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VEGA: revolutionizing water treatment with precision and reliability

In recent years, VEGA has consistently emphasized the superiority of radar technology over ultrasonic for various applications. 

A water treatment plant in Florida gained firsthand insight into this claim when their ultrasonic level sensors failed to meet the demands of measuring ferric sulfate and sulfuric acid levels in their tanks. As they soon realized, VEGA’s praise of radar technology wasn’t mere boasting.

Crucial measurements in a vital industry

Water treatment is a critical endeavor that ensures communities have access to safe and high-quality water. The featured treatment plant is operated by a leading global company specializing in wastewater operations and maintenance (O&M) solutions, serving over 10 million people throughout the United States.

Given the immense responsibility of providing clean water to such a vast population, it is imperative that these facilities operate smoothly and safely.

This specific treatment plant stores ferric sulfate and sulfuric acid in five large tanks, both of which are vital components in water treatment processes. Ferric sulfate acts as a coagulant, effectively removing contaminants like suspended solids and phosphorus from water.

Sulfuric acid is employed to eliminate waterborne bacteria and normalize the pH level of the water. Maintaining an appropriate inventory of these compounds is essential to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment processes. Unfortunately, the ultrasonic sensors they initially relied on made this task exceedingly challenging.

The challenges of ultrasonic technology of water

Each tank at the Florida facility was equipped with an ultrasonic level sensor and a corresponding display. Theoretically, this instrumentation should have allowed plant personnel to easily monitor the levels of ferric sulfate and sulfuric acid in the tanks. However, in practice, both the sensors and displays proved unsuitable for the job.

Ultrasonic technology relies on sound waves that bounce off the medium inside the tank. The sensors calculate measurements by assessing the time taken for the emitted ultrasonic wave to return after hitting the medium. Since sound waves travel through the air, they are highly susceptible to external factors like temperature, vapor, or gases, all of which can lead to unreliable readings from ultrasonic sensors.

In the case of the water treatment plant, their ultrasonic sensors frequently provided inaccurate readings or failed to measure the level at all. Additionally, the displays connected to these sensors were challenging to read, making it laborious for plant personnel to check the level readings. Dissatisfied with the subpar inventory control offered by the ultrasonic instrumentation, the plant decided to seek a superior solution, ultimately leading them to the radar level measurement experts at VEGA.

The radar advantage

Radar technology offers several advantages for level measurement compared to ultrasonic technology. Firstly, radar is unaffected by process and ambient conditions, addressing the issues faced by ultrasonic sensors. Radar sensors are also proficient at suppressing interference from buildup, a factor that can significantly affect ultrasonic measurements.

Moreover, thanks to the precise signal focusing of 80 GHz radar technology, radar beams can be precisely aligned with the medium being measured. In contrast, ultrasonic sensors often require interference signal suppression in applications like pipes, pumps, narrow shafts, or walls with deposits.

VEGA equipped the tanks at the treatment facility with VEGAPULS C 21 radar sensors and VEGADIS 82 displays. VEGA’s range of cost-effective radar sensors was specifically designed to meet the requirements of water and wastewater facilities.

These sensors, powered by 80 GHz radar technology, incorporate all the benefits of radar level measurement in a compact, affordable package tailored for price-sensitive applications commonly found in wastewater industry.

Enhancing measurement confidence

With the installation of VEGAPULS C 21 radar sensors and VEGADIS 82 displays, the water treatment plant now enjoys continuous and reliable level measurements. Plant personnel appreciate the user-friendly nature of the sensors and displays, particularly the convenience of connecting to them via Bluetooth and making adjustments through the VEGA Tools mobile app.

The plant’s satisfaction with the performance of VEGA’s radar instrumentation led them to acquire VEGAPULS 6X and VEGAMET units for lime silo level measurement. With dependable radar technology backing their operations, this water treatment plant is better equipped to serve the customers who rely on them for clean water.

Visit the VEGA website to read more!

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