AgRx is a supplier of organic and traditional crop protection and nutrient products. They store their various fluids, fertilizers, and other products in large tanks all over their facilities. Valarm provides AgRx with remote tank monitoring solutions that include a real-time, web-based dashboard with current status of their tanks. This write-up focuses on pulse radar level sensors that were deployed on tanks and connect to the cloud via standard Power over Ethernet (PoE). These pulse radar transmitters are deployed on specific tanks while others tanks use ultrasonic / sonar fluid level sensors.
- Solar-powered + WiFi remote tank monitoring with ultrasonic depth sensors
- Wireless remote oil tank monitoring in a shed with standard 100V mains power
- Web dashboards for monitoring tank levels on any device with a web browser
When you’ve got a tank of material that foams, like sulfuric acid, then a standard ultrasonic or sonar depth sensor won’t cut it since it won’t give you a very accurate tank level reading. In these situations you’ll want to use a pulse radar level sensor, like the Flowline LR20 seen on the right. This is a 26GHz pulse radar level transmitter that outputs a 4-20mA signal that is read by a Valarm compatible 4-20mA sensor adapter. The 4-20mA sensor adapter is connected to a sensor hub / connector device that sends the sensor data to Valarm Tools Cloud via any internet connection like WiFi, ethernet, satellite, or GSM cell network. Specifically, this radar sensor model provides level measurements up to 30 meters / 98.4 feet. These rugged level sensors are applicable for monitoring challenging conditions like those with condensation, vapor, foaming, corrosive media, installation in a flange fitting, agitation, high pressure or temperature. In the photo at the top of this page you see a Valarm unit monitoring a tank of sulphuric acid with 1 of these radar based level sensors on AgRx facilities.
These radar level sensors are deployed at the tank farm next to a shack / shed where the customer already has a live internet connection. We took advantage of this since Valarm’s open, flexible solutions let you configure the most cost-effective, easy, and rapidly deployable solution for each of your particular scenarios.
In this case we extended the 4-20mA sensor cables with standard outdoor, weatherproof Cat5 cable and ran all of the sensors into the Valarm monitoring box you see in the picture on the right. Additionally, we ran Ethernet cables into the box to connect the internet to the Ethernet sensor hubs that also connect to the 4-20mA sensor adapters then send the tank level sensor data to Valarm Tools Cloud.
We used PoE (Power over Ethernet) cable to power the components in the Valarm monitoring unit so inside box on the right you’ll see multiple pieces of the same key components for this remote tank telemetry installation:
- Radar pulse based level sensors are more expensive than ultrasonic sonar level sensors, although the radar sensors are much needed in specific scenarios like foaming contents.
- We heard some scary stories about sulfuric acid burns where it had entirely eaten people’s clothes in some cases, so we didn’t dance or play on top of that tank.
- Sometimes wired, ethernet internet connections are the most appropriate for Industrial IoT solutions! In certain scenarios and applications they can be easier, more cost-effective and reliable just as they were in this customer’s remote tank telemetry deployment.
Now you know more about how easy and affordable it is for you and your team to remotely monitor tank levels. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions on tank telemetry or anything else!
Have a look at our Customer Stories Page for more on Valarm remote monitoring and sensor solutions. Also see our Web Dashboards Page that shows configurable webpages with customer logos where clients can view their latest Industrial IoT information on a phone, tablet, or any other device with a web browser.