An Overview of Temperature Data Logging
The ability to determine the temperature and duration of exposure to which a product has been subjected is crucial in many industries. When sterilizing surgical tools or medical devices in an autoclave or heating food prior to canning, it is necessary to keep track of the temperature and time spent in each step. Facility managers employ temperature monitoring to help them prevent the spread of legionella, while environmental scientists use water temperature to assess the health of rivers and streams. It is possible to monitor these and other similar processes with temperature data recorders and to get proof for verification purposes.
Temperature data loggers are based on a few key principles.
TDRs are a specific sort of data recorder that is developed or built to work exclusively with temperature probes or sensors (and in the case of a humidity and temperature logger, with humidity sensors too). A data logger is an electrical device that is capable of storing a large number of measurements. Typically, it accepts one or more sensor inputs and samples and records the data at a predetermined frequency. It is typically powered by batteries. Following completion of the acquisition time, the logger is retrieved and the data is downloaded to a PC for further examination and evaluation The results of some data recorders can even be transmitted to a computer or other device, eliminating the need for on-site measurements.
Temperature data recorders are available in a number of different designs and sizes.
Generally speaking, every temperature logger is composed of two components: a temperature sensor or sensors, and a recording device that samples the sensor at predetermined intervals and saves the measurement result. This sensor can either be directly connected to the recording system or can be placed at a distance from it.
The sensor is located on the interior.
Combining a thermistor or thermocouple with a data recorder in a single container results in a small, lightweight recording device that is easy to carry around. Its disadvantage is that it must be installed in the area where the temperature will be measured. Internal sensor loggers are not suitable for use in high-temperature environments since the electrical components of the device must operate within a specified temperature range in order to function properly. The fact that they can document transport temperatures, which may be required when shipping artwork or perishable produce such as eggs, makes them useful.
A thermocouple is used to measure temperature.
Many temperature recorders accept one or more thermocouples as direct inputs, and some even accept multiple thermocouples. The OMEGA multi-channel HH1384, for example, is a four-channel thermometer and data recorder that supports thermocouples of the following types: K, J, E, T, R, S, N, L, U, B, and C types. The temperature can be recorded near the thermocouple data recorder in this manner; but, when the temperature is too high or too low for the batteries and electronics, this is not a good solution. Many of them are small, portable devices that are designed to record for only a brief amount of time. Inputs for thermocouples and thermistors are provided on several general-purpose data recorders, allowing them to be used as thermometers in certain situations.
When utilizing an external probe, make sure to
It is possible to tackle the difficulty of taking measurements in excessively hot or cold settings by using a temperature data recorder with a probe (the OM-CP-HITEMP140-FP from Omega is an example of a high-temperature data logger with a flexible probe). This allows the recorder to remain in one area while the sensor is moved to a different location. When tracking temperature in an oven, for example, it would be possible even when the logger itself was at risk of failure.
Temperature recorders with many channels are available.
Generally speaking, there are 32 inputs (single-ended—16 differential) on temperature data recorders and general purpose data recorders. Thermistors and thermocouples, as well as RTD temperature sensors with two, three, and four wires, will all function properly with them.
In order to obtain information, many data recorders with an integrated sensor are made to seem like a USB drive, and they may be inserted into a computer’s USB port to download information. Another type of data logger, which connects via USB, requires a different type of cable. One other option is to use Bluetooth® technology to connect the logger to a computer or even a mobile device for remote access. A number of data loggers have the ability to send data back to a central PC over an Ethernet network, while others exchange measurements wirelessly. Both solutions eliminate the need to physically travel to a data logger in the field in order to retrieve the information they require.
Monitoring and controlling the temperature is crucial in a range of applications, ranging from assessing the health of rivers and streams to ensuring that sterilization procedures are carried out appropriately. In some cases, measurements taken over a long period of time are required in order to determine long-term trends and patterns. Others are interested in understanding the highest or lowest temperature that was reached, as well as the length of time that the subject was exposed.
Temperature and humidity data are being recorded.
It might be beneficial to keep track of temperature and humidity variations in order to uncover management inefficiencies in facilities, particularly in situations where precise measurement or temperature-sensitive procedures are carried out. The same is true in the case of plant and animal propagation. A primary concern for a facility manager is the prevention of legionella infections, which can result in a potentially fatal form of pneumonia. If you are using a combination of temperature and humidity data recorders, you will have a time-stamped record of the conditions that you have experienced over a long period of time in this application.
Another situation in which a time-stamped record is useful is when artworks are being transported. As a result, even the knowledge that your status is being observed may be sufficient motivation to take more precautions when logging at high temperatures.
While there is no precise definition of "high temperature," a recording device that is designed to resist temperatures of more than 80°C (176°F) is generally referred to as a high-temperature logger because of its ability to survive such temperatures. High-temperature environments include autoclaves, pasteurization, food and material processing, and other similar applications. Canning food is an example of this. It is necessary in this scenario for manufacturers to demonstrate that the product has reached the minimum temperature required to destroy diseases such as botulism before selling it. In such cases, loggers are typically equipped with a probe to keep the sensitive electronics out of the hot environment.
Monitoring the water’s temperature is essential.
Monitoring the water temperature in aquariums is beneficial since it helps to ensure that the fish in the aquarium are in a healthy environment. Many aquarium fish can only survive at specified temperatures and therefore require constant monitoring of the water temperature. In a similar vein, scientists use the temperature of rivers and streams to assess the health of ecosystems in the same way that people do. Both of these applications are beneficial for a water temperature data logger, but they place different demands on the device.
Because the data logger will be conveniently accessible in an aquarium, it will not be necessary to have a big memory capacity, and the data can be recovered by a direct PC connection or Bluetooth connection. It may be necessary to leave the data logger in place for several months in order to obtain reliable information about river temperatures, on the other hand. As a result, memory capacity, battery life, and even wireless capabilities become more vital in such circumstances.
Continuity of Custody
Many foods and pharmaceuticals must be shipped under strict conditions in order to avoid deterioration during transit. Incorporating a small temperature data recorder inside the things that will be carried will allow for the keeping of a record of the conditions. This helps to ensure the integrity of the product and provides documentation in the event of an allegation of improper handling of the goods.
Following are the next steps to take.
With so many alternatives available, it might be difficult to select the most appropriate temperature data recorder. Understanding the reasons for temperature logging allows the most important characteristics to be identified and the range of available equipment to be narrowed, ultimately reducing the amount of equipment available. OMEGA Engineering provides an online Data Logger Product Finder tool to assist you with the process; nevertheless, if you still have questions, you can contact OMEGA’s technical staff for guidance on the best equipment for your unique application.