Many electrolytic sensors are placed in areas with extreme environmental conditions. These can be extreme cold when tracking a glacier or extreme heat when measuring the smallest vibration of a volcano. These temperature changes will alter the characteristics of your sensor as the metals expand and contract, ultimately affecting the output and accuracy of the sensor. Our electrolytic sensors do not come with a temperature compensation option but don’t disregard them just yet. Try these five methods to minimize errors. They don’t even require any complicated data processing!
- Give it some shade!
When dealing with a warm environment, try to choose a shady spot to install your sensor. Underground is a great option if your application allows for it. If your sensor must be installed in a location that is exposed to direct sunlight, don’t worry. You can set up a hood or a canopy to protect it from the sun’s rays.
Dark colors absorb heat. When choosing an instrument, be sure to select a light-colored one to help ensure your sensor stays cool if your environment is warm.
- Keep your accuracy in mind.
Before you even select a tiltmeter, you need to know the level of accuracy your project requires. You’ll want to check the temperature coefficients on the datasheets for the products you’re considering. With that info in hand, you can calculate potential errors caused by temperature before deciding.
- Choose a tough sensor!
Your tiltmeter should be compact, stiff, and stable. Sensors with these features are less likely to bend or vibrate than designs with elongated beams with fixed ends. If the sensor you’re considering has mechanical linkages between the internal sensor and the outer enclosure, you may want to think twice.
- Start with a solid foundation.
Finding a thermoelastic resistant mounting method is key to accurate readings. 3-point mounting is rigid and prevents the kind of bending and torsion that can occur when using 2-point mounting. Your mounting studs should be the same length – as short as possible – and the same material. If you’re not planning on being there for the long haul, thermally stable invar studs are always an option for temporary setups.