Seven Radar Devices to Simplify Your Life!

Radar devices offer features that lead towards easy commissioning, advanced diagnostics, and high accuracy at a reasonable price. So, how do these devices work: it works with the help of ‘time of flight principle’.

This is the time that waves take to travel through a medium from the point of transmittance to the end of the contact and return. In this article, we feature seven radar devices that make the like of an engineer simpler at work.

Kobold Instruments: Radar Level Transmitter (NGM/NGR)

The NGM and NGR radar devices of Kobold Instruments are some of the best in the market. The device uses TDR (Time Domain Reflectometry) technology, or guided microwaves. In short, the microwaves propagate via the probe that is immersed in the fluid or solid to be measured. Then, part of the impulse energy reflects up the probe to the circuitry upon impact.

The sensor can detect the time difference between the impulses it sends and receives, and convert them into a 4-20 mA analog output (programmable with HART modem). This is useful for measuring the level of solids, slurries, or liquids with varying volatilities in your tanks.

Image of Radar Level Transmitter (NGM/NGR) 7 radar devices
Image courtesy of ansac tech

It comes with a variety of probe lengths. The least is 200mm and the highest is 2000mm. The rod probe, wire or coaxial and wetted part can be PTFE, 1.4404/316L Stainless Steel. These are two good options for corrosive fluids. Also, it has a process pressure of -1 to 10 bars and a temperature range of -200 to +250 degrees (high temperature) and -40 to +150 degrees (medium temperature). The device has an accuracy of +/- 5 mm.

Additional add-ons include enclosure protection of PBT plastic with a rating of IP68. This is water and dust-proof with a ton of hazardous applications from ATEX. Additionally, it does not require much maintenance, since there are no moving parts.

So, if you need a device that requires no calibration for commissioning, and can handle multiple output signals accurately, take a look at NDR and NGR from Kobold.

Emerson Automation Solutions: Rosemount 5300 series

The Emerson Rosemount 5300 level transmitter is reliable and safe for level and interface applications. This device uses the principle of echolocation and is easy to use.

It comes with the accuracy of +/- 3 mm a repeatability of +/- 1 mm. It has a range of 164 ft or 50 meters. The device comes with a wide range of probe types, including rigid, segmented, flexible, rigid twin, flexible twin, coaxial, PTFE coated, and vapor. Worried about corrosion or waterlogging or deteriorating due to explosions?

Luckily, the device comes with NEMA 4X, IP67 rating and Ex-approvals from ATEX, FM, CSA, IECEx, and INMETRO. This device is also great if you need it for cryo fluids at a process temperature range of -196 to 400 degrees. It can handle process pressure up to 345 bar.

Image of Rosemount 5300 series
Image courtesy of industry mall

The 5300 also comes with a variety of options with the output and protocol choices as well. With 4-20 mA/HART, FF, and Modbus protocols, the device has many possibilities. If you were expecting PROFIBUS, you won’t be disappointed, since you can always use a converter.

If you wonder why the device is a tad overpriced, consider the many features. These include enhanced diagnostics, direct switch tech, dynamic vapor compensation, and signal quality metrics. Furthermore, it is also TUV tested, and WHG approved for overfill prevention.

Magnetrol: Eclipse Enhanced Model 705

The Enhanced Eclipse Model 705 is a loop powered 24 V dc liquid-level transmitter based on the Time Domain Reflectometry principle. The dual compartment enclosure to maximize the wiring, configuration, and display is well thought out.

The device is compatible with low dielectrics as much as 1.4 up to 100, covering most liquids and slurries. If you need to measure solid, this is probably not the device for you.

The device is capable of measuring the overall level of the liquid, the interface level of liquid-liquid or even emulsion layers with two different probes to choose from. Namely, Coaxial/twin lead probes and Single lead probes.

The device has a decent accuracy of +/- 2.5 mm for the coaxial probes and a staggering +/- 13 mm for the single lead probes with repeatability for both probes of 2.5 mm.

Image of magnetrol Model 705 seven radar devices
Image courtesy of directindustry

If you need to deploy the device for cryo-fluid application, you’re in luck! The device handles low temperatures down to -196 degrees Celsius. The probes can handle pressures up to 430 bars.

Another feature worth mentioning is the Hygienic Model 705, available with a deep-drawn housing and a 4 micrometer finished single rod probe for use in an ultra-clean environment.

The output specification of the device, probe selection, and housing material are all similar to what most devices offer. As for the communication protocol options, the device comes with 4-20 mA analog/HART, Foundation Fieldbus, and Profibus PA.

The probe options come in a wide range of materials to choose from: 316/316L, Monel, Hastelloy, PFA insulated stainless steel and many more. Though an ingress protection rating of IP66 and NEMA 4 might not be all that great, it does come with a SIL3 approval.

Honeywell: SLG 700 Smartline

The Honeywell SLG700 comes with a standard LCD with a resolution of 128 X 64 pixels and a three-button keypad with an array of language options.

Honeywell SLG 700 can withstand a process temperature range of -60 to +450 degrees Celsius and extreme pressure of up to 400 bars at a variety of 50 meters. This makes it suitable for most high-temperature liquid and fluid level applications.

Not only that, the device comes with high accuracy, with a value of +/- 3 mm. It can measure process variables like volume and interface apart from the level of fluids. Like most devices, the SLG 700 also comes with an electronic housing of PTFE, Aluminum or Stainless Steel options. 

image of Honeywell SLG 700 SmartLine
Image courtesy of honeywellprocess

It has a NEMA 4X and IP67 rating, which means that the device is water and dust-proof. On the downside, the device doesn’t come with PROFIBUS, and sticks to 4-20 mA analog, HART or FF protocols.

However, the device gets Ex-approvals from ATEX, FM, CSA, IECEx, CCoE, EAC, INMETRO and many more! Furthermore, it is also TUV tested, and WHG approved for overfill prevention with a SIL 3 protection rating.

Unless you are looking for a device that can take up cryogenic fluids, Honeywell SLG700 is probably the right choice for you!

ABB: MT5000 Series radar level transmitter

The ABB- MT5000 radar device is well-built, with a graphics display of a waveform screen with field selectable units in feet, inches, millimeters, centimeters, meters or percentage.

It comes with a wide range of probe options. These are either single or coax in either cable or rod with an output protocol option of either 4-20 mA analog, HART or Foundation Fieldbus option.

It is worth mentioning that the measuring accuracy comes to around +/- 3 mm with a repeatability of 3 mm for a process temperature range of -40 to 66 degrees Celsius. This might be a downside when considering other devices, since most devices offer a better range.

ABB provides a lot of process connection options with integral threads, welded process connections, loose flanges for use with NPT and special threads upon request with the process connection material being 304L/316L, carbon steel, Hastelloy C-276, Alloy 20, Monel 400, and much more. Also, it has hazardous approvals from FM, CSA, ATEX, and IECEx, making the device intrinsically safe and flameproof as well.

In a nutshell, the ABB MT5000 is an apt choice to measure level and detect interfaces for liquids, slurries and even solids at high accuracies.  

Endress+Hauser: Levelflex FMP55

The Levelflex FMP55 is synonymous with Hybrid measurement. It is a combination of both guided radar and capacitive measurement. The device comes with an LCD screen that displays values in alphanumerics with a feature of bar graph. It comes with three push buttons to navigate through the display menu.

Some main areas of application of the device include detection of interfaces of liquids and emulsion layers, along with level and capacitance measurements. The device comes with fancy features such as Bluetooth commissioning.

Image courtesy of Endress+Hauser

With a combination of rod, coax, and rope options, the device comes with a range of 13 ft, 20 ft, and 33 ft respectively. It has a high accuracy of +/- 2 mm. Therefore, it is best suited for small tanks and cisterns. The output protocols include the options of 4-20 mA/HART, Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus PA and our very own Bluetooth wireless tech.

The main wetted parts of the device come with the option of 316/316L stainless steel, PTFE, or PFA with a housing protection rating of SIL3, NEMA 6P and IP68.

This makes the device resistant to dust, rain, sleet, snow and even immersion in water at significant depths. It can handle a process temperature of -40 to +200 degrees and a maximum retainable pressure of 40 bar.

The device comes with Heartbeat technology that performs proactive maintenance and monitors the health of the device. Furthermore, it has an intuitive user interface in several languages, providing the highest reliability through Multi-Echo tracking and many more. Additionally, it can take up explosive and hazardous fluids owing to the approvals it gets from ATEX, CSA, FM and other approvals.

Siemens: SITRANS LG series

SITRANS LG series radar transmitter from Siemens is a well-built device with high accuracy and some attractive features. In a nutshell, the device is perfect for level, interface and volume measurement of liquids at high accuracies up to +/- 2 mm. As such, it is ideal for measuring level in medium range solid applications including grains, plastics, and cement.

Image of SITRANS LG series
Image courtesy of Siemens

The device’s operating temperature range is -40 to +80 degrees. It’s minimum dielectric constant of the medium is up to 1.4. It can even handle cryo fluids as low as -196 Celsius. The device gets  HART version 7x for output communication.

There are a ton of choices for the enclosure material. The worst is PBT plastic and the best options are 316.316L stainless steel and AlSi10mg die-cast aluminum with a degree of protection of IP67/IP68.

On the upside, the device gets hazardous approvals from ATEX, FM, CSA, IECEx and overfill protection from WHG in compliance with TUV standards. Also, it has the option of using a HART handheld. This is quite useful for configuring, commissioning, and installing the device.

Last but not the least, the device has a varying range corresponding to the various series: LG240, LG250, LG260, and LG270. The least of the range is 32 meters for LG240 up to 60 meters for LG270. The latter device is chosen for cryogenic applications. This should be a good fit if your industry demands a diverse choice of devices for varying applications.

To sum it all up….

The devices featured in this article are unique in their own way and work best under rated operating conditions. If accuracy is what you’re looking for, the Levelflex FMP55 and Rosemount 5300 are good choices.

For an economical yet efficient device, then NGR and NGM are apt for your application. If you need both those attributes for use in cryo application, then  SITRANS LG and Magnetrol Model 705 are for you.

Happy shopping!

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