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Data Monitoring System

The type of information desired from the monitoring of a specific system very often determines the type of equipment that should be used. Indicated below are the major components used during monitoring of a solar water heating system.

Data Acquisition System View


Picture of a residential solar hot water system.
  1. Watt-hour Meter
    Measures electricity used by water heater. Each time the water heater elements are activated, the watt-hour meter provides information to the datalogger on how much electricity is being used. The datalogger records this information as well as when the electricity was used.
  2. Data Acquisition System Enclosure Box
    Contains datalogger, modem, battery, and battery charger. The datalogger obtains data from the various monitoring system components (watt-hour meter, flow meter, thermocouples, etc.), and not only maintains this data, but also performs specifically programmed calculations, such as determining the BTUs produced by the system. Select here for an internal view and additional information.
  3. Flow Meter
    Positive displacement type meter registers the amount of hot water used.
  4. Thermocouples
    Provides temperature measurements for various locations (hot water out, cold water in, and ambient).


Data Acquisition System Enclosure Box View


Picture of the DA equipment box.
  1. Datalogger
    This programmable module provides thermocouple measurement, timekeeping, communication, data reduction, data/program storage and control functions.
  2. Power Supply, Battery
    Power to the datalogger is provided by a charged DC battery.
  3. Modem
    Modem provides data downloading capabilities to the FSEC main frame computer.
  4. AC Power
    Provides AC power for battery charging.
  5. Electrical Wiring
    Wiring from thermocouples, flow meter, watt-hour meter, telephone line, and solar radiation meter to the datalogger. Provides input to the datalogger from the various monitoring devices.