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Level Sensor Technologies Pt. 4 – Pressure Transducers

Submersible Pressure Transducer

Romtec Utilities designs, engineers, and manufactures pump stations as complete packages with all of the required components for each project, including level sensors like pressure transducers. In this fourth installment of the Romtec Utilities level sensor technologies blog series, we’ll cover pressure transducers. These level sensors use weight and pressure to detect and measure liquids, and they are frequently used in many industries and applications. These sensors are incredibly reliable in pump station applications and are unaffected by many of the challenging conditions that impact other level sensors.

Using pressure transducers for level sensing in pump stations is beneficial in many scenarios. When measuring water or other fluids, pressure transducers convert the weight (or pressure) of the water column above it to produce an analog electrical signal. The pressure generated by this water column is known as the hydrostatic head pressure, or HHP. As the pressure increases, the analog signal also increases to communicate the rising liquid levels to the control panel, which will start and stop pumps at defined pressure levels. Different fluids and materials have their own unique properties, and pressure transducers require site-specific configuration to account for the specific gravity and density of the liquids in each application. Pressure transducers are often installed at the bottom of the tank where pressure is the most consistent. This removes the sensor from turbulence, turbidity, and other common forces in the wet well that can cause false readings with other level sensor technologies. Here are two pump station projects that utilize a pressure transducer for liquid level sensing.

Shea Center – High Flow Stormwater Pump Station

The development of the Shea Center, a new industrial center, required Romtec Utilities to design and supply a powerful stormwater pump station. This system uses a triplex configuration of 20 hp Ebara pumps with a fourth “jockey” pump to handle nuisance flows during the dry season. Stormwater is collected from around the property and stored temporarily using a retention system which in turn supplies this pump station. Romtec Utilities used a pressure transducer in this system for accurate level measurements even in highly turbulent conditions when all three primary pumps are running. The amount of inflow could generate potentially disruptive or destructive forces for other types of level sensors, making pressure transducers a very reliable solution for this project.

Portland International Airport (PDX) – Stormwater Pump Station with Axial Flow Pumps

One of the runways at the Portland International Airport required a stormwater pump station to discharge large volumes of stormwater into a nearby runoff creek. Romtec Utilities designed and supplied a large stormwater management system to handle the super-high flows of stormwater due to potentially heavy rainfall in the area and the high groundwater table from the adjacent Columbia River. Three 50 hp axial flow pumps were installed in a triplex configuration to meet the flow requirements to pump up to 39 million gallons per day. Using a rectangular wet well with these heavy flow requirements made a pressure transducer the preferred level sensor device for this system. The pressure transducer for this project provides reliable primary level sensing for a very wide range of potential flow conditions, which could range from nuisance flow to super-high flows.

Pressure transducers are level sensors that work exceptionally well in many pump stations. These sensors use hydrostatic head pressure to produce extremely accurate level measurements, regardless of the water conditions. Romtec Utilities will often use pressure transducers in applications where other level sensors are unable to handle frequent disruptions in the surface of the water. Of course, Romtec Utilities can include any type of level sensor your water district or municipality requires and/or prefers. Check back next week for our next addition to the level sensor blog series, conductive probes. Contact Romtec Utilities today to start your pump station design or learn more about level sensors.

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