Alternative energy facilities are continuing to pop up around the world as countries implement strict environmental policies. In order to successfully deliver resources, an efficient energy management system must be in place with the goal of conserving resources while reducing costs. To achieve this systematic approach, data loggers are used throughout the process to coordinate the conversion, distribution and use of energy to meet requirements.
As the cleanest and most abundant form of renewable energy, solar power can be harvested through passive and active solar systems. Passive solar energy uses the position and duration of the sun’s intensity to heat an area. Active solar uses mechanical or electrical devices to collect, store and distribute the sun’s heat into useable energy.
Voltage data loggers are ideal for the measuring and auditing of solar energy consumption. With many options out there, data loggers can connect to one or multiple DC voltage sources. Because of this versatility, they are commonly used in photovoltaic studies to identify how much energy is being created from solar cells instantaneously or over time.
Wind turbines capture the kinetic energy from the wind, turning it into mechanical energy. That energy creates a rotation that spins a generator to produce electricity. To optimize the amount of energy collected, wind measurements are collected inside the hub of the turbine which automatically rotates the turbine blades to face the strongest winds.
To determine the ideal location to build wind farms, data loggers are deployed on-site to continuously measure and record wind speed. This information helps developers identify sites with the strongest wind resources for future turbine placement.
Geothermal energy extraction taps below the Earth’s surface to generate electricity from the heat radiating from the Earth’s core. The boiling water deep inside the Earth produces steam which powers turbines that activate generators, creating energy. This constant flow of heat doesn’t rely on Mother Nature, providing an endless supply of energy with a consistent output nearly 24 hours a day.
Data loggers are a reliable way to closely monitor temperature, pressure and flow rate without the maintenance and data loss risk associated with strip charts. Data loggers for this hazardous task are designed to survive in harsh environments and phases of long-term deployment.
Hydropower electricity is generated using the energy of moving water. A hydro plant consists of a dam or a river with barriers that can be opened and closed to control water flow and create a reservoir. Once released, the water flows through turbines which activates a generator to produce electricity. The amount of electricity produced all depends on how much water is released and how far the water drops.
Converting water into electricity requires data loggers that constantly monitor vibration and pressure, ensure levels are being maintained throughout the entire process. Exceeding levels could lead to the failure of equipment, which could potentially cause a plant to shut down production.
Data loggers are an important addition in the production of alternative energy, ensuring efficiency and on-site safety by validating that the process is carried out correctly. These devices are also commonly used to conduct utility usage studies, energy audits, as well as testing and verification of production processes.