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An onboard radar level measuring system developed by Hycontrol is improving safety and logistics for operators of a custom-designed transformer oil-delivery/collection tanker built by Whale Tankers.

The vehicle’s 11,000l stainless-steel tank is equally partitioned, with one half being used for clean oil and the other for the collected waste oil.

Each half has its own TDR-guided wave-radar level measuring system connected to separate digital displays and powered by the vehicle’s 24V supply.

At the heart of the Hycontrol system are two co-axial 24V loop-powered VF03 series TDR radar units that fit directly into flanges at the top of the tank.

TDR (Time Domain Reflectometry) technology is suitable for such applications and the coaxial design is particularly suitable for low-dielectric products such as oil, having the ability to measure dielectrics as low as 1.1.

The stainless-steel measuring probe consists of a solid inner rod and coaxial, perforated outer tube.

The measuring technology provides accuracy and is unaffected by vapour interfaces or changes in pressure and temperature.

There is no dead zone at the upper end of the probes, ensuring measurements can be made to the top of the tank.

The lower ends of the TDR units are fitted with caps that fit into depressions designed into the bottom of the tanks.

This provides protection for the probe assembly against liquid-surge forces generated during heavy braking and ensures level measurements can be made to the bottom of the tank.

The level system is pre-calibrated in house and the output display converted to read directly in litres.

The digital displays, which are fitted with high and low alarms, are mounted on the side of the vehicle adjacent to the fill/empty points for ease of reading at ground level.

Visibility at these points is essential to control the fill and empty processes so immediate action can be taken if an event occurs.

Hycontrol’s system is designed to be compliant with Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road regulations (ADR).

The delivery driver can ensure that there is adequate clean oil in the tanker to fill any particular transformer, while the high alarm ensures this ullage is maintained during the filling process.

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