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Dirty Business For Solids Radar Problem

05 November 2005

A coal processing plant has a difficult level monitoring application in a coal 'dump truck' reception hopper for raw unprocessed coal. The bin dimensions are 12m high and 10m wide, it also has a spray water dust suppression system.

The level reading needs to be reliable as it enables operators to ensure available capacity for the next truck, as well as keeping a 'heel' of material in the bottom to prevent falling product damaging the outlet and conveying system.

The customer has previously tried a number of different instrument technologies such as laser, ultrasonic and low frequency radar with varying results. Mainly due to the dust and heavy build up all the devices required weekly cleaning to remain operational, far from ideal in this hazardous area of the plant.

In February 2005, the customer installed the new VEGAPULS 68 solids radar with a parabolic antenna system to test. Since the installation it has not been cleaned or needed any additional work on this instrument what so ever, even with the water spray dust suppression system.

The customer has ordered an additional 6 units to replace all the existing level devices on this application.The VEGAPULS 68 is a 70m range 2-wire loop powered radar, it uses microwaves to measure level which means it is unaffected by dust, air movement and temperature.

Also it features ultra high sensitivity signal processing and sharp focussing, beginning a new era of reliability for non-contact level measurement.

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