According to recently published figures from the Environment Agency, water companies discharged raw sewage into rivers in England more than 400,000 times in 2020. It’s reasons like these that make the reliable and accurate monitoring of all discharges into the environment so important. And why the Environment Agency places so much emphasis on schemes like MCERTS, because they ensure this monitoring is done correctly, regularly inspected and properly verified. To make this more accessible to all water-industry users, VEGA are delighted to announce a first for their 80 GHz compact radar: MCERTS Class 1 approval. The world’s largest radar level sensor manufacturer developed their own special FMCW level radar chip to make the low-cost, high-performance yet compact level radar sensors available at such an affordable price point.
But why use radar for applications as ‘simple’ as water level? It offers measurement unaffected by the everyday challenges – ambient temperature changes, more robust against condensation, foaming surfaces and build up on the sensor; as well as being an inherently more accurate all-conditions technology. For example, the currently used legacy technologies – based on ultrasonic level sensing – require protection from solar gain/air temperature, as any undetected air temperature variations will cause a measurement error. This could mean that multiple sunshades, additional external temperature sensors or even dual measuring heads are needed to achieve the equivalent accuracy to a radar.
In a unique first for an MCERTS open channel flow measurement system, there is now the option to use the radars as a ‘standalone’ 2-wire loop powered radar transmitter. With no need for a local controller, making it ideal to use with telemetry systems, the 80GHz compact radar removes the cost, complexity and power needs for installing a remote controller/transmitter box. A choice of digital communication using HART or current output also adds to the application versatility and accuracy – with local controllers optionally used for additional local display, datalogging, relay and pulse outputs for level alarms, for flow and triggering volume based samplers. Another unique capability is the single or twin channel measurement, which could be used to measure both flow through a structure and storm water spill level, for example.
Bluetooth set up and retrieval of measurement without the need for a local display can be done via an App making it safer and more convenient to use. ATEX approvals are also available on both sensors and controllers.
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