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9/10/2017 Operating Principle of Displacer Level Sensors ~ Learning Instrumentation And Control Engineering

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Operating Principle of Displacer Level Sensors

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Displacer level sensors use Archimedes’ Principle to detect liquid level by continuously measuring the weight of a displacer rod
immersed in the process liquid. The displacer is cylindrical in shape with a constant cross-sectional area and made long or short 3.Liquid Level Mea
as required. Standard heights range from 14 inches to 120 inches. As liquid level increases, the displacer rod experiences a
greater buoyant force, making it appear lighter to the sensing instrument, which interprets the loss of weight as an increase in 4.Electronic Se
level and transmits a proportional output signal. As liquid level decreases, the buoyant force on the displacer rod decreases with
a corresponding weight increase which is interpreted as decreasing level by the level sensor which then give a corresponding
signal output. USEFUL ENGINEERING L

Shown below is a typical displacer level sensor installation: Common Cause of Batter
Understanding Battery T
Although the basic theory of Specifications
operation has been outlined above, in Instrumentation Books fo
a practical displacer level sensor, the Engineers and Technicia
construction is engineered to achieve Flow Meter Selection Gu
the desired measurement objective How to Calibrate a Press
with sophisticated electronic Sizing Orifice Plates with
circuitry. In these types of displacer Calculator
level sensors, the displacer is Basics of Control Valve P
attached to a spring which restricts How to Setup a HART Tra
its movement for each increment of
Basics of Ultrasonic Flow
buoyancy (i.e. level change). A
AGA 3 Gas Flow Equation
transmitter incorporating a Linear
Variable Differential Transformer Learning Electrical Engin
(LVDT) is used to track the rise and
fall of the displacer rod as liquid level changes. Sophisticated electronics is then used to process the voltage signal from the LDVT
into a 4-20mA output signal.

Archimedes’ Principle Applied to the Displacer
According to Archimedes’ Principle, the buoyant force on an immersed object is always equal to the weight of the fluid volume
displaced by the object.
Suppose in a displacer level sensor, we have a cylindrical displacer rod with density, ρ, radius, r, length, L, and process fluid of
density, У. In this installation, the length of the displacer rod is proportional to the liquid level being measured:

Volume of displacer rod, V = πr L
2

Note that as shown in the diagram for the displacer level sensor installation above, when the vessel is full, the displacer rod is
completely immersed in the process fluid hence the volume of process fluid displaced is V = πr2 L. When the level of the vessel
is empty or minimum, volume of process fluid displaced is V = 0

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