Fertilizer Tank Level Monitoring with Ultrasonic Sensors

Application Problem: Rectangular shape tanks with dusty fertilizer inside. A lot of noise sources such as electrical noise from pumps, acoustical noise from material and pumps and also mechanical vibration from pumps. The tanks are very narrow and 30 feet tall, with corrugated walls. These customers also wanted a communication network based on RS485 for 24 tanks.

Application History: The customers tried several contact and non-contact level devices. The level measurements were very unstable due to several noise sources and the shape of the tanks and material (unwanted echoes from tank wall, skip effect from material). In addition, no manufacturer was able to provide a reliable communication network with very long cables (1500ft).

Solution: To eliminate echoes from tanks’ walls ABM’s non-contact ultrasonic sensors (ABM400-45UC4 model) are used with narrow beam, self-adjusting power and sensitivity, and special filters to eliminate acoustical and electrical noise. ABM protocol based on RS485 solved the customer’s network problems.

“From our control room we monitor all tanks using your sensors.”

– Fertilizer Customer

Fertilizer Tank Level Monitoring with Ultrasonic Sensors, level measurement
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