What is a temperature data logger?
Data loggers are affordable inexpensive electronic devices equipped with battery, microprocessor, memory storage and sensor to capture and record environmental parameters including temperature and humidity over time, allowing data to be measured, documented, analyzed, and validated. Temperature data loggers are one of the most frequently used monitoring devices across all common industries.
Here is everything that you would like to know about data loggers for temperature – what factors to consider, applications, and working principle. Whether you are an experienced data logger user, or just getting started, this article can help you during the temperature logger selection process.
Where are temperature data loggers used?
Data loggers are used in a broad range of temperature-controlled environments, including indoors, outdoors, and in transit – essentially anywhere data is needed, and when handling a temperature-sensitive products. Temperature data loggers are used for a wide range of applications in many industries worldwide to maintain product quality and comply with standard and regulations.
Temperature data loggers are used for the following purposes:
- Preparation, storage or transportation of food – according to the food industry EC Directive 92/1.
- Monitor and keep vaccines within a temperature range of +2 to +8°C during storage and transport and until the point of administration – recommended by WHO.
- Storage temperature and humidity of crops and livestock – important prerequisite for quality assurance.
- Monitor temperature sensitive chemicals, material & electronic components.
- Ensure optimal storage temperature and humidity for museum and conservation objects – to protect from mold, fading, corrosion or deformation.
- Laboratories, R&D, diagnostics – sterilization process, biobanking & cryopreservation of biological samples, ultra-low temperature storage.
- Warehouse and logistics industry: monitoring temperature and humidity during storage and transportation (including HACCP compliance).
How to use a temperature data logger?
Most of temperature data loggers are already equipped with battery and internal microprocessor. Before you can use your data logger, it needs to be configured with several parameters. For this, you need a communication interface and the free companion software. If the loggers are designed with a built-in USB, you can simply plug it into your computer’s USB port.
You may need to input some settings telling it how frequently to take a reading, and for how long. Depending on the application, a temperature data logger might be configured to take just a single reading per hour or per day or as many as multiple readings per second. Other configurations are including low and high limit temperature, alarm settings, data and report arrangement.
You are now ready to start and deploy the logger. If your model has an external probe, plug it in before the recording starts. Depending on your selection during configuration, the logger may start recording by itself, or require a manual start. Once the loggers are started, the data through these sensors is logged at regular intervals by the data loggers and stored in its internal non-volatile memory.
The data logger stops recording temperature automatically when the maximum number of readings specified during configuration has been reached. You can also manually stop the logger by pressing the STOP button on the logger, if available. To download the data, reconnect the data logger to your PC or laptop for further analysis, sharing and archiving.
Key factors to consider when choosing a data logger
There are various different designs, models and configurations of temperature data loggers. First and foremost, the main influencing factors will be the exact type of data you need to record and the purpose for which the data is to be used. Let’s start with “What do you need to monitor?”. You are probably wondering where to even begin when choosing the right temperature data logger for the job. Keep in mind, there are bound to be numerous data logging options including room temperature, high temperature, ultra-low temperature and temperature with humidity.
Additionally, you must also consider:
- Accessories - Since temperature data loggers are typically used in various range of locations and environments, they often need to be placed in different ways. Look for options like mounting brackets and waterproof casing to streamline the mounting process and help ensure reliable data loggings. Logtag data logger offers complete accessories including wall mount bracket, waterproof protective enclosure, and water buffer kit.
- Memory capacity - Make sure the logger has sufficient memory to allow for longer data logging with fewer site visits and data retrieval process. Most temperature data logger in the market can store from 4,000 to 1 million readings, depending on type and model. For flexible usage, some loggers provide more reading memory capacity when your data logging interval is longer.
- Single or multi-use temperature data logger? – Depending on your application and usage, single use logger or disposable type of temperature data logger often used in global transportation and logistics, where the logger is able to log data for a single configuration trip only. Whereas for multi-use data logger, you will be able to use it for multiple times with different setting of configuration.
- Software – In general, you’ll want a software that allows you to configure loggers with easy & convenient way and highly intuitive so the learning curve is minimal. Logtag data loggers provide a free software that enable you to quickly and easily perform tasks such as configuring parameters, downloading data, view data in graphs, share data files for analysis in Excel, Numbers, and other applications, and store data.
- Battery type & life – Temperature data loggers are extremely low-power devices, but since they’re used in a variety of environmental conditions and log data at different intervals, battery life can vary widely. As a general recommendation, make sure the logger you select has a battery life of at least one year. A replaceable battery type eliminates the hassle of shipping the logger back to the manufacturer for battery replacement. And temperature data loggers that run on standard alkaline or watch batteries offer greater convenience than those requiring specialized batteries.
- Display vs non-display – Temperature data loggers with LCD displays enable you to visually confirm logger operation and battery status in the field, eliminating the need to connect the logger to a computer to view the information.
- Size & weight - It’s also a good idea to look for smaller size, lightweight and portable temperature data loggers for easy to carry and more practical data logging activity.
At FC-BIOS, we deliver a complete solution for monitoring and traceability of temperature, humidity, and other critical physical parameters. Our temperature data loggers, LogTag® are designed with high quality and cost-effective to help you ensure the integrity and compliance of your sensitive products in production, storage, and shipping phases. LogTag® products are used in a large range of applications including food, healthcare, pharmaceutical, agriculture & industrial processing, and are used by many World recognized organizations such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization.