Gems Non-Contact Radar Level Sensor in Oil Fill and Recovery Trucks

Oil fill and recovery trucks are becoming more popular way to efficiently serve large machinery with the proper fluids.  These trucks are composed of numerous tanks that may hold diesel fuel, engine lubricating oil, hydraulic oil, and grease to service large earth moving equipment onsite.  This is crucial to help increase uptime as it is time consuming and costly to transport these large pieces of equipment to a service center.  In addition, the oil trucks can offload the dirty oils from the earth moving equipment as they need regular oil changes to run efficiently and prevent catastrophic failures.  These large tractors and bull dozers may hold over 100 gallons of used oil so properly offloading and disposing is crucial for the environment.


As the used oil is pumped into the recovery trucks accurate level measurement is vital to prevent overfilling the tanks.  In addition, not only is overfilling important, but determining if there is a leak is also crucial.  Accurate level measurement is important to verify that oil is not leaking from the tanks.  The level is continuously monitored and any unplanned drop in level can alert personnel to investigate for any potential tank failures.   


Challenge:  Finding a cost-effective, easily configurable non-contact level sensor that can handle a large sensing range, and not be affected by the hydrocarbon vapors within the oil tanks.   


Solution:Gems Non-Contact Radar Level Sensor

The Gems radar level sensor is a non-contact continuous level transmitter Radar technology works by sending out short microwave signals toward the liquid via the sensor.  The microwave signal then hits the liquid surface and bounces back toward the sensor.  The sensor utilizes the time-of-flight principle which uses the known speed of the microwave, and the time it took for the signal to return, divided by two (since it had to travel down to the liquid and then back up to the sensor) to determine the distance between the liquid level and the sensor.  Since most level is based on the height of the liquid, not the height of the non-liquid (air), the air height is subtracted from the total tank depth to determine the liquid level!

Gems non-contact radar sensor is a great fit in Oil Fill/Recovery Trucks for several reasons.  With an Ingress Protection rating of 68, it can be installed on the exterior of these tanks that are exposed to the elements with no risk of moisture intrusion.  The Gems’ radar sensor is constructed of PVDF which is resistant to corrosion and is not affected from harmful UV light exposure.  With a 2” NPT mounting it can easily be mounted in one of the ports found on top of these oil tanks.   

Due to the various types of oils that may be used on these trucks it can be difficult for a contact-based sensor to work consistently between different oil viscosities.  In addition, used oil can be very viscous with some fine debris that could foul up a float sensor.  In addition, you also need to worry about chemical compatibility of the float and stem within the different oils.  Gems’ non-contact radar level sensor does not need adjustment when used with different medias and its non-contact design eliminates the need to worry about chemical compatibility.  With a maximum process temperature rating of 80 degrees Celsius and full vacuum to 43 PSI rating, it can withstand extreme applications.   


Below are additional benefits of Gems Non-Contact Radar Level Sensor:    

  • Comes standard with Bluetooth configuration/setup.  This saves sourcing and inventory costs as it reduces inventory management from multiple specific transmitters for each different tank depth down to one! 
  • Gems radar sensor is a compact design which helps reduce expensive shipping costs and transit times.  This also helps make installation easier.    
  • Non-contact design means no media ever comes in contact with the Radar sensor.  This eliminates the need to worry about material compatibility between the media and sensor components. 
  • The non-contact design is by default a no moving parts solution, which eliminates the potential for any mechanical failures from a float or probe-based sensor.   
  • Radar through the air technology is a very accurate sensing technology and can detect liquid level within 5mm, with no effect on its accuracy based on changes in temperature or pressure.   
  • Radar technology is not affected by condensation or dust in the air like ultra-sonic based sensors.   

The above characteristics make Gems radar sensor an ideal solution to work in Oil Recovery/Fill Trucks.  With standard outputs including 4-20mA, HART, and Modbusit is compatible with almost any type of controller or display.  Gems non-contact radar sensor also has built-in Bluetooth capability for simple configuration.  During setup it has the ability to sense obstructions within the beam angle and ignore them.  This increases the potential installation areas as there is no need to work around tank obstructions like pipes or other sensors.  This helps save countless installation man hours and eliminates the need to make costly tank modifications.       

Gems Radar Level Sensor is an excellent match for Oil Recovery/Fill Trucks.        


Additional Sensors: 

  • XT-700 small float level transmitter 
  • XT-800 medium float level transmitter 
  • LS-800 medium multi-float level switch 
  • 3100 Pressure sensor