1472 New Sensors and Monitoring Equipment

• Data loggers: Recently, inexpensive battery-powered instruments have become available that record measurements (temperature, relative humidity, light intensity, on/off, open/closed, voltage and events) over time. These data loggers (the name used by the Onset Computer Corporation) are small, battery-powered devices that are equipped with a microprocessor, data storage and sensor. Most data loggers utilize turnkey software on a personal computer to initiate the logger and view the collected data. Such equipment is available from the Onset Computer Corporation, at www.onsetcomp.com. The data loggers can keep track of the condition of equipment and, when used with appropriate software, can project times when preventive maintenance should be performed.

• Ultrasonic detectors for steam trap testing. One classical way to check steam traps was the "screwdriver method," where a technician put one end of the screwdriver on the steam trap and the other end in his ear. He then listened for noises of steam and condensate flow and for unusual trap noises. This method has been made more sophisticated by the use of ultrasonic detectors—stethoscopes with amplifiers and monitors, with software to translate all noises into the audible range. They usually have headphones and frequently have meters to indicate the frequencies being detected. Ultrasonic detectors can be used to monitor the operation of steam traps and to detect and localize steam leaks. The cost of steam saved by fixing one steam trap or one leak can frequently pay for the entire cost of the detectors. Information on ultrasonic systems can be found at www.enerchecksystems.com (Enercheck Systems, Inc.) or from other vendors.

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