Monitoring Water Levels with Non-Contact Technology

Senix ToughSonic® Ultrasonic Transmitters are well-equipped to measure water levels with advanced “non-contact” technology that ‘looks down’ at the surface of the water to monitor from above. These sensors are often situated in open-air environments and inside stilling tubes that can limit the sound and improve performance. Relatively straightforward to use and extremely reliable, these sensors are installed around the world in a wide range of working applications for stream monitoring, flood and tsunami warnings, irrigation, and sea-level monitoring.

Water Delivery to Farms in Australia
Water Delivery to Farms in Australia

Industries & Applications

  • Open Channel Flow
  • Monitoring Sea Levels
  • Monitoring Flood Levels
  • Wastewater
  • Irrigation
  • Ponds, Rivers, Streams

The Sensors

ToughSonic® sensors can withstand almost any conditions they are subjected to during indoor and outdoor applications. Solid-state electronic components are positioned using epoxy into stainless steel housings and what’s more, is that there are no mechanical parts ready to break. The IEC compliant electrical interfaces are also protected from any over-voltages or reversed connections.

These high-quality distance measurement sensors are compatible with almost all types of automation and telemetry equipment available on the market. Ranging from sophisticated multi-sensor data networks to simple analog connections, the applications of these sensors are wide in scope. Additionally, these sensors are cost-effective due to their durability and flexible connectivity embedded into the sensor’s software – this is power that you can unleash with the as-standard SenixVIEW PC software. Push-button “teach” technology is also available with many of the models.

Tough

  • Type 316 stainless steel housings
  • Reinforced ToughSonic internal electronics
  • Potted construction sealed with epoxy
  • Liquid-tight IP68 immersion rating
  • UV-resistant, potted-in cable
  • Ruggedized piezoelectric ultrasonic transducers
  • IEC-compliant electrical interface protection
  • CE compliant

Smart

  • Connects to a wide range of equipment including SCADA
  • Several standard interfaces, including analog 4-20 mA current loop, analog voltage and serial data
  • Support software included for sensor installation
  • Interface distances, output ranges and response features are adjustable to suit the application
  • Operates in battery-operated systems
  • Duplicate installations without re-calibration

Irrigation

Water Delivery

Water Delivery

Remote Monitoring

Remote Monitoring

ToughSonic® ultrasonic sensors are typically deployed to measure the level of canals, channels, and gates to control the distribution of irrigation water. The sensors are compatible with battery operation and connect with SCADA systems and, thus championed for use worldwide by irrigation districts and water providers. Australia’s largest private environmental and irrigation water delivery company, Murray Irrigation, deploys the ToughSonic 14 to manage water distribution to many of their approximately 2,200 landholdings throughout southern New South Wales. Customers on their PIIOP program can sell and buy as well as order water from their cell phone using telemetry-enabled, automated and/or remote-controlled technology. Please see our article on this project.

Typical Bridge Gate

Typical Bridge Gate

Sensors are located at the top of “stilling tubes”. These tubes extend into the water, constrain the sound, and have temperature compensation features.

Sensors are located at the top of “stilling tubes”. These tubes extend into the water, constrain the sound, and have temperature compensation features.

Typical stilling tubes with low water level in the channel.

Typical stilling tubes with low water level in the channel.

Open-air monitoring of a small canal.

Open-air monitoring of a small canal.

Open Channel Flow

Flumes, Weirs & Channels

Flumes, Weirs & Channels

Open Channel Flow measurement governs the volume of water, effluent or industrial waste flowing through a flume, channel, or weir. Flumes and weirs are hydraulic structures within which the liquid flow rate is recorded by measuring the height of the liquid flow passing through the structure. That height is then transformed to flow using a specific equation relevant to the structure. Placed at the right location, ToughSonic sensors can measure the liquid height by non-contact distance measurement by simply looking down at the liquid surface. The Parshall flume drawing illustrates this process. Typical weirs are also shown. Control of the flow rate through the weir is easily achieved by adjusting the vertical position of a gate.

Parshall Flume Sketch

Parshall Flume Sketch

Small weir for water level control

Small weir for water level control

Weir waterfall

Weir waterfall

Water management with a flowing weir in a stream

Water management with a flowing weir in a stream

Water flowing from a weir

Water flowing from a weir

Flood Monitoring

Rivers & Streams

Rivers & Streams

Senix ToughSonic® sensors monitor the level of water flowing in streams and rivers. Sensors can be installed and mounted onto bridges and other structures. From their fixed position, they will ‘look down’ at the water to measure and report flood status via telemetry.

Formed in 2009, the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) engages in flood-related projects to help Iowans gain real-time knowledge concerning their flood risks, which allows them to make better decisions. In 2010, they selected ToughSonic sensors for their new Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) and over several years they have added over 200 monitoring sites to this system using ToughSonic 50 sensors. Please see our article on the IFIS system for additional information.

Senix ToughSonic 50 Level Sensor with rear mounting threads

Senix ToughSonic 50 Level Sensor with rear mounting threads

Iowa Flood Center Stream Gauge

Iowa Flood Center Stream Gauge

Iowa Flood Map with current rainfall conditions superimposed. Blue dots are monitoring sites that use the ToughSonic 50 level sensor.

Iowa Flood Map with current rainfall conditions superimposed. Blue dots are monitoring sites that use the ToughSonic 50 level sensor.

Other Water Applications

Here are just some of the many other water level applications for Senix ToughSonic sensors:

  • Ocean wave monitoring
  • Tidal monitoring
  • Wastewater
  • Water tank level
  • Towing tanks

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Senix Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit Senix Corporation.

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