Fluid Controls Ltd is one of the UK’s leading distributors for pressure control

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Model OLS-S/H Optoelectronic level switch

What is a level switch and how does it work?

Level switches, often called level sensors, are an important part of any fluid management and control system, but many operators and businesses do not know how they work. These devices come in many shapes and sizes to suit a range of applications, and modern technology is developing new methods of level monitoring and flow maintenance that are adding even more functionality and convenience to level switches.

Here at Fluid Controls Ltd, we have lots of experience supplying and testing the world’s best level switches and understand all their inner workings and the benefits they can bring to a business. Join us as we discuss what is a level switch, how a level switch works, and what they can do for you.

What is a Level Switch?

A level switch, also known as a level sensor, is a device used to determine the level or amount of fluid that flows in an open or closed system. Level sensors come in two primary categories; point level measurement sensors and continuous level transmitters. Point level sensors measure fluid level or its height in a vessel, often functioning as an alarm for low or high levels of fluid. Continuous level transmitters provide accurate monitoring of the level of fluid throughout a complete system, measuring fluid across varying levels and areas, instead of at a single point.

How Does a Level Switch Work?

Level switches operate based on a variety of physical principles. In point level sensors, float switches move up and down as the level of fluid changes. This design is simple and requires little maintenance, is resistant to vibrations and pressure, and can work with many different types of fluid. In continuous level sensors, sound waves are used to check levels in a system or container.

How are Level Switches Used in Peak Flow Management?

Level switches play an important role in peak flow management. They are used in vessels or pipes to automatically operate valves, pumps, and alarms that signal low or high levels of fluid. Two can be used together to empty or fill vessels automatically. Most liquids can be monitored by level switches as their performance is not inhibited by coating from viscous liquids, vapour, foaming, or droplets clinging to the sensor. Aerated or ‘bubbly’ fluids and or very thick and viscous liquids can affect the sensor’s performance and may cause incorrect readings or prevent the level switch from working correctly.

Choosing the Right Level Switch

When selecting a level switch, several factors should be considered. These include whether you are measuring a liquid or solid, and the application’s temperature and pressure ranges. You need to decide whether point level or continuous measurement is required, or a combination of the two, as well as the level measurement range you need and whether the measured material is electrically conductive.

The Future of Level Switches

With increasing advancements in technology, level switches are becoming more sophisticated and versatile. Radar level transmitters have recently been developed using technology found in air traffic control or in the military for tracking planes and ships. This tech is perfect for applications that involve areas where dust or vapour can affect readings, or where a foamed surface on a liquid makes ultrasonic solutions unviable. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative solutions in the field of level switches.

Level switches are essential devices in various industries, playing a crucial role in managing and monitoring fluid levels. Understanding how they work and how to choose the right one for your needs ensures the efficient and effective operation of your applications. As technology continues to advance, we can look forward to even more innovative and sophisticated level switch solutions in the future.

Level Switches at Fluid Controls

As level switch suppliers, Fluid Controls has a large range of level switches to suit any application. We offer electric and optoelectronic level switches and the award winning Model LSD-30 Electronic level switch from WIKA which has an easy-to-read LED display.

If you’d like to find out more about our level switches, please contact us at +44(0)118 970 2060, or email us at fluid@fluidcontrols.co.uk.

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