Graphing a Greenhouse Microclimate Using Wireless Dataloggers
12628 Chillicothe Rd., Unit J
Chesterland, OH, 44026
Press release date: February 4, 2014
T&D Automates Data Collection to Improve Product Quality
CHESTERLAND OH — CAS DataLoggers has just provided the wireless temperature monitoring solution for a Northeast Ohio greenhouse growing lettuce, basil and other high-demand produce. The owner brings his produce to supermarkets, advertising as 'living lettuce' with a fresher taste. To ensure quality and freshness, and to avoid discoloration, the 'microclimate' has to be evenly maintained at a minimum temperature. The greenhouse's climate control system is slow to kick on and leaves several cooler zones outside the immediate area covered by the heaters. Staff were on their rounds checking glass thermometers, but these were impossible to read at a distance and rarely reflected the actual temperature. Wanting to automate his setup, the owner called CAS DataLoggers looking for a wireless temperature monitoring device that could spot these cooler zones and automatically download their data to email inboxes.
The owner placed 3 T&D Wireless Temperature Data Loggers at various points in the greenhouse along with a Wireless Data Logger USB Base Station to collect and wirelessly transmit the loggers' readings. Placement among the rows was easy due to the loggers' small sizes. The dataloggers use an external temperature sensor to take readings in real time from -60°C to 155°C (-76°F to 311°F) and can record in either Celcius or Fahrenheit. Current readings are visible from a distance on its LCD display. T&D data loggers are constructed with a compact water-resistant casing, have a battery life of about 10 months, and record on a large 16,000 point memory.
Wireless communication between these units and the base unit ranges out to 500 ft. unobstructed, and staff can collect the data via USB, GSM technology, LAN or T&D's handheld data collectors. If need be, another Base Unit can be added to the system to act as a Repeater to extend the wireless range. The Base Unit can wirelessly download one Remote Unit at full logging capacity in about 2 minutes. Equally importantly, it's easy for the owner to make settings and changes remotely over the network without the need to drive back out to the greenhouse.
After setting the loggers' sample rates to automatically take a reading every 15 minutes, the owner is looking at the environmental data with an aim to pinpoint the greenhouse's cooler areas. Whenever any logger's reading exceeds one of the set upper or lower alarm limits, the Wireless Base Station judges whether or not a warning has occurred. If so, it automatically sends an e-mail report to the owner and designated staff so they can take immediate measures to turn on the climate system or add heaters where needed.
The T&D system allows the owner to have a quick look at current readings and any alarm events just by checking his email where readings are sent twice a day per his settings in T&D's free software. The software interface has simple dropdown menus and very clearly labelled categories so it's easy to check each logger's readings individually or as a group, and check each logger's wireless range and current status. The data can also be sent to T&D's own free WebStorage server where it's always available to view and to share the data via a web browser. After analyzing the data he can find the optimal settings for the climate system and the best areas to place heaters. What's more, he can view all this environmental data in the form of online charts and graphs.
Post-installation, the T&D system now gives the greenhouse owner a low-cost way to go wireless. T&D automates all monitoring and alarming so he's free to spend time looking at the data and identify the structure's colder spots. This should lead to lower amounts of produce being rejected and an overall higher product quality.
For more information on our T&D Wireless Temperature Data Loggers which automatically collect and send your data, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Specialist at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026