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Monitoring outdoors to manage indoors

30 January 2020

Monitoring both internal and external air conditions can help building managers create an optimal internal environment whilst minimising energy usage, says OTT Hydromet.

OTT Hydromet has launched a suite of high quality weather monitoring sensors that are ideal for building management sectors. “Our latest Lufft sensors, the WS Series, deliver professional-grade weather data with instruments that are extremely compact, rugged and reliable,” says OTT Managing Director Nigel Grimsley. “In the past, customers would have had to purchase multiple sensors to monitor outdoor conditions effectively, but this can now be achieved with substantially less costly devices; many of which would fit in the palm of your hand.”

Weather monitors are routinely employed at construction sites to check that conditions are suitable for work such as pouring concrete or crane operation, but with facility managers looking for more sustainable solutions, Nigel says the big market is now building management. “Most large buildings employ a building control or HVAC system to manage ventilation, lighting, temperature, power, fire protection and security. These systems are designed to create an optimal internal environment whilst minimising energy usage.

“Internal air can be heated or cooled, but energy savings can only be optimised when external air is utilised effectively, particularly when it is necessary to lower internal carbon dioxide levels, in offices for example. It is therefore necessary to monitor both internal and external conditions.”

OTT Hydromet is a specialist manufacturer of smart weather instruments for environmental monitoring and building automation purposes. With no moving parts, OTT’s comprehensive range of compact, low-energy multiparameter sensors offer long-term reliability for almost any weather parameter with easy integration into building control and HVAC systems.

The WS range offers customers the ability to select from a range of parameters including temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind velocity / direction, precipitation amount / intensity / type, UV index, sun direction, brightness and twilight, and global radiation. With a variety of sensor combinations available, it is possible to measure several parameters with one single compact instrument. In most cases, this would be integrated into a building management system, but it is also possible to collect data on-site with a battery powered datalogger, or to transfer data via the cloud to specified users.

Technical support and advice is available from OTT’s in-house meteorologist Brad Guay, who is keen for HVAC and BMS suppliers to experience the advantages of professional-grade weather sensors. “OTT Hydromet companies have been supplying high quality, robust sensors to national weather service providers all over the world for many decades. These customers demand accuracy and long-term reliability, even in the most extreme conditions, so customers in the building management sector can rest assured that their systems will be built around reliable data.

“As a global manufacturer of meteorological instruments and systems, OTT Hydromet is able to manufacture in large volumes, which means that customers benefit from lower costs.”

Looking forward, Brad believes that smart buildings will make better use of the weather. “Intelligent systems will be able to continuously measure weather parameters such as solar radiation intensity, as well as wind speed and direction, so that building control systems can be adjusted accordingly. For example, windows and blinds can be adjusted to make the best use of light and heat, and windows and vents can be managed to utilise fresh air instead of using power for ventilation.

“At the same time, it will be necessary to monitor external humidity, temperature, pressure and rainfall in order for smart control systems to work effectively.”