX and CSA/FM. You can also specify the enclosure as Type4/NEMA, IP65, or IP68. And its patented active-shield technology protects the measurements from the effects of vapors, foam, buildup, and more.
The SITRANS LC300 has little in the way of features but plenty of range in application. If you want digital communication, remote access, or excellent user interface, then skip this one. But if you don’t care about any of that, then scale it out for your process. You might be pleasantly surprised.