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How Fast Should You Sample on Your Thermocouples?

At CAS DataLoggers our customers often call in to ask us how often they should set their data loggers to sample for their particular projects. While this can vary based on what you’re monitoring, we have useful recommendations to help you save device memory and time spent going through the data when you’re done. Taken from the advice our Applications Specialists give as part of our free tech support, here are some suggestions on how to drill down to the data you need to capture.

Many users initially set their data logger recording rates at very high sample rates, such as 10 samples a second; however, this is often unnecessary depending on the probe they’re using. For example, a ¼ inch probe may take as long as 10 seconds to register any change in temperature, so measuring it multiple times a second will only produce a mountain of identical data.

You also need to consider the thermal time constant of the particular sensor you’re using. The time constant is the time it takes for the sensor to respond to a temperature change and read at 63.2% of the final temperature value.

For most common applications including supply cold chains, test process monitoring, and equipment monitoring, your temperatures won’t change several times a second. This means that you can save time and hassle by setting your data loggers at a lower sample rate (say, once every 5-10 minutes depending on what you’re monitoring) which keeps you from getting lots of repetitive data. You’ll also save memory space on your data loggers so you can record for longer periods and see the temperature data that matters.

Applications that do require extremely fast sampling speeds include demanding projects involving complex test benches, automotive performance verification, and scientific research, just to name a few. If you need to sample at high rates of several samples a second or even higher, you’ll need to use small sensors, and the material you’re monitoring has to have a small thermal mass, unlike a large water tank or typical industrial process temperatures.

No matter what sample speed you need, CAS DataLoggers can provide your business or organization with the technology to cut labor costs, save time, and measure your critical values at high accuracy. Full regulatory compliance with cold chain, patient privacy, and electronic documentation standards is possible using all the advanced archival and documentation capabilities available with data loggers. With this in mind, CAS DataLoggers systems have been installed in government health centers, manufacturing plants, hospitals, museums and galleries, and to all manner of applications.