FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the measurement capabilities of the breeze logger in terms of sensors?
The breeze loggers are compatible with both our wireless and our wired sensors. You can monitor up to 8 wireless sensors. If you choose to use wireless sensors, the options are a wind speed only sensor, a combined wind speed and wind direction sensor, or a combined wind speed and temperature sensor. If you choose to use our wired sensors, you can connect one wired wind speed sensor and one wired wind direction sensor. (However - see below on other wired sensor possibilities)
What is the range on the wireless sensors?
We have a number of combinations of antennas and preamplifiers to satisfy most requirements. The path should be line-of-sight, usually with no obstructions between the sensor and the logger's antenna. We have had systems with the antenna behind an ordinary glass window work just fine. The least expensive system with a 3 inch "rubber duckie" antenna at each end will typically work at distances up to 100 feet. For the utmost, up to about 1000 feet requires, directional (Yagi) antennas at both sensor and receiver and a preamplifier at the receiver as well. With an even larger dish antenna at the receiver you may be able to achieve even greater distances between the sensor(s) and receiver. See our quickstart guide for recommendations on configurations for various distances.
What does the logger require for power?
The logger requires a DC supply anywhere from 9 to 28 Volts. The average current is about 19 milliamps, with short peaks to 100 milliamps that last for about 1 second each time data is written to the flash drive. A fully charged 100 Amp hour (A-H) automotive battery would power the logger for a minimum of 7 months, probably a full year since the A-H rating is usually based upon a 20 amp current load and will have considerably more capacity with only a 19 mA load. We have suitable wall transformers if your system will be powered from the grid.
What data is saved by the logger - and in what format?
The logger takes data at a rate of one second or faster. You can configure the logger to record the data in intervals of 1 minute to 1 day. Each interval saves the average, the standard deviation, the maximum and the minimum for that averaging interval. Every record has a time and date stamp.
All the data is saved to a USB flash drive in the form a spreadsheet file, in the most common format, ASCII text separated by commas, and each record is terminated with a carriage return. This format is commonly referred to as CSV, and will open directly in nearly all spreadsheet programs such as Excel. The data is saved in daily files, each file named with the day's date followed with the extension .csv.
Can I choose metric or English units?
The logger can be configured for the following units: meters per second, knots, kilometers per hour, as well as MPH. Internal calculations are based upon MPH, but displayed and logged data can be in any of the units stated above.
What is this wind trigger relay? How does it work?
The logger has an internal relay triggered by the wind speed. You will have the ability to set a wind speed to activate the relay, a wind speed to de-activate the relay, and the number of sample required to do so. For example, a typical use might be to sound an alarm or send a signal to a control computer or PLC based upon wind speed. You could set the relay to actuate at 50 MPH, release 45 MPH, and require 3 samples at each speed, to prevent a trigger or release on a a very short term gust.
If you wanted the alarm to latch, you would set the alarm off wind speed to zero. Typically the wireless sensors broadcasts at 1 second intervals or slightly more frequently. The wired sensors are sampled at a fixed interval of one second.
The relay provides one set of contacts, normally open (NO), with a rating of 24 VDC/VAC at 500 milliamps (1/2 mp).
Does software come with the logger, and do I need any software to run the logger?
For the most basic setup you will not need any software to use our logger. By working with you, our customers, every logger is preconfigured for operation to your requirements, out-of-the-box. However, additionally, we provide at no cost, three pieces of software that can be downloaded from our site:
The first is "breeze Manager." This enables you to easily change the configuration settings on the logger with respect to averaging interval, real-time clock settings, sensors to be logged, and the trigger relay set points. It also enables you to access and download the data without having to retrieve the USB flash drive. This is particularly useful if you have connected a modem to our logger. By doing so, you can place a call from your office, using a PC with a modem, directly to the logger, to reconfigure the logger or download your data remotely.
The second piece of software provides a real-time display of the sampled data and allows this data to be saved to the PC directly. If you were to choose to buy the display-only version of the base station this software would enable data logging on your PC. This is generally not recommended as it requires dedication of the PC 24/7 and this of course uses considerably more power. But in some circumstances, such as an educational setting, this makes perfectly good sense.
The third piece of software is a power production estimation tool. You provide to this software the power curve of your prospective wind turbine, and you feed it the data from your logger's measurements and the software estimates the power that would be produced. The software displays the power step-by-step and totalizes the power over the total measured interval. It calculates the capacity factor and average power for the prospective turbine as well.
You mentioned earlier something about other uses for the wired inputs. Well?
The logger's two wired inputs are general purpose and can be used for a variety of sensors. One of the inputs measures analog voltages in the range of 0 to 3 VDC with 12 bit precision. The other input is a pulse counting channel capable of measuring pulse rates to several kilohertz.
A common usage is to measure or corroborate the power curve of a wind turbine. By connecting a power transducer to the logger's analog input, simultaneous measurement of the wind speed and the turbine output power can be taken, and a power curve established. Alternatively some KWh meters deliver pulses for each KWh produced and can be counted with the pulse channel. Other possibilities include temperature, humidity, rain gauges, pyranometers etc.
What are the output possibilities?
Every logger has an RS-232 serial port. The port can be set to either 9600 or 4800 baud. The protocol is 8 bits, no parity, and 1 stop bit. There is a stream function so that the logger can send data unprompted, out the serial port. The format of the data can be set to readable text, or to follow the NMEA standard. (NMEA is the National Marine Electronics Association standard). This format is useful, as our logger, when set to 4800 baud and using the NMEA output, is then NMEA 0183 compatible, making it plug-and-play with lots of marine electronics such as GPS etc.
We also have optional analog outputs: 2 voltage outputs and one pulse output. If you need to send real-time data to another logger or control system such as a PLC, then you would specify this option when ordering. The voltage and pulse outputs are 0 to 3 volts for 0 to 100 MPH or 0 to 50 m/s, the pulse output is 1 Hz per MPH or 1 Hz per m/s. The other voltage output is 0 to 3 volts for 0 to 360 degree wind direction. These analog outputs only supply data from one wind speed sensor and one wind direction sensor. May 7, 2011