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Grain Silo Level Measurement Technologies PDF Print E-mail
Written by Martin Juleff   
Sunday, 14 October 2018 15:50

Level Sensor Technologies for Grain Silo Measurement

Grain Silo Level Sensor Grain Bin Level Measurement Grain Storage Level Monitoring Grain Silo Weighing System
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Whether you're storing fuels, grains, coal, or any other product, it is vital to have the ability to monitor the quantity of product available, allowing you to organise product deliveries, transport, determine stock value and so much more. Semrad has several technologies that allow you to continuously monitor the product levels of your inventory. Some technologies are better suited to particular product types or storage types, than others, this article will attempt to show our most popular products, and how they suit grain silo level measurement.

Cable Level Measurement System for Grain Silos

Our cable level measurement system is an electro-mechanical device consisting of a sensor mounted on the top of a vessel such as a grain silo. The sensor contains a weight suspended by a cable with motion provided by a motor drive and associated electronics. The measurement cycle is initiated either on demand or on a timed interval and causes the sensor to lower the weight to the material level. As the weight is being lowered, the length of cable dispensed is measured in 0.1 ft (0.03 m) increments. When the weight reaches the material level, the unit reverses and the weight is drawn into the stored position in the sensor.

Advantages Disadvantages

Reliable, repeatable level measurement.

Accurate to 10mm.

Widely utilised and trusted technology.

Single point measurements can be inaccurate due to uneven surfaces.

Measurement only occurs at timed intervals.

Guided Wave Radar Technology for Grain Silo Level Sensing

Guided Wave Radar level sensor uses the time domain reflectometry principle (measures the time of reflection) for highly accurate, and reliable continuous level measurement. The electronics in the instrument's housing send low power, nanosecond-wide pulses down a conductive cable with a known propagation speed. As this pulse reaches the surface of the grain in the silo being measured, some of the pulse is reflected back to the electronics in the guided wave radar mounted at the top of the grain silo. The level is directly proportional to the flight time of the pulse and is converted to a 4-20mA and HART signal for integration into your existing SCADA system or process monitoring devices.

Advantages Disadvantages

Reliable, repeatable level measurement.

Widely utilised and trusted technology.

Accurate to 20mm.

Single point measurements can be inaccurate due to uneven surfaces.

Non-Contact Radar Level Sensor for Grain Bin Level Monitoring

Radar type level sensors provide a non-contact means of measuring the level of bulk materials (such as grain) in a grain bin, silo or tank by monitoring the time it takes for an emitted 78Ghz radar pulse to travel from the level sensor to the grain surface and back to the sensor again. The measured time is then calculated into the distance, thus giving an accurate and reliable level measurement. A non-contact type of level instrument is generally simpler to install, saves on transport costs, and maintains the highest possible hygiene standards.

Advantages Disadvantages

Reliable, repeatable level measurement.

No cables means simple installation.

Accurate to 5mm.

Non-contact technology eliminates buildup and reduces maintenance.

Single point measurements can be inaccurate due to uneven surfaces.

Grain Silo Bolt on Weighing Systems

Bolt on strain gauges and weighing systems are incredibly simple to install and deliver amazing results. There are many types of various weight gauges, getting into the various types of weight gauges is for another article altogether, for this simple comparison, we'll discuss bolt-on strain gauges. Bolt-on strain gauges attach to the support structure of the grain silo or bin and measure the change in stress on the support structure as the weight changes, producing a reliable and repeatable method of weighing your grain silos. These devices can be installed while the grain bin is in use and then calibrated. A weighing system is very different to a level measurement system but still provides you with valuable data to aid in your inventory management.

Advantages Disadvantages

Weight measurement is unaffected by uneven surfaces/material characteristics (pits, cones etc)

Super simple installation and calibration.

Only suitable for certain grain silo support structures (other weighing systems may be suited for other grain silos).

Accuracy varies depending on application, number and placement of strain gauges.

Level can be estimated from weight, but it is not being measured so you do not know how much further you can fill the grain silo.

What is the best technology for your grain silo?

There is no single solution for every single grain silo monitoring application, each type of technology is better suited to certain applications more than others, for instance, a weighing system may not be possible for certain grain bin setups, or there may be no access to the preferred install point for a guided microwave grain level sensor. Hopefully, this article will help aid you in finding the right solution for your grain silo monitoring system, if you'd like further information, please feel free to call us for an obligation free chat, or send through an email and we'll get back to you as soon as possible with advice for your grain silo level measurement system.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2018 20:34

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