NewTek AC-LVDTs: reliable alternatives to magnetostrictive sensors

27th June 2023
Sheryl Miles

NewTek AC-operated LVDT Position Sensors often serve as a more reliable, precise, and cost-effective alternative to magnetostrictive linear position sensors in the monitoring and control of valves in power generation and hydroelectrical stations.

Because power generation environments can reach temperatures of 250°C (475°F), magnetostrictive technology might fail or become inaccurate over time. While very accurate in benign applications, most magnetostrictive sensors cannot operate over 85°C as electronics must be placed very close to the ‘wand’.

With electronics separated from the LVDT coils, NewTek’s AC-operated linear position sensors continuously operate in power generation stations without failure at high temperatures. While the LVDT sensor remains in a harsher environment, NewTek’s NTC-6000 LVDT Signal Conditioner (which excites the AC-operated LVDT and provides a variety of output options for use in PLCS and other control systems) operates in a less innocuous environment. By using a low operating frequency range between 2 to 4kHz, the LVDT and signal conditioning are separable by 100 feet or higher.

With attributes such as frictionless measurement, infinite mechanical life, excellent repeatability, and good temperature stability over extended temperature ranges, NewTek AC-operated LVDT position sensors are the ideal linear position technology for valve applications, while providing both short and long stroke measurements, typically from 4 to 20” (4cm, 50cm) or more.

NewTek LVDT Position Sensors also measure movements as small as a few millionths of an inch, which is essential for some power plants that need to know the exact degree to which a valve is opened or closed. For a medium-sized plant, a 2% efficiency improvement could translate into a million dollars in fuel savings.

Other applications with fluctuating exposures to high temperatures, such as thermal chambers, steam turbines, and chemical plants, can benefit from using NewTek’s AC-operated LVDTs for different position measurement applications.

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