How Many Load Cells Should You Use for Hoppers?
The ideal number of load cells to use for hopper scales depends on the size and weight capacity of the hopper, as well as other factors such as accuracy, reliability, safety and cost.
Load cells are critical to accurately measuring force or weight in any weighing system. When it comes to hoppers or silos that need to be weighed accurately and reliably over time, multiple load cells can help ensure an accurate reading is obtained each time.
Typically, two load cells are used for hoppers, one for each side of the hopper. This ensures that the weight measurement is taken from both sides and provides a better overall reading of the total weight of the material in the hopper.
The number of load cells should correspond to the size and capacity of your hopper. Larger or heavier hoppers might require more than two load cells to ensure accuracy and reliability.
Additionally, suppose the hopper has a steep angle. In that case, it is recommended to use multiple load cells in an array at different heights along the sides of the hopper to obtain an accurate weight measurement from all angles.
Factors that can Affect the Number of Load Cells to Use for Hopper Scales
1. Hopper Size and Design
The size and design of the hopper play a crucial role in determining the number of load cells required. Larger hoppers generally necessitate more load cells to ensure accurate weight measurements. Irregularly shaped hoppers or hoppers with complex geometries may also need additional load cells to account for weight distribution variations.
2. Load Capacity
The expected load capacity of the hopper is an important consideration. Higher load capacities may require more load cells to handle the increased weight effectively. Adequate load cell capacity should be selected to accommodate the maximum expected load without overloading the cells.
3. Accuracy Requirements
The desired level of accuracy affects the number of load cells. More load cells can contribute to improved precision and minimise errors caused by uneven loading or external forces. If high accuracy is crucial, using additional load cells may be necessary.
4. Safety and Redundancy
Load cells can sometimes fail or become damaged. To ensure the continued functionality and safety of the hopper scale, redundancy is essential. By using multiple load cells, such as three or more, the failure of a single load cell can be compensated for, preventing inaccuracies and potential hazards.
5. Load Distribution
The uniform load distribution across the hopper is vital for accurate weight measurement. Using an appropriate number of load cells helps to distribute the weight and minimise any localised stress concentrations evenly. This ensures the load is adequately supported and reduces the risk of structural issues or measurement errors.
6. Environmental Factors
The hopper scale's environment can influence the number of load cells required. Factors such as vibrations, temperature variations, or corrosive substances may impact load cell performance. Additional load cells may counteract these effects and maintain measurement accuracy.
7. Cost Considerations
The number of load cells used also affects the overall cost of the hopper scale. More load cells typically result in higher costs due to the additional equipment, wiring, and calibration required. Balancing the desired accuracy and functionality with the associated expenses is crucial when determining the optimal number of load cells.
In conclusion, the hopper scale's ideal number of load cells varies based on the abovementioned factors. If you're unsure how to go about your hopper scales, it is best to consult Meltrons Australia. They can help you understand the needs of your weighing systems and recommend the most suitable type and number of load cells for reliable and accurate output.So, don't hesitate to contact Meltrons today!