Method of measuring level of liquid and level of liquid signaling device

FIELD: measuring technique; oil industry; chemical industry.

SUBSTANCE: method can be used for checking level of liquid in reservoirs, for example, at petrol stations. At least one measuring bar is placed in container; there are marks applied onto measuring bar. Image of measuring bar is transmitted by means of TV camera fixed to float (water-proof case of camera can be also made in form of float) through TV signal transmission channel to TV image introducing device and digital computing device, where calculation of level of liquid is performed on the base of digital representation of received original image. Float of waterproof case of TV camera made in form of float is capable of free movement in vertical direction when level of liquid changes. Signal received by TV camera does not depend on position (warps) of float as determination of level of liquid is performed on base of image of glowing areas on surface of light guide, which areas are disposed within field of view of camera. To perceive information, camera needs a small highlight, as camera is located close to measuring bar. When using light guides as measuring bars, highlighting is not required. Precision of result of measurement if defined by technological abilities of microscopic roughness application only with specified pitch onto surface of core of light guide and by resolution of chamber.

EFFECT: very high precision.

9 cl

 

The invention relates to measurement techniques, in particular to the means of controlling the level of liquids in tanks, for example at petrol stations, and can also be used in oil, fuel, chemical and other industries.

Known the simplest way to determine the liquid level, including direct measurement using metrostate with the tubular design of circular cross section coated with metric scale in the form of a metal measuring tape (see EN, a utility model certificate No. 3754, IPC G 01 F 23/04, 1997).

This method is widely distributed in virtue of its simplicity and cheapness, but he gives a very low measurement accuracy and is not suitable for use in hermetically sealed containers.

There is a method of measuring liquid level, implemented in discrete optical transmitter and consists in the fact that light radiation from the radiation source is transmitted through the fiber optic line in which the integrated level Converter in the form of a prism located at the front in a controlled capacity. The input end of the optical fiber, the optical fiber line connected to the source of light radiation, and an output end located at a level Converter, to the level indicator. To obtain data about the change in the liquid level preobrazovatelnaja place at the height of the container on the rack. When the vessel is empty, the level converters (prism) are in a gaseous environment and the conditions of total internal reflection of the light radiation and the optical fibers gets on the scoreboard display. As the tank level transducers sequentially appear in the liquid. In this case violated the conditions of total internal reflection at the boundary of the prism - liquid, and all luminous flux penetrates into the liquid and misses to the output end of the light guide associated with the indicator. This allows visual observation of the change in the sensor reading on the level meter (see RU, patent No. 2014572, IPC G 01 F 23/22, 1994).

There is also known a method of determining the liquid level, implemented by fiber-optic transmitter (SU inventor's certificate No. 1280329, IPC G 01 F 23/22, 1986), namely, that light radiation from the radiation source through the optical fiber transmission line down the sensitive element is variable along the optical axis of the refractive index, after leaving which light radiation through the fiber optic line is directed to the radiation detector, the signal of which is controlled measuring instruments. In the absence of a fluid signal at the output of the sensing element defines only those rays for which the entire length of the senses the positive element is the condition of total internal reflection. When the liquid part of the rays of the disturbed condition of total internal reflection at the boundary of the fiber - liquid and they leave the sensing element and extend into the liquid. Accordingly, varies the intensity of light falling on the radiation receiver that is registered by the measuring devices.

The disadvantage of the above described methods and their corresponding devices is the difficulty.

There is a method, implemented by a level indicator liquid and consisting in that the supporting element is placed in a controlled capacity, have a number of optical fibers fixed at some distance from each other, with each fiber is cut at some point and received parts come with a gap defined on the assumption that the passing light flux through the gap from one side of the light guide to the other depends on the presence or absence in the gap of the controlled fluid. Gaps in the fibers have at different heights (see EP application No. 176194, IPC G 01 F 23/22, 1986).

The disadvantage of this analogue is the lack of measurement accuracy and complexity of the device that implements the method.

In practice, the most commonly used float level, with relatively simple construction and acceptable accuracy level measurement.

Known is n float liquid level gauge, containing the float, made so that it is placed on the surface of the liquid and provided with vertical guides, and a vertically disposed line with the scale on the float posted by collecting and scattering lens, the optical axis which intersect and are located in a horizontal plane so that the field of view lens is Jackal ruler. To the scattering lens summed output end of the first flexible fiber light guide for collecting lens - input end of the second flexible fiber-optic waveguides and the input end of the first flexible fiber light guide and the output end of the second flexible fiber light guide summed up respectively to the light source and the Converter removable television camera connected to a television receiver (EN, No. 3328, U1, 1996).

The closest technical solution is the method of determining the liquid level, implemented in the transmitter and which consists in the fact that for liquid level measurement using float an image with the surface of which is administered by the television camera in digital computing device, where the received digital display of the original image calculates the liquid level. The obtained result is output to the visual display device or print it out (with the. RU patent No. 2126529, IPC G 01 F 23/64, 1999).

This method for determining the liquid level and the corresponding level have a number of advantages, namely, they allow the measurement of in sealed containers, the digital processing method of information allows sufficient measurement accuracy and, in addition, when the equipment computing device, a modem, paired with the phone line, can provide the opportunity for the remote detection of liquid level in the tank, and the possibility of multi-channel measurements (to simultaneously obtain information about the fluid level in multiple containers). In addition, from the obtained data about the fluid level using the computing device to easily obtain additional information to calculate the volume of the liquid. As a drawback is the use of this system float with strings-stretching, that is element of the mechanical system. Due to the fact that the measurement is performed on the image float, in the presence of even a small misalignment in the horizontal plane, the accuracy level will plummet. Another disadvantage of the known technical solution is the need sufficiently intense illumination of the surface of the float due to the fact that the camera is stationary in the vessel at a considerable the Sam is anii on the float the distance to the float when the level change is changed.

The problem solved by the invention is the creation of a simplified method of determining the level, providing high accuracy and the possibility to use airtight containers, and also the creation of a technical device with high measurement accuracy and reliability with good performance characteristics (durability, maintainability).

The problem is solved due to the fact that in the process of determining the liquid level in the tank vertically or obliquely, have the gauge, the role of which can perform optical fiber, one or two of its ends connected to the source(s) light radiation, wherein the length of the gauge marked discretely placed a marker to indicate the depth that the figures represent its value. The numbers located next to discretely spaced marks, may have a round shape and can be arranged so that they form a binary code, allowing for "reading" information to gauge the television camera "rude" to determine the depth of the interface liquid-air. Labels indicating the depth of the liquid level, and the numbers in the binary code are indicated on the light guide zones, released on the shell, or it can be used in the fiber is completely released from the shell, and in the zones corresponding depth mark and the figure can be broken condition of total internal reflection (for example, application of asperities on the core of the fiber). Near the gauge have a second gauge - fiber, also having a zone in which no condition of total internal reflection, and these zones (in the form of circles - "points") incurred through may small interval, which determines the accuracy of the measurement of liquid level.

The tank is placed a float partially submerged in the liquid. Television camera, encased in a sealed housing fixedly mounted on the float, with the possibility of vertical travel when the change in the liquid level in the tank. The float is provided with means holding it against horizontal movement. Television camera with its output through the channel of transmission of a television signal is connected with the serially connected input device of the television image, the digital computing device and the display device measurements.

About the liquid level in the tank is judged by the degree of dispersion of light emission recorded by the television camera in the areas of fiber, discretely located along its length. the degree of dispersion of the light emission depends on the ratio of the refractive indices of the core of the fiber and the external environment liquid or air, while discretely located along the length of the light guide zones (first and second dipsticks) create plots of core waveguide free from the shell, by applying to the surface of the core of asperities in such a way as to ensure in these areas violating the conditions of total internal reflection. Used as the radiation receiver TV digital camera receiving an image of the fiber at the location of the boundaries of the liquid, allows to obtain a signal that is injected into the digital computing device, where the aggregate of the two digital representations, namely the original image first ("rough") gauge, giving a digital value in binary code the depth location of the partition, the air-liquid, and the second gauge that provides an accurate depth value relative to the testimony of the first dimensional line, calculates the liquid level.

While discretely located along the length of the light guide zones are located on the same generatrix of the surface of the core fiber.

The proposed method is implemented in the level switch liquid containing the first gauge, which is applied to the division indicating the depth, the second gauge, which is applied to the label with a lower multiplier, float, fixed with the possibility of vertical the aqueous move, and a television camera which is fixedly mounted on the float so that provides for the transmission of images both dipsticks.

The gauge can be in the form of a fiber, label (division) which is applied by special processing. The fiber can be fastened to the supporting element rod, which is installed vertically. Label (division) can be applied, in particular, in the following way. The core of the fiber is treated in certain areas of the fiber, discretely located along its length and corresponding to the location of the division indicating the depth or labels with a lower multiplier, when this processing allows the violation of the conditions of total internal reflection. As the radiation detector preferably can be used in digital television camera associated channel signal transmission with digital computing device, and discretely located along the length of the fiber zone, providing a different degree of dispersion of light emission depending on the ratio of indices of refraction of the core of the fiber and the external environment of liquid or air, is formed on parts of the core waveguide free from the shell, by applying to the surface of the core of asperities, providing in these areas violating conditions of full inside is his reflection.

For fixing the optical fiber on the support element can be made trough under the light guide, and the depth of the trench is less than the core diameter of the fiber.

The technical result - achieving high detection accuracy level achieved proposed by the invention, due to the fact that the signal perceived by the television camera, does not depend on position (distortions) of the float, because the definition of level is in the image of illuminated areas on the surface of the light guide, which is in the field of view of the camera. For information perception digital camera small enough illumination, because the camera is near the gauge. When using optical fibers as dipsticks lighting is generally not required. The accuracy of the result of detection by the technological possibilities of application of asperities with a certain step on the surface of the core fiber and the resolution of the camera.

The simplicity of the method, and the reliability and manufacturability of a level switch fuel is determined by its similarity to the first analog - metrostation, but it is possible to obtain data on the level of a liquid in pressurized tanks, including the image metric scales on the fiber as discretely located along the length of the light guide zones, providing russaian the e light radiation, in areas of the core coated with a finish, to ensure that in these areas the violation of the conditions of total internal reflection when the change in the refractive index of the external environment.

In addition, the level switch includes a video processing using computers, which is a common, well-designed system and requires no special additional development or retraining of staff.

Durability and serviceability of the device that implements the method, also defined by its simplicity.

The method for determining the liquid level in the tank is implemented by device - level switch of liquids.

The float, which is fixed to the television camera, mostly digital, immersed in the fluid in the tank. The float has a free vertical movement and unable horizontal travel along the surface of the liquid. Such fixing of float is performed by any known means, for example by means of vertical strings-guides, freely passing through the eyelets in the float, as is done in the patent is the nearest equivalent.

Television camera is located in a sealed housing, in fact the sealed enclosure can perform the function of the Yu float, in this case, the presence of a single element of the float is not required. The television camera is connected by a transmission channel of a television signal (predominantly coaxial cable) through the switch and the input device frame of a television signal with the computing device. The output of the computing device is connected with means for indicating the liquid level.

The lens of the television camera fitted near the surface of the liquid so as to capture in a field of view of the division of gauge numbers. In this case, the TV camera must be equipped with a device for the illumination of the gauge.

The preferred embodiment of the invention is the implementation of an exemplary gauge fiber optic, consisting of two optical fibers. The first optical fiber perform with divisions higher rates and represent each division of the dial, shown in binary code, which is perceived by the television camera. The second light guide has a division may lower rates, not labeled. The position of the liquid level is determined according to the testimony of both optical fibers, the first fiber gives rough information about the depth of the liquid level, and on the "small" divisions of the second light guide determine the exact location of the liquid level relative to the graduations of the first light guide.

The fiber consists of a core and shell, each light guide connected to a source of light radiation, located at one end of the fiber, while the other end of the optical fiber or free, or it can be connected to the second source of light radiation. The reference element is the stem for attachment thereto of the light guide is placed in the vessel upright.

The core of the fiber in some areas, forming a dividing gauge processed to obtain finish. These microscopic irregularities are located in predetermined areas of the fiber, discretely located along its length, and provide a violation of the conditions of total internal reflection when placed in a liquid.

On the side surface of the support element is a rod can be made of the gutter under the optical fibers, and the depth of the trench should be less than the core diameter of the fiber. Light receiver fiber optic cable television is digital camera.

The generatrix of the surface of the core fiber to form discrete spaced areas where the core free from the shell. Can be also used only the core of the fiber, i.e. the fiber along the entire working length which removed the shell. The surface of the core process to obtain asperities in such a way as to ensure in these areas with microprobes the s violation of the conditions of total internal reflection.

Both the prepared fiber is placed in a trench, oriented along the axis of the support element is a rod, and attach to it. Then install the rod into the container, the upper end of each fiber sochinyayut source of light radiation, for example light-emitting diode. The lower end of the optical fiber or free, or sochinyayut with a second source of light radiation.

The field of view of the television camera is selected so that it consisted of two adjacent dividing the first optical fiber, the division of which is indicated by the digits in the binary code.

The operation of the detector with the implementation of the claimed method is as follows.

In the air above the fluid level, due to the refractive index difference between air and the core of the optical fiber, the dispersion of light radiation exceeds its dispersion in a liquid, where the refractive indices of the fiber and liquids similar in magnitude. Due to this area with asperities located in the air, have bógreater brightness than the plots in the liquid. Optical signals from the optical fiber above the liquid level, measured by means of a television camera (digital video camera). Additionally can be used the laser, mounted in the upper part of the vessel with beam direction vertically downwards along sotovogo is in the field of view of the television camera. The laser beam is injected, is directed vertically downwards and it is visible in the liquid due to the scattering of its molecules, precisely indicating the position of the partition and the air-liquid.

The television signal from the camera through the transmission channel of a television signal is supplied to one of inputs of the switch. The transmission channel of a television signal in the simplest case serves as a coaxial cable or other known device broadcast television signal.

The output switch connected in series with the input device frame of the television image, the computing device and the display device of the results of the changes.

The computing device may be equipped with a modem for communication with the telephone line, the device interfacing with the printer connected to this unit.

As computing devices can be used a personal computer with appropriate software, the design of which is known. His monitor in this case will serve as a display device of the measurement results.

Device interfacing with the printer, the I / o Board television image and modems interfacing with a telephone line, built-in computer and digital television cameras belong to known devices.

Computing the mouth of austo calculates the liquid level according to the formula:

u=(l±l1),

where u is the measured liquid level (distance from the surface of the liquid to the vessel bottom);

l is the depth in accordance with the indications of the first optical fiber with a smaller multiplier;

l1- the number of divisions of the second light guide (with higher price points), calculated from the visible dividing the first light guide.

The obtained data about the liquid level in the tank is displayed on the operator's monitor or printed. You can use any other device to check the fluid level (visual - system alarm LEDs, sound to alert the filling capacity and so on).

1. The method for determining the liquid level, characterized by the fact that the containers have at least one gauge with a deposited divisions, the image is passed through a television camera mounted on the float, or a sealed enclosure which is made in the form of a float through a transmission channel of a television signal on an input device of a television image and a digital computing device in which the digital display of the received original image calculates the liquid level, the float or sealed enclosure television cameras, made in the form of float is free to move vertically in the direction when the change in the liquid level.

2. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that use digital television camera.

3. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that the television camera provided with a means to illuminate the gauge.

4. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that capacity have two gauges, each of which is made of a fiber-optic, namely in the form of a fiber, one or two of its ends connected to the source or sources of light radiation, and the first optical fiber along its length caused discretely spaced labels, made preferably in the form of a circle and grouped so that they form a number, mainly in the binary code, allowing to determine the depth of the liquid level, with labels indicating the depth of the liquid level, are area of the fiber, freed from the shell, or by using fiber is completely released from the shell, as the label at the core of the fiber caused microscopic irregularities; near the first optical fiber, a second fiber with similarly applied thereto divisions lower rates than fission-defined marks the first gauge and the television camera has a field of view encompassing at least two adjacent marks of the first light guide.

5. The method according to claim 1 or 4, characterized in that Thu is to highlight the level of liquid in the tank predominantly vertically enter the laser beam, which becomes visible in the liquid due to the scattering of its molecules

6. The level switch liquid, characterized in that it contains a float placed in the tank with the possibility of free movement in the vertical direction when the change in the liquid level, two dimensional line formed by the optical fibers that are coupled to the sources of light radiation, and a TV camera, with each fiber along its length discrete labels are forming dividing with greater price for the first optical fiber and with a lower price for the second optical fiber and is made in the form of zones, in which when in liquid condition of total internal reflection, while the television camera attached to the float and field of view covering at least two adjacent marks of the first light guide, and the chamber is connected by a transmission channel of a television signal with a digital computing device, and discretely located along the length of the fiber zone, providing a different degree of dispersion of light emission depending on the ratio of indices of refraction of the core of the fiber and the external environment of liquid or air, created in areas of the core fiber, free from membrane, mainly by applying to the surface of the core microproject is, providing in these areas violating the conditions of total internal reflection.

7. The detector according to claim 6, characterized in that the optical fibers are fixed on the supporting element, a vertical chute for each fiber, and the depth of the trench is less than the core diameter of the fiber.

8. The detector according to claim 6, characterized in that it is equipped with a laser, mounted in the upper part of the vessel with beam direction vertically downwards along the optical fibers in the field of view of the television camera.



 

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