The Components of an Automatic Weather Station
Automatic weather stations are extensively used to collect data from sites and locations which are remote, difficult to access or even from other locations to save the human labor and avoid human error.
- Solar panels
Solar panels provide the power to run the weather stations. As these stations are located at remote stations, solar energy is the only reliable source of energy. Energy generated by the solar panels is stored in the battery.
Batteries store the energy generated by the solar panels and ensure functioning when solar energy is not available.
Enclosure prevents the various components of the weather station from the environmental conditions and hence, prevents them from damages.
Thermometers are typically used to measure the temperature of the photovoltaic panels. As the temperature of the panels goes up, their efficiency drops down. Thermometer ensures that the temperature of the PV panels is recorded.
Anemometers are used to measure the velocity of winds. Cup type anemometers are most commonly used. The term is derived from the Greek word, Anemos which means wind.
- Wind vane
In some applications, knowing only the wind velocity is not enough, but direction in which the wind flows is also required to be monitored. A wind vane or a weather vane is used for this purpose.
A hygrometer is a device which is used to measure humidity or moisture content in the air. The first successful hygrometer was made by Johann Lambert. Different types of hygrometers function by monitoring changes in certain parameters like dew point, capacitance, and electrical resistance to find out the actual humidity.
Pressure tendency can forecast the weather changes. Barometers are used to measure the atmospheric pressure at the given location.
- Rain gauge
Rain gauge is used to find out the rainfall at the given location.
Pyranometers are used to measure the solar radiation at the given location. Depending upon the type of the pyranometer (PV based or thermocouple based), the bandwidth of the measurement would be decided.
Apart from the above mentioned sensors, some weather stations can have ultrasonic snow depth sensor, sensors to measure cloud height etc. depending upon the location and the purpose of the use.
Telemetry equipment is used to send the recorded data to the desired locations at the desired frequency.