Continuous Level vs Point Level Sensing – What is the Difference?

Table of Contents

Introduction
What is a Point Level Sensor?
What is a Continuous Level Sensor?

Introduction

Today, many different level sensing technologies are available on the market to choose from - some are easy to use, simple and cost effective, while others are very expensive and more complex.

These level sensing technologies perform a similar job one way or another and hence can be classified into two basic categories: sensors that are meant for point level detection, which means they can establish the presence or absence of a liquid, and sensors that are meant for continuous level detection of liquid levels – otherwise known as sensors that can reveal the exact level of liquid present.

It fully relies on the customer’s application requirements. In some applications, information about the exact amount of the liquid present would be beneficial, while for others information about the presence or absence of a liquid is more than sufficient.

What is a Point Level Sensor?

Point level sensors are devices that are capable of detecting the presence or absence of almost any liquid media. These sensors are typically employed for processes where low or high levels need to be detected. Generally, the most common applications requiring a point level sensor are divided into two categories; leak detection – preventing costly damage to equipment or level measurement or service interruption – preventing run dry or overspill situations.

The technology performs similar to a switch to drive an action when the vessel or tank level reaches above or below a specific threshold.

The following are some examples of liquid level sensors that can work as point level sensors:

  • Ultrasonic Liquid Level Sensors
  • Vertical Float Switches
  • Horizontal Float Switches
  • Optical Liquid Level Sensors

What is a Continuous Level Sensor?

Continuous level sensors offer a constant measurement of liquid and supply accurate and precise levels of the liquid within the vessel/tank at anytime. Usual applications that require a continuous level sensor are processes where high accuracy is essential and where it is important to know the liquid level, such as inventory control or process control and management.

The following are examples of liquid level sensors that can work as continuous level sensors:

  • Ultrasonic Liquid Level Sensors
  • Submersible Liquid Level Sensors
  • Optical Liquid Level Sensors

It is important to consider the variety of factors that could affect the type of technology a customer chooses. Environmental factors such as chemical compatibility, pressure, temperature, range of measurement and output will determine the type of technology ideal for the application of  a customer.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by SST Sensing Ltd.

For more information on this source, please visit SST Sensing Ltd.

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