Emerson’s David McLaurin in the Rosemount division presented a workshop entitled, Radar Solves High Temperature Level Application. The application was at a major chemical manufacturer. The refinery makes an intermediate for polyester and other fibers.
The application for level measurement was on a crystallizer unit that had high operating temperature of 230 degC (450 degF.) This unit was a critical path in making the intermediate material. Given these high temperatures nuclear, differential pressure, guided wave radar, other non-contact radar, and weigh cell measurement technologies were considered. Each had issues associated with reliability in this high temperature operating environment.
Radar was chosen as the best option. The manufacturer used a Rosemount Model 5600 non-contacting radar level transmitter with a quartz extended cone. Upon installation there were some issues with condensation on the antenna. This was resolved through insulation. One other issue involved echoes from the agitator blades in the crystallizer unit. Through the software these were masked out.
Comparing the historical trends on the new radar measurement versus the prior nuclear measurement, the radar performed more reliably and more accurately when the unit was operating at low levels.