Historically, data logging would have been a process that takes much planning and design to ensure the data was robust and reliable, using specific types of output from your connected sensors to ensure easy integration.
With the various input types available on modern data loggers, this is less of an issue and increasingly so when we consider the availability of digital pressure, temperature and level sensors today.
Using products like the SLS-D submersible level transmitter with SDI-12 serial data interface for Environmental and Hydrology applications opens up the options for data loggers without any concern for compatibility, calibration or scaling of sensors. The SLS-D, therefore, becomes a plug-and-play solution, reducing installation time and knowledge required for integrating sensors.
As another example, the Titan TPTd digital pressure transmitter has i2c or SPi serial communication protocol options. Connectivity to a Raspberry Pi Microprocessor or Arduino Microcontroller makes data collection simple with simple code or Linux programming.
What type of data logging will you require?
Local Download: If you are present on-site during the test or data logging period or visit the site routinely, you may prefer to connect your PC/Laptop to the data logger or retrieve a USB storage device for later viewing. The majority of data loggers, such as the DM01 battery-powered pressure data logger or the Triton Transient Pressure Logger, require you to use the USB interface cable to connect the device to the PC/Laptop. When you open the installed software, the device will automatically connect and synchronise the data, enabling the user to select dates to present and visualise in tabular and graphical form. Exporting data is always possible to a simple spreadsheet or comma-separated values (CSV) file which is transportable between various programs.
Remote download: Sometimes installations require the sensors and data loggers to be placed in hard-to-reach places or in a remote location where site visits cannot occur as frequently as the user needs to analyse the data. Alternatively, data may need to be streamed in real-time to ensure alarms are triggered based on the logged data. We would use the ECHO4 remote monitoring data logger in these applications, which transmits the data to the cloud platform at pre-configured intervals via a SIM Card on the 2G, 3G or 4G communication networks. The cloud platform, accessed by any smart device, PC, or laptop connected to the internet, has web browser access. From there, data can be analysed and downloaded or presented in reports.
Do you need any control features during the data logging process?
Incorporating control or re-transmission features in the data logging device can cut costs, the number of products required, and the installation’s complexity. Products such as the CMC Multicon are ideal for these installations. They incorporate a colour touchscreen, multiple input options, relay output cards, signal re-transmission and connectivity via ethernet or RS 485 Modbus. All whilst internally data logging all channels to as quick as 0.1 of a second! Data can be downloaded via a USB flash drive, using the ethernet or RS485 Modbus connectivity directly and routinely to the DAQ manager software. Having an inbuilt web server also means using a simple IP address; the device’s real-time readings, logged data and configuration can all be viewed via any web browser.
The inbuilt PID control features can control a process via the control relays and signal re-transmission. Data logging in the background for later analysis is exceptionally useful for determining what happened during the event with the feedback of the connected sensors.