29 Jul

Temperature Monitor

Data logging systems are rapidly taking the place of chart recorders for monitoring temperature and other environmental data, eliminating the need to keep chart paper on hand.  The FDA and the CDC are accepting information retrieved from data loggers as proof of temperature control and other parameters.  These devices electronically store data associated with dates and times the data is acquired.  Dataloggers can be programmed for sampling intervals from seconds to hours for any length of time the operator requires.  The data logger can be connected to a computer or it can stand alone in a remote location and the data points downloaded periodically.  One application would be monitoring a refrigerator or freezer over the weekend.  A simple memory digital thermometer only remembers the highest and lowest temperature achieved during a time interval but not how long the refrigerator was at that temperature or exactly when.

Some digital thermometers have outputs which can be connected to a data logger.  The data logger would be connected to the thermometer on Friday night and on Monday morning the data could be downloaded to a computer.  In this way the laboratory or clinic would know the conditions inside the refrigerator for the entire weekend.  Data loggers are used in shipments of pharmaceuticals and biological samples with sensitive temperature requirements to verify that the environment was never at a temperature which would degrade the samples.  Data loggers are also used to monitor weather at remote locations.  Data for temperature, humidity, wind speed, and barometric pressure at specified sampling intervals, e.g., every hour, can be stored over extended periods of time.  The data can be downloaded periodically or monitored with a remote computer on site.

Robin Prymula