Without oil, we would have to reinvent our world: today there are more products that contain mineral oil than those that don’t. However, before this raw material finds its way into our everyday lives, there are over 500 compounds contained within it that need to be separated – via petrochemical processes where 80-GHz radar level sensors have proven to be indispensable.

To monitor their various production processes, petrochemical companies are now using 80-GHz radar sensors more and more. These high-frequency level measurement systems are now established throughout all processing stages – from extraction, transport, degassing and desalination right through to distillation and refining.

VEGA product manager Jürgen Skowaisa sees one major reason behind this industry success story: "First and foremost, the petrochemical industry demands uncompromising process reliability.  The more accurately continuous measured values reflect the actual process conditions, the more reliably plants can be operated." The measured substances are often "highly flammable and explosive," adds the radar expert, "and there are lots of hydrocarbon-based media that reflect measurement signals extremely poorly." These include liquefied gases such as methane, ethane or propane, whose dielectric constants are all below a value of 2. For that reason they reflect only a small part of the radar signals.

Understanding the tough demands industry

80-GHz sensors VEGAPULS 64 and VEGAPULS 69 are very familiar with the requirements in the oil and gas industry. Their optimized focusing and unique high dynamics predestine them for use in liquids as well as bulk solids in this tough industry and make its manufacturing processes safer and more reliable. Flameproof enclosures, certified according to worldwide standards, meet the explosion protection requirements. This makes the sensors well qualified to be deployed in hazardous areas caused by gas and dust. All versions typically used in the petrochemical industry are available: intrinsic safety Ex-ia, as well as flameproof enclosure Ex d. Non-contact measurement and independent of changing media properties, the high-frequency sensors can withstand extreme process temperatures from -196° C to +200° C in applications with liquids. With their numerous optional features and components, the 80-GHz sensors are ideal for harsh applications of all kinds: not only for the oil and gas industry, but for many other industrial applications under difficult conditions.