AWE International magazine, which is focused on the environmental analysis industry, recently featured Gill Instruments in a case study about environmental monitoring with solid-state meteorological instruments.
The case study includes information about all of the products within the Gill Instruments range, with information about their advantages within the environmental analysis field. We have re-published the contents of the case study below.
Gill Instruments Case Study: “Environmental Monitoring with Solid-State Meteorological Instruments” (AWE International, March 2012)
Gill Instruments Ltd supplies a wide range of meteorological instruments for environmental analysis, for applications such as pollution control, agriculture, power generation, structural analysis, defence and aviation. The range of products has evolved over a twenty-five year period and now consists of a wide range of two-axis and three-axis ultrasonic wind sensors, compact multi-sensor weather stations, real-time monitoring software and display equipment.
One of the core advantages of Gill’s range of instruments is the solid-state nature of all of the devices. Traditional cup and vane or propeller wind sensors, where the cup or propeller typically spin on an axis proportional to the wind speed, can prove unreliable in certain extreme environmental conditions due to the failure of the mechanical moving parts. Gill equipment, by contrast, has no moving parts, thereby increasing product reliability and reducing the requirement for routine maintenance and/or repair, which can be especially difficult and costly in remote monitoring locations.
The Gill WindSonic is a popular low-cost Ultrasonic Wind Sensor currently used in thousands of applications globally. Capable of monitoring wind speed and direction, the WindSonic is suitable for measuring wind speeds of up to 60m/s. With a corrosion-free polycarbonate housing, this low-cost device is a viable alternative to mechanical wind sensors.
The WindObserver Wind Sensor range also features ultrasonic wind measurement technology, with extended wind speed and operating temperature capabilities allowing use in more extreme environmental conditions. The Extreme Weather WindObserver has a full stainless-steel construction for supreme corrosion resistance and powerful heating elements in the sensor head to allow reliable use in most freezing weather conditions. Capable of monitoring wind speed and direction at wind speeds of up to 75m/s, this product is proven to provide accurate, reliable wind speed and direction data no matter what the environment. Other products within the WindObserver range include an intrinsically safe variant for use in hazardous areas such as offshore oil platforms and an FAA approved variant for airport weather monitoring.
In some applications it is necessary to monitor turbulent air flows in three axes. Such applications include bridge safety systems, wind farm site performance surveys and flux analysis sites. Gill Instruments offers a range of 3-axis Ultrasonic Wind Sensors suitable for most applications where measuring the vertical flow component is required.
The WindMaster range is capable of monitoring wind speeds up to 45 or 65m/s, with either an aluminium/carbon fibre or full stainless steel body. The R3 range has a similar construction to the WindMaster, with a faster update rate of up to 100Hz making it suitable for use in most scientific research applications. The HS range offers the same high levels of specification and functionality as the R3 range, with a unique horizontal head configuration that allows for highly accurate vertical flow analysis with minimal flow interruption from the sensor geometry.
While capturing wind speed and direction data is essential in most environmental air monitoring applications, it is often necessary to combine this with other measurable environmental parameters to gain a full understanding of conditions. Variables such as wind speed and direction, air temperature, humidity, dew point and rainfall are regularly used to determine both present weather and to predict future changes in climate.
Over the past few years Gill has introduced a number of compact, multi sensor weather stations to aid in environmental monitoring and weather forecasting. The MetPak II combines the WindSonic wind speed and direction sensor with a barometric pressure sensor and temperature/humidity probe housed in a naturally aspirated radiation shield. Supplied with Gill MetView software, users can monitor environmental conditions in real time on a single intuitive screen.
The MetPak II Remote features the same measurement sensors, however the wind speed and direction sensor can be mounted remotely, up to 10m away from the main weather station housing. MetPak II Remote has been designed for applications where remote monitoring of wind speed and direction is essential.
MetPak Pro is the latest compact weather station from Gill, launched during 2011. This device offers the same standard performance characteristics as the MetPak II, with the ability to expand the system and connect up to four external devices (temperature sensor, rain gauge, water level sensor, pyranometer, soil temperature sensor etc). This is particularly suitable for users looking to monitor a specific group of environmental variables with one system.
With over 25 years’ experience supplying products into environmental monitoring applications, Gill Instruments Ltd is widely acknowledged as a leader in the field of solid-state meteorological instruments and equipment. Gill continues to innovate and develop new products to address environmental requirements, with two new 2-axis wind sensors due early in 2012.