Data Loggers are electronic devices with sensors that capture and store some form of data. Data that is typically logged can include electrical power, sound or noise, pressure, airflow, airborne particles (air quality), liquid flow, gas, weight, temperature, humidity, heat stress, CO, CO2 and more.
The primary reason for using a data logger rental is to automate the measurement and collection of data. Samples can be set to be taken at set intervals to ensure consistency. The main benefit of using a data logger, rather than other types of data acquisition devices, is they can operate independently, and be left to capture data unattended 24 hours a day.
Many individual devices are designed to capture a specific piece of information and store it. They have a built in instrument to measure and a data logger to record the data. For example there are weight measuring and pressure meters that store all the information for the specific set of data they capture. Typically data is captured and the data logger comes with software to download the data to a PC for analysis. Many data loggers also have a screen to observe data captured in real-time, and some can be connected directly to a computer to also observe this.
There are also devices that record a number of different sets of data. An air quality test devices is an example of this. It measures and records a range of different data all related to the air quality. A device such as this may record information regarding the temperature, humidity, CO, CO2 and the barometric pressure. Another example is electrical power quality analysers – these record all aspects of electrical power or can be set to record only the specific aspects you wish to capture (harmonics, current). Another feature of data loggers such as these power analysers is event capture. Rather than capturing all data specify limits and only events that exceed this limit will be recorded.
Data loggers can also also be used to record the data for instruments that do not have built in data logging systems. They often take a wide variety of inputs including RTD’s and thermocouples and are available for use for many types of signals. Obviously you will need to ensure the data logger chosen is compatible with the signal input that it will be used for, and has the number of channels required for your application.
There are numerous applications that data logging can be used for. These include:
Electrical: load profiling (transfer capacity vs use), electrical check metering (verify your power meter), electrical efficiency measurement (harmonics, THD), fault-finding and event capture
Pressure: fire mains and ring mains testing, drop or leak testing, mains pressure, commissioning, any pipe pressure testing
Environmental: temperature, humidity, CO, CO2, barometric pressure, heat stress, air quality (particle concentration, aerosol), sound or noise levels, liquid flow
Vibration: machinery, ground
Plus: there are pure loggers that connect to your sensors that give an output, common ones include transducers, 4-20mA, 1-5V, 0-1V etc.