Capacitive level measurement

Continuous level measurement with capacitive sensors

Capacitive level sensors for standard applications

Capacitive sensors are often used for level measurement - but they are often prone to errors.

The sensors are strongly influenced by environmental factors such as temperature fluctuations, humidity or electrical interference. These variables affect the precision and reliability of the measurements.

Replace your capacitive sensors with universal measuring devices from MBA Instruments! These offer you the reliability and precision you need.

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Principle of measurement of level sensors without media contact

The principle of capacitive level measurement is based on the capacitance of an electrical capacitor formed by a liquid medium and the wall of the tank. The capacitive sensor in the medium and the tank wall form a capacitor whose capacitance depends on the amount of medium in the tank. A change in capacitance caused by a change in level is converted into a level signal.

If the probe is in the air, a certain low initial capacitance of the capacitor is measured. When the container is filled, the capacitance of the capacitor increases as the probe is covered. Once the previously defined capacitance has been reached, a limit signal is emitted. For commissioning, the measured capacitance must be assigned to the percentage level. This adjustment is carried out by measuring the capacitance when the tank is empty and when it is full.

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Areas of application for capacitive level measurement

Capacitive level measurement is used in industries that require non-invasive level measurement, but its use in demanding environments is prone to interference.

In this industry, capacitive sensors are used to monitor the fill level of chemicals in tanks and containers. This is crucial for the safe handling and storage of hazardous substances.

Capacitive sensors enable the precise monitoring of stock levels in food production. They are used for liquids such as oils and sauces as well as for solids such as flour and sugar.

Capacitive level measurement is used in reservoirs, clarifiers and sewers to monitor water levels and control pumping systems.

In the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, accurate level measurements are crucial for the production of pharmaceuticals and biotechnological products.


Capacitive sensors are used in power plants to monitor the fill level of cooling water and chemicals in storage tanks and containers.

In agriculture, capacitive level sensors are used to monitor the fill level of fertilisers, pesticides and irrigation water in tanks and storage facilities.

Capacitive sensors play an important role in the process industry, where they are used to monitor raw materials and intermediate products in tanks and silos.

Limits of the measurement method

The method is most suitable for bulk solids with a sufficiently high dielectric constant, which means that products with a low dielectric constant are more difficult to measure, including those with a low density.

The measurement sensitivity of the sensor may need to be customised to take into account the specific properties of the product in question. Changes in the product, such as changes in moisture, may require the sensor to be re-adjusted to ensure accurate measurements.

That's why we at MBA Instruments have developed measuring devices for point level measurement that can be used flexibly for any application and can withstand the challenges.

Our universal fill level measuring devices such as rotating paddle detectors, vibrating level switches or membrane switches are designed to provide the versatility and precision required in complex environments.

What application are you looking for a measuring device for?

Give us a call and we will find the right solution for you!

Jens Kirstein

Sales Manager

T +49 4106-12388 881

Other measuring principles of continuous level measurement

Level measurement with radar sensors

In non-contact level measurement using radar, the measuring device transmits microwave signals from above onto the product, which reflects them. Radar sensors reliably measure both light and heavy bulk solids, even in the presence of dust and noise, unaffected by build-up and condensation.

Level measurement with ultrasonic sensors

Ultrasonic technology utilises ultrasonic waves that are emitted by a transmitter and recorded by a receiver. Ultrasonic level measurement is used in a wide range of applications. The measuring method is a proven and cost-effective solution for use in liquids and bulk solids.

Level measurement with plumb bob sensors

In the field of grain and flour processing, a simple and reliable solution for level measurement tasks is required. Determining the fill level in closed, non-transparent containers, such as a silo, is necessary in order to be able to place repeat orders in good time and thus avoid production bottlenecks.

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