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Case Study: Achieving Reliable High-Resolution Liquid Level and Temperature Sensing in Difficult Conditions

Download a PDF of this Case Study: Achieving Reliable High-Resolution Liquid Level and Temperature Sensing in Difficult Conditions (3 MB)


Case Study: Achieving Reliable High-Resolution Liquid Level and Temperature Sensing in Difficult Conditions

Oil levels and oil temperatures in power generators, compressors, gearboxes and hydraulic systems are monitored by liquid level sensors in order to keep the equipment functioning correctly and to avoid catastrophic damage. These sensors must deliver repeatable and highly accurate level and temperature measurement data under harsh conditions – high temperatures, harsh liquids, and extreme shock and vibration.

Learn how Madison created a technical solution for one OEM that exceeded design expectations within a tight time period.

Challenging Conditions

Challenging Conditions

Operators of power generators, trains, off road vehicles, trucks and heavy moving equipment need to be sure that the lubricant oil used in the compressors, gearboxes and hydraulic systems is kept at the right level and temperature – deviation could result in catastrophic equipment failure, removal from service and even endanger people’s lives.

However, the sensors used to measure level and temperature need to function under extreme conditions – viscous and corrosive fluids, very high heat and extreme shock and vibe. In many cases, several sensors needed to be are used to sense different parameters. In some cases, Depending on the end use, the sensor may need to meet military specifications.

The Design Goal

The Design Goal

The design team at Madison was tasked with development of a sensor that would:

  • Measure both level and temperature in a single device
  • Provide repeatable and highly accurate results at a level of 2.2 mm of resolution
  • Operate consistently in petroleum-based fluids
  • Operate in high temperature and under extreme shock and vibe conditions
  • Fit in a very tight footprint (tanks as small as 4-5 inches)
The Outcome

Madison applied its expertise in mechanical and electrical engineering design and was able to meet the above criteria with a stainless steel and Buna sensor. A custom-engineered PCB board and magnet design with integrated RTD (resistive temperature detector), special earth grounding, IP69K connections and military grade, glass-filled connectors were incorporated to meet customer specifications.

The Outcome

For one customer, Madison was able to meet a very demanding build schedule by staying in close communication and coordination throughout the project.


Can Madison Help You?

Once Madison understands the need and learns what the customer is trying to accomplish, Madison can often help customers in ways the customer may not have considered.

If you have a project that incorporates liquid level sensors, contact Madison.

Anyone can build a sensor – Madison designs solutions.