Conductivity electrodes are devices which measure the specific conductance of fluids.   Basic Information   Conductivity electrodes measure the specific conductance of a fluid. (Specific conductance is an outmoded term which has been replaced with "conductivity.") While alone the term "conductance" describes a material's ability to conduct electrical current, conductivity refers to the conductance within a given volume. More specifically, conductivity is defined as "conductance as...
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Q & A on Conductivity Electrodes

We asked our users for their input on Conductivity Electrodes. Here are the results of 84 users familiar with Conductivity Electrodes.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing conductivity electrodes design?
10 answers
Answers:
The most significant improvements have been in the conductivity instruments. Microprocessor integration and extended ranging with contacting electrode sensors have greatly improved accuracy, range of application, and measurement extras such as direct concentration readout for specific chemicals, sophisticated temperature correction, and a host of support features for signal output and control.
~Robert Hunt, President - Sensor Development, Inc., Santa Ana, CA
Apparently the use of cheaper throw away materials, nothing seems to last. Better electrode response with out polarization effects would be of interest, along with absolute durability of the materials, and resistance to cleaning agents. Perhaps the best conductivity electrodes for hard water are simply carbon electrodes that can be scraped (carefully) to renew the response within say 5%.
~James S, Sr. Steam Plant Chemist, Lubbock, TX
We use improved signal processing techniques to reduce polarization and flow effects. Our improve electronic approaches allow the use of reduced cost electrodes.
~Alan F, Research & Development, Pocasset, MA
Sensorex Inductive non-contacting toroidal cell offers options.
~Mike R, Marketing/Sales, GG, CA
Integrated signal conversion special covered
~Marketing/Sales, Winston-Salem, NC
Micro chip design and resistor accuracy.
~Fitzwilliam R, Technical Support, Toronto, CANADA
Tighter manufacturing specifications
~Mark S, Technical Support, Boulder, CA
Two electrodes method
~Technical Support/Services, Kuwait, Kuwait
Toroidal sensors
~Henrik F, Research & Development, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Water technology
~Engineering, Other, Ireland, Ireland

Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative conductivity electrodes?
13 answers
Answers:
I don't know, if there is a company that makes a single probe that will cover the entire range of analysis, but the ultimate would be a probe that can tell what kind of water it is in, and then would adapt to it by activating the appropriate electrode pair (or four electrodes as the case may be). It would be useful to not have such complicated codes on probes to tell what they are.
~James S, Sr. Steam Plant Chemist, Lubbock, TX
We currently use Rosemount, Yokogawa and one other European brand. All have their place in the Industry. From an end user point of view we have the choice to select the appropriate design for the various applications we have on site ie Yokogawa are chosen for our condensate returns because probes can easily be removed for servicing without interrupting the process
~Steve B, Technical Support, Temuka, New Zealand
Emerson Process Management (Rosemount analytical), Mettler Toledo
~Maurizio N, Marketing/Sales, Milano, Italy
D-2 Incorporated WWW.D-2Inc.com
~Alan F, Research & Development, Pocasset, MA
HACH and Mettler Toledo
~Fitzwilliam R, Technical Support, Toronto, CANADA
Swan, ABB, Hach ultra
~Technical Support/Services, Kuwait, Kuwait
With admitted bias, Sensor Development, Inc.
~Robert Hunt, President - Sensor Development, Inc., Santa Ana, CA
Endess hauser
~Technical Support/Services, Gregory, TX
HM Digital
~Sonal G, Design Engineer, Milwaukee, MN
Flowserve
~Engineering, Design, Oradea, Romania
Thornton
~Engineering, Other, Ireland, Ireland
Yokogawa
~Mark S, Technical Support, Boulder, CA
Sensorex
~Mike R, Marketing/Sales, GG, CA

Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used conductivity electrodes for?
22 answers
Answers:
Chemical process, cooling tower and boiler blowdown, condensate monitoring, high purity water, biopharm, shipboard R.O., deionizers, HF monitoring, oil/water interface, plating, power plants, environmental, dairy, paper plants, swimming pools, wastewater, water treatment, leak detection, chemical concentration, HPLC, level detection, rinsing, desalination, high pressure and temperature applications and more.
~Robert Hunt, President - Sensor Development, Inc., Santa Ana, CA
RO feed water, RO product, boiler brine, %acid and % caustic, RO concentrate, boiler feedwater, cooling water (cooling towers), gas turbine intake coolers, Electrodeionisation inlet, product, and concentrate, etc. etc. Comparison of well water with other sources to see if infiltration is taking place is another.
~James S, Sr. Steam Plant Chemist, Lubbock, TX
We develop and manufacture sensors for measuring conductivity from 3 S/CM to 1 pS/M. We have over 20 years of experience in conductivity measurements and the design of contact conductivity electrodes. We are also experts in non-contacting (inductive) conductivity measurement systems.
~Alan F, Research & Development, Pocasset, MA
Boiler TDS, Monitoring Condensate Return for Boiler Feedwater, Measuring Various Acids to determine CIP concentration and Factory Stormwater Discharges.
~Steve B, Technical Support, Temuka, New Zealand
Specific conductivity of water measurement in any industry (power generation, municipal water supply, waste water treatment, semiconductor, etc).
~Marketing/Sales, Winston-Salem, NC
Measuring the purity of water in make up water tank and chemical analysis in Boiler, Turbine and Desalination Plant.
~Technical Support/Services, Kuwait, Kuwait
Electrolytic conductivity reference material certification Electrolytic conductivity primary standards
~Engineering, Design, Queretaro, Mexico
Salt concentration in precipitation studies. Solubility studies.
~Henrik F, Research & Development, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Desalination plant, power plant, pharmaceutical plant
~Maurizio N, Marketing/Sales, Milano, Italy
AUPW Water systems Hot UPW water systems RO systems
~Engineering, Other, Ireland, Ireland
Cooling Tower, Chiller, Boilers, Water Quality
~Mike R, Marketing/Sales, GG, CA
Measure physiological parameter of human body.
~Galina Pana, CEO, , United States, 07410
Product acceptance, calibration, maintenance.
~Mark S, Technical Support, Boulder, CA
USP water and sewer water treatment/logging.
~Fitzwilliam R, Technical Support, Toronto, CANADA
Determining soil nutrient levels
~Technical Support/Services, Adams, OR
Cooling towers and caustic units
~Technical Support/Services, Gregory, TX
Cooling tower water treatment
~Marshalltown, IA
Patented fluid analysis
~Rich W, Director of Engineering, Santa Ana, CA
Electroshocking fish
~Research & Development, Wpg, Canada
Water treatment
~Sonal G, Design Engineer, Milwaukee, MN
Cooling towers
~Marketing/Sales, Bedford, MA
PH meter
~Engineering, Design, Oradea, Romania

Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that conductivity electrodes have been used for.
6 answers
Answers:
To replace pH in applications such as neutralization where the conditions are too harsh for a pH sensor (high temperatures and pressures, and severe chemical environments). To replace much more expensive level and interface detectors where one conductive fluid is present, or one conductive and one very low conductivity fluid are present and stratified (water incursion into an oil line or tank for instance).
~Robert Hunt, President - Sensor Development, Inc., Santa Ana, CA
We measure both conductance and dielectric constant in many of our systems. We supply electrodes for ink, fuel, UPW, TOC and other measures.
~Alan F, Research & Development, Pocasset, MA
Alcohol concentration, HF concentration in alkilation process, KMnO4 concentration
~Maurizio N, Marketing/Sales, Milano, Italy
HHO (Brown gas) generator electrolyte conductivity measure.
~Engineering, Design, Oradea, Romania
Water leak detection
~Sonal G, Design Engineer, Milwaukee, MN
Measuring Acids
~Mike R, Marketing/Sales, GG, CA

Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of conductivity electrodes?
7 answers
Answers:
While not necessarily "disastrous", either of the two errors just described can result in the installation of a large batch of sensors that won't be capable of making the measurement and will have to be at best replumbed and at expensive worst replaced with the right cell constants.
~Robert Hunt, President - Sensor Development, Inc., Santa Ana, CA
Many try to use DC measurements and try to correct the inherent errors by using larger electrodes than are needed. Sound electronic instrumentation approach will eliminate most errors and provide stable results independent of flow rate, fouling and other electrode surface effects.
~Alan F, Research & Development, Pocasset, MA
I do not know of any "disasters" caused by incorrect usage, although it is possible to cause equipment damage in some instances by ignoring or not verifying calibration and/or data trends..
~James S, Sr. Steam Plant Chemist, Lubbock, TX
Rosemounts latest transmitter does not cater for our wiring in NZ. The cavity is too small for terminations.
~Steve B, Technical Support, Temuka, New Zealand
Incorrect readings taken as "true" and FDA realizing that the information is false.
~Fitzwilliam R, Technical Support, Toronto, CANADA
Mixing up microsiemen and ppm correlation in water treatment applications.
~Mike R, Marketing/Sales, GG, CA
Use toroidal electrode instead of contacting electrode and vice versa.
~Maurizio N, Marketing/Sales, Milano, Italy

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
10 answers
Answers:
Ease of installation and calibration. Also user friendly access screens that don't involve complex button operation. Don't skimp on adding extra buttons to make menus user friendly. Remember as an Instrument Tech we have a huge number of different Instruments to attend to.
~Steve B, Technical Support, Temuka, New Zealand
One probe to cover everything from 18.2 MOhm-cm to 8% sulfuric acid. Not that this is entirely likely given the present cell constants ranging from 0.01 all the way to 10.
~James S, Sr. Steam Plant Chemist, Lubbock, TX
Electrodes that do not require isolation. Even if there are more than 2 electrodes in same solution, they do not interfere with the conductivity measurement of each other.
~Sonal G, Design Engineer, Milwaukee, MN
We supply conductivity electrodes sensor and components which are optimized to our clients needs both in terms of cost and performance.
~Alan F, Research & Development, Pocasset, MA
Ability to measure conductivity without having to worry about fouling the probe. Not counting inductive probes.
~Mark S, Technical Support, Boulder, CA
Better temperature compensation and longer calibration intervals for meters.
~Fitzwilliam R, Technical Support, Toronto, CANADA
Accurate, good design (looks different as standard electrodes).
~Galina Pana, CEO, , United States, 07410
Torroidal sensor design for laboratory application.
~Henrik F, Research & Development, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Dependability, durability
~Mike R, Marketing/Sales, GG, CA
Needs to work
~Marshalltown, IA

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of conductivity electrodes?
7 answers
Answers:
The cell constant must be specified to match the requirements of the desired range on the analyzer being used. Not to do so is like ordering a "tire" without giving the size. You might wind up with a bicycle tire for your dump truck. Always make sure that the sensor is installed so that its working tip is fully submerged in a flowing or mixed stream and not trapped in an air pocket. Shallow insertions decrease the accuracy of temperature monitoring due to an increase in the ambient effect.
~Robert Hunt, President - Sensor Development, Inc., Santa Ana, CA
Avoid the temptation to buy a product that is not supported within the United States, and that has less than 100% documentation, as you will be extremely disappointed.
~James S, Sr. Steam Plant Chemist, Lubbock, TX
Non-inductive conductivity probes are easily fouled by the process. Consider inductive conductivity probes unless they are going to be utilized in a clean system.
~Mark S, Technical Support, Boulder, CA
Make sure you use calibration standards to verify accurate operation. Microsiemens are a better way to refer to the measurement than ppm of total dissolved solids.
~Mike R, Marketing/Sales, GG, CA
Most underestimate the critical nature of the electronics have in optimizing the electrode performance.
~Alan F, Research & Development, Pocasset, MA
Select electrodes and program their cell constant after calibration.
~Sonal G, Design Engineer, Milwaukee, MN
Look for meters with multiple ranges and temperature compensation.
~Fitzwilliam R, Technical Support, Toronto, CANADA

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using conductivity electrodes?
9 answers
Answers:
Be sure to provide all the basics to "size" the sensor. This includes the cell constant or analyzer of choice and full scale range, temperature range, required temperature measuring element, process connection, cable length and connection, and either specify materials of construction or describe the chemical makeup of the measured fluid.
~Robert Hunt, President - Sensor Development, Inc., Santa Ana, CA
Only experienced developers are suited to assist you in determining the correct electrode to use. The electrode and its electronics and the approach are essential to performance. Mismatched or poor electronic performance will limit conductivity electrode performance. Both must be right for sound performance.
~Alan F, Research & Development, Pocasset, MA
Ensure you pick the right electrode for the job in hand especially when it comes to temperature and corrosive atmospheres. If you want a good calibrator for general work the Myron is my pick. It's the best machine I've come across for accuracy and simplicity of use.
~Steve B, Technical Support, Temuka, New Zealand
Take care to observe the temperature coefficients. Ensure that the temperature of your process is covered and considered in probe selection as the temperature of the process will effect the conductivity measurement.
~Mark S, Technical Support, Boulder, CA
OEM manufacturers like Sensorex can offer alternatives to users. Graphite, steel, platinum and non-contacting inductive cells are all available.
~Mike R, Marketing/Sales, GG, CA
Don't "over-buy". Know what you need and only buy what is required. It can be very expensive to buy "bells and whistles" which are not required.
~Fitzwilliam R, Technical Support, Toronto, CANADA
Cheaper is not always best, but the best Cadillac is probably not much better than the Ford of its class, as far as getting the result.
~James S, Sr. Steam Plant Chemist, Lubbock, TX
Take care of cell constant, as it is not always same as manufacturer specifies.
~Sonal G, Design Engineer, Milwaukee, MN
Always contact an analyzer specialist - do not believe sales people.
~Maurizio N, Marketing/Sales, Milano, Italy


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