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August 2011 Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 6

In this issue:

 

Tip: Temperature, Humidity, or Both, That is the Question

 

Learn About M2M Strategy from Found Harry Schechter's Radio Interview

 

Need to Measure Temperature Down to -200C?

 

What New Features Should We Add to Your Product?
 

Tip: Temperature, Humidity or Both, That is the Question

 

Historically, temperature monitoring has been one of the most important factors to monitor for sensitive applications.  Whether you’re monitoring server rooms to tell when the AC goes off and jeopardizes costly electronic equipment containing valuable data, or a medical office refrigerator containing perishable vaccines, temperature is one of the most critical parameters to monitor to keep things safe.

 

With the advent of low-cost solid state Relative Humidity (RH) sensors, customers with many, diverse applications are reviewing their decision about monitoring humidity as a parameter that may be needed to protect product quality or safety.  For example, servers are generally kept in an air conditioned room, so temperature and humidity are kept at safe levels.  However, a closer look at servers operating in summer months in humid environments has demonstrated that the AC is working very hard to keep temperatures at thermostat set points.    Greenhouses may need to maintain humidity within controlled limits for certain species of plants to thrive.

 

While temperatures are maintained within safe operating levels for the most part, RH can creep up significantly as the dehumidification function of the AC system is overwhelmed by 85%-90% humidity.  This is often not a serious problem unless the AC outlet is directly discharging onto electronic racks.  In that case, the rack temperature may be cooled to below the dew point, leading to potential condensation on sensitive electronics.  Over time the condensed moisture will corrode connectors, leading to system performance degradation or, in the extreme, failure.

 

Easier to understand may be the case of valuable manuscript storage where extremely high humidity levels may lead to mold or mildew while low levels may lead to paper or parchment cracking.  Here, both would be important to monitor.

 

The following table describes various applications where both temperature and RH may be considered and some guidelines as to whether or not adding RH monitoring and alerting may be beneficial.

 

Sensor

Factor

Importance

to Monitor

What is Protected

Consequence of High/Low Event

IT/Server Rooms

Temperature

High

Electronics

IC Failure

Humidity

Medium/High

Electronics Corrosion

Lab & Medical Refrigerators & Freezes

Temperature

High

Vaccines, Pharmaceuticals

Ineffective/Defective Medication

Humidity

Medium/High

Ineffective Medication

Restaurant & Food Distributor Refrigerators & Freezers

Temperature

High

Food

Spoiled Food,

Microbe Growth

Humidity

Low/Medium

Food

Dried Out Food, Spoiled Food

Homes, Property Management

Temperature

Medium/High

Water Pipes

Frozen, Broken Pipes

Humidity

Low

Specialized Items

Varies

Agriculture

(Fields, Nurseries)

Temperature

High

Plant Health, Yield

Frost Damage

Humidity

Medium

Plant Health, Yield

Unhealthy Plants

Pets, Livestock

Temperature

High

Animals, Pets

Sickness, Death

Humidity

Low

Animals, Pets

Varies

RV’s parked in Campgrounds

Temperature

Low/High

Pets

Sickness, Death

Humidity

Low

Pets

Varies

Energy Management

Temperature

High

HVAC Systems

Poor Efficiency ($)

Humidity

Medium/High

HVAC Systems

Poor Efficiency ($)

Table 1: Factors to consider when deciding to monitor Temperature and Relative Humidity

 

With the low cost of digital RH sensors, adding humidity monitoring can be a cost-effective choice that more and more customers are making.

 

For questions or additional information, contact Temperature@lert at info@temperaturealert.com.

 

Learn About M2M Strategy from Found Harry Schechter's Radio Interview

 

If you're using Temperature@lert products, you're benefiting from the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications. Want to learn more about M2M? Temperature@lert's founder and CEO Harry Schechter discussed M2M benefits and strategies on The Peggy Smedley Show on August 9th, 2011.  Click here to listen.

 

This interview is courtesy of The Peggy Smedley Show, hosted by Peggy Smedley and broadcast on wsRadio.com. To view archives, go to www.peggysmedleyshow.com/archives.aspx

 

Need to Measure Down to -200C?

 

Our standard temperature probes go down to -55 C, but we know that isn't low enough for many specialty applilcations. That's why we're working on expanded range temperature sensors, and we need your help in figuring out what the best probe configuration is at lower temperatures. If you work with ultra low temperatures, we'd be interested in hearing about your experiences. We may even send you a free ultra low temperature probe to try out! Just send an email to info@temperaturealert.com with your name, contact information, what Temperature@lert device you have, and a description of your low temperature application.

 

What Features Should We Add to Your Product?

 

The folks at Temperature@lert try hard to meet the needs of our customers by delivering the right products and services. Help us serve you better by taking a quick five minute survey. Click here to fill out the survey.