When Should You Use Loop-Powered or Line-Powered?

When Should You Use Loop Powered or Line Powered

What Are The Differences Between The Two?

Let’s start with the basics Loop-Powered meters have two connections. The reasoning behind why Loop-Powered meters only require two connections is due to them obtaining their power from the loop itself. This allows for easier installation of a meter if a pre-existing loop already exists proving to be a cost-effective scenario.

Line-Powered meters, on the other hand, have four connections. Line-Powered meters have four connections due to the power having to flow into the meter, and then from the meter into the transmitter. This causes it to become a four wire type system. This type of system derives its power from an external power source.

Benefits of Each:

Loop-Powered meters can be installed in both general applications and hazardous applications. It has the easiest ability to obtain agency approval with regard to it’s set up in hazardous areas. Loop-Powered doesn’t have a large output power, so it can only power LCD displays. LCD displays are good for showing a lot of details, but lack clarity from a distance, and from wider angles.

On the other hand, Line-Powered meters can also be installed in both general applications and hazardous application, but require more to become agency approved. Line-Powered meters require separate conduits for each wire in order to obtain agency approval for hazardous areas, causing a steep increase in overall cost of set up. Line-Powered has a local power supply so it can power LED displays, which can be seen better than LCD display from further away and from wider angles.

Loop-Powered

Pros Cons
Easiest method for connecting your transmitter
No external power, means low output power. (must keep voltage drop in mind)
Easiest to troubleshoot
Can’t support relays
Lower Cost, since you don’t havean internal power supply
Can’t support LEDs(Usually use LCD displays)
Can easily be approved by Agencies in hazardous applications
Doesn’t require a localized power

Line-Powered

Pros Cons
Can power Relays, LEDs, and Serial Communications
Needs a local power supply
Best option for isolation
Costs more than 2-wire, due to set up, and the safety factor of explosion proof necessity
Has more requirements for agency approval of hazardous areas

Some Tek-trol solutions that are

Loop-Powered

  • NEMA 4X LOOP-POWERED PROCESS AND LEVEL INDICATOR
  • NEMA 4X LOOP-POWERED FEET AND INCHES LEVEL INDICATOR
  • NEMA 4X LOOP-POWERED FLOW RATE/TOTALIZER INDICATOR

Line-Powered

  • NEMA 4X LOOP-POWERED FLOW RATE/TOTALIZER INDICATOR
  • NEMA 4X MODBUS SCANNER INDICATOR

Conclusion:

If your application requires agency approval for hazardous areas, and you don’t require a higher voltage output, then Loop-Powered is the way to go. If you require relays, LEDs, or Serial communications, then Line-Powered suits your application best.

For more information please feel free to contact Tek-Trol at +1 847-857-6076.

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