by Sabine Mühlenkamp, specialised journalist for the chemical industry and general technology

VEGA has extended its portfolio of radar sensors with a new compact instrument series: VEGAPULS C 11, C 21 and C 22. These sensors are also suitable for more price-sensitive applications, such as those commonly found in the water/wastewater industry. Three application examples from Austria show how simple and straightforward their use is.

The new series of VEGAPULS C radar level transmitters is characterised not only by its compactness, but also by its low price. The beating heart of these new sensors is a radar microchip newly developed by VEGA: extremely small and specially optimised for the requirements of level measurement.

This makes the series a real alternative to ultrasonic measurement technology, which is still widely used in applications with water and wastewater. Thanks to 80GHz technology, the radar beam can be aimed at the measured medium with pinpoint accuracy.

Besides not being affected by temperature fluctuations, radar sensors are, most importantly, non-sensitive to soiling. Although the series is relatively new on the market, it has already been used successfully in many applications.

Measurement of river levels in hydroelectric power plants

For continuous level measurement in its nine large and 34 small hydroelectric power stations, the Tyrolean energy company TIWAG has been relying on radar technology from VEGA for quite some time. The measured values, whether of levels in pump shafts or river levels, are important parameters for regulating the power supply in Tyrol.

The new sensor series is now also used in the Kirchbichl power station. This TIWAG power station, which was integrated into a loop of the river Inn, has been supplying Tyrol reliably with electricity since the 1940s.

A few years ago, a remediation project was launched with the goal of increasing the efficiency of the power station. Since April 2020, pairs of sensors from the new VEGAPULS C 21 series have been continuously monitoring levels along the waterway at the Kirchbichl power plant.

VEGAPULS C 21 was convincing not only because of its compactness, but also because the sensor can be flooded without ill effect. The latter is extremely important, considering that high water events are always possible.

Application in Abwasserverband AIZ

In the extensive area covered by Abwasserverband AIZ (Wastewater Management Association Achental, Inntal und Zillertal), a large number of pumps are constantly at work moving wastewater into the right channels and ultimately to the sewage treatment plant in Strass.

VEGA level sensors deliver reliable measured values that ensure that the pumps switch on and off at the right time. From AIZ’s point of view, one particular advantage of the new series is the extremely narrow beam angle, which makes it possible for the instruments to deliver very precise measuring results even in cramped measuring situations, in extremely dirty environments or in containers with many internal installations.

The installation in March 2020 was accomplished with only a minimal amount of work and expenditure, and the VEGAPULS C 21 and C 22 sensors began delivering the required measured values right from the start – the basis for reliable pump operation.

Safe drinking water supply

In the past, the municipality of Buch in Tyrol frequently had problems supplying safe drinking water to its residents. The pragmatic solution: feed drinking water from the neighbouring town of Jenbach into Buch’s water supply system via a network pipeline. The water is buffered in the St. Margarethen elevated reservoir, thus ensuring a constant supply of drinking water, especially when demand is high.

To monitor the level there, the operators looked for an inexpensive measuring instrument that, above all, could be installed with minimum effort. The radar sensor VEGAPULS C 11 from the new series turned out to be the simplest, most cost-effective solution. The sensor was simply mounted on the ceiling of the drinking water storage tank and has been continuously delivering exact measured values ever since.

This partner content is brought to you by VEGA. For more information, visit

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