Temperature Monitoring a Vineyard Microclimate
Date Published: September 12, 2012
Low-Cost Lascar USB Data Loggers Simplify Setup and Data Retrieval
CAS DataLoggers recently supplied the temperature recording solution for a Washington winery concerned about the complex weather conditions that affected the harvest in their vineyard. To protect their grapes from harsh environmental conditions such as mold and frost, the growers planned to conduct a study ranging from April through October that involved wrapping plastic covers around their grape vines to record the effects and differences from the covered and uncovered grapes. To accurately study their vineyard’s microclimate, the owners wanted a low-cost monitoring system to record the ambient temperatures over the 7-month period.
CAS DataLoggers provided the growers with 2 Lascar EL-USB-1 Temperature Data Loggers and 2 protective barriers to shield the loggers from any incoming sunlight that might cause inaccurate ambient temperature data. The data loggers were also protected against moisture to an IP67 standard when their protective caps were fitted. The data loggers measured temperature within a -35°C to +80°C (-31°F to +176°F) range, and correct functioning of the units were indicated by flashing red, green, and orange LEDs. Each datalogger could store up to 16,000 data points and was supplied with a long-life lithium battery lasting up to 12 months. Since the vineyard’s temperature wouldn’t change dramatically over a short period of time, the data loggers were setup to record once every 30 minutes throughout the 7-month study. A main benefit of this was that the growers didn’t have to perform any maintenance for the data logging equipment until the data needed to be collected.
Setup and configuration of the dataloggers was an easy process. Using the free EasyLog software provided, the owners labeled one of the loggers “Outside Temp” and “Inside Temp” to distinguish one from the other. The software also allowed them to configure the sample collection rate to 30 minutes (sample rates could be set to every 10s, 1m, 5m, 30m, 1hr, 6hrs, or 12hrs). After the configuration process had been completed, the EL-USB-1 devices were ready to sit and record for 7 months.
To view the data from the study, users just plugged in the Lascar data loggers into a PC with the EasyLog software installed. From there they downloaded all the data to use the software capabilities. The owners were able to view the data from the built in point-graph viewer to see the trend data and print out graphs. The recorded ambient temperatures were also exported to a text format which was compatible for convenient viewing in Microsoft Excel.
The winery’s temperature monitoring study benefited in several ways following installation. The Lascar dataloggers formed a low cost system to record ambient temperature data from the 2 key parts of the study, viewing the exterior and interior temperatures from the plastic encasing. Setup and data collection were both simple and reliable for this application. All the study’s requirements were met for the recording duration between April and October with little to no maintenance needed throughout the project.
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