A data logger is generally a recorder which records various parameters such as temperature, humidity etc. continuously.
This article is in general on selecting data loggers for common applications. While selecting the first criteria is to understand which are the major parameters to be recorded.
Selection of Data Loggers
How to select a data logger? Focus on the major criteria listed here
There are various basic considerations for selection, which are detailed hereunder
Based on Parameters
Do you know which parameters to be monitored?
The major variables that you may want to monitor and record are:
- Air Pressure
- Soil moisture
- Liquid Pressure
- Flow of liquid
- Energy consumption kWh
- Environment gases including CO, CO2, O2 etc.
- weather conditions and many more
For each of the above, you may find wide range of models depending on the range of readings, number of readings etc.
Please see our entire range of temperature & humidity data logger
Then you can decide whether you want a digital or mechanical data logger. Not all parameters can be recorded mechanically and inspite of the advent of digital media, mechanical recording is still utilised where computer connectivity is not available. This article is more about digital / electronic instruments in which the recording is through electronic methods.
Type of communication
How do you want the data to be transferred to your server network?
Now you may want to decide whether you require stand alone devices which record in itself and Mode of communication. There are basically three types available:
- Stand alone models which record in itself and data can be downloaded periodically to a computer eg. once every month, week etc.
- Models which are connected to a computer network through wired network such as Ethernet. The data will be continuously recorded on a server or a local PC. Also it is possible to have it monitored through internet depending on the manufacturer and models
- models which communicate through wireless mode through WiFi, Radio Frequency (Rf), Zigbee net work etc. The communication to the computer network will be through wireless mode and similar to the wired models, the data will be recorded in a PC or server.
Please see more about our wireless data loggers
Display on device
There are different models with and without display. The models without a display on the device will be cheaper. You can decide based on usage. eg. a data logger used for transportation may need to have display since you want to check the readings only at the end of the journey where you can download the data in a computer. However if you want to check the current readings or alerts frequently as in a laboratory, you will need a data logger with display screen.
What is the memory capacity of the data logger you want?
This is a major consideration especially for standalone models as mentioned under serial no 1 above. If the memory capacity is small, the customer will have to download the data more frequently. Customer should be able to program the sampling rate. Sampling rate is the frequency of readings. eg. if a temperature recording is done every 10 minutes, the sampling rate is known as 10 minutes. In such case there will be 6 readings per hour. For a temperature recorder with capacity of 8000 readings, this means that the recording will last for 55 days. Based on your usage and type of monitoring you may decide these parameters. eg. for medicine a sampling rate of 3 minutes will be used where as for frozen foods, a sampling rate of 15 minutes will be sufficient.
Generation of reports
What are the kind of reports you want?
There are different models which download and produce reports using its own software. Each manufacturer will have their own software. There are models which generate reports without need of any software. This is of great advantage for a general user since data can be downloaded at any computer without need of any software. A Temperature data logger by Cryopak, USA can be seen at the following link
You may want reports in different formats, file types, as a graph etc. Different models will be capable of producing different reports. Different type reports generated can be seen at the above link.
Single use Vs Multi use
Do you want single use (disposable) or multi use models?
Depending on your application you may want one of the above type of devices. Single use type is mainly for transportation purposes which will record parameters such as Temperature & Humidity throughout the journey and once the journey ends, the data is downloaded and thereafter the device cannot be reused. As the name indicates, multi use type can be reused any number of times.
A single use USB type disposable temperature data logger used for transportation can be seen at http://www.temperaturemonitoringuae.com/disposable-usb-temperature-data-logger/