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Sensors 2016, 16(5), 724; doi:10.3390/s16050724

A Continuous Liquid-Level Sensor for Fuel Tanks Based on Surface Plasmon Resonance

1
Department of Optics, Faculty of Science, Edificio Mecenas, Campus Universitario de Fuentenueva, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
2
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz
Received: 18 March 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 May 2016 / Published: 19 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2015)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2941 KB, uploaded 19 May 2016]   |  

Abstract

A standard problem in large tanks at oil refineries and petrol stations is that water and fuel usually occupy the same tank. This is undesirable and causes problems such as corrosion in the tanks. Normally, the water level in tanks is unknown, with the problems that this entails. We propose herein a method based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to detect in real time the interfaces in a tank which can simultaneously contain water, gasoline (or diesel) and air. The plasmonic sensor is composed of a hemispherical glass prism, a magnesium fluoride layer, and a gold layer. We have optimized the structural parameters of the sensor from the theoretical modeling of the reflectance curve. The sensor detects water-fuel and fuel-air interfaces and measures the level of each liquid in real time. This sensor is recommended for inflammable liquids because inside the tank there are no electrical or electronic signals which could cause explosions. The sensor proposed has a sensitivity of between 1.2 and 3.5 RIU−1 and a resolution of between 5.7 × 10−4 and 16.5 × 10−4 RIU. View Full-Text
Keywords: fuel tanks; fuel level; air-fuel-water interfaces; plasmonic sensor; surface plasmon resonance fuel tanks; fuel level; air-fuel-water interfaces; plasmonic sensor; surface plasmon resonance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pozo, A.M.; Pérez-Ocón, F.; Rabaza, O. A Continuous Liquid-Level Sensor for Fuel Tanks Based on Surface Plasmon Resonance. Sensors 2016, 16, 724.

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