Tower Testing

  • 1
  • Idea
  • Updated 3 years ago

I recently purchased some towers to see if I can get good
temperature and humidity reading for my backyard (as an alternative to the 5-in-1 temperature and humidity values).

I initially tried placing one in a citrus trees (keeps it's leaves in the Fall/Winter) and another on a post that has one side that's always in the shade.

I've read that the tree setup works well for some, but after a week I see that the tower in the tree won’t work for me. The humidity level is always high compared to surrounding area. Maybe it's due to transpiration? Maybe it's because I water the trees (drip irrigation that fills a basin at the base of the tree) once a week? I’m not entirely sure. Also, the temperature reading was always low when the sun was up. The shade did a good job of protecting the sensor from solar radiation, but there must be too much cover to get an accurate temperature reading.

The pillar works pretty well, but it seems to take some time to get “warm” in the morning and in the later part of the afternoon the temperature may be a few degrees too high. The humidity is a little off (high) maybe because of my watering the grass (it’s near my lawn). I did just adjust it’s location on the post to see if it makes a difference.

I’m moving my second tower from the tree to see if I can put it in a sunny location on my property and build up some type of inexpensive solar radiation shield – like a Stevenson Box. So far I’ve just used some things I have around the house that I tried with the 5-in-1 and hope to build up something after some experiments. One "failed" experiment today had the tower registering 123 degrees! More to come...

Photo of joe002

joe002

  • 307 Posts
  • 31 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Robert B

Robert B

  • 253 Posts
  • 40 Reply Likes
I had better luck with my tower temperature when it was suspended in open air under my covered porch rather than attached to the side of the house. It seems that the proximity of any structure with relatively large mass can affect the temperature. I'm not sure if it was a thermal mass effect or an air flow issue or both.
(Edited)
Photo of joe002

joe002

  • 307 Posts
  • 31 Reply Likes
Thanks. So far the pillar/porch is working the best for me too.
Photo of AcuRite Charlotte

AcuRite Charlotte

  • 3097 Posts
  • 156 Reply Likes
Hi Joe,

It sounds like you've found some spots that won't work well for you in your location. We do recommend that the sensor be placed somewhere where it will not be in direct sunlight, and will have good airflow.
Photo of joe002

joe002

  • 307 Posts
  • 31 Reply Likes
Thanks. Yeah, I'm still looking for that "perfect" place - I'm sure I'll find it.
Photo of Harold Ashe

Harold Ashe, Champion

  • 1449 Posts
  • 312 Reply Likes
Just as info, meteorologists always measure and report temperatures from a shaded environment protected from exposure to sunlight.  So, using that standard, I don't think you could have "too much  cover" from the tower in the shade tree.  Humidity, however, is another story...a tree can hold moisture in the leaf canopy longer than your exposed 5in1.
(Edited)
Photo of joe002

joe002

  • 307 Posts
  • 31 Reply Likes
I think the canopy of my trees are such that they block the solar radiation (which is good), but they restrict the air too much so when the sun is out all of the warmth from the air doesn't get to the sensor. The temperature when the sun was out was always a little low, but the humidity was always a lot higher.
Photo of joe002

joe002

  • 307 Posts
  • 31 Reply Likes

Still testing. The solar radiation out here (Phoenix, AZ) is really hard to deal with. Using spare/free things I have around my home I’ve tried to construct something that will shelter my tower sensor when it’s in the sun, but still permit it to transmit the temperature and humidity. When the sun’s hitting the shelter it’s ranged (with my various experiments) from +6 to +20 degrees over where it should be. Without purchasing anything I’m really having a hard time getting something to work. The pillar works a lot better, but I now see that it when it rises too much in the afternoon it’s because of the heat reflecting off the patio cement, house and hard ground (like others in the Phoenix area I don’t have grass). I may be able to build a little shield for the afternoon reflected heat – not sure. As a side note – when the sun’s down (or it’s a rare cloudy day) the three sensors 5-in-1, pillar, shelter all track each other rather nicely.

In the mean time I’ve moved the other tower back under the trees. I’ve moved it to a new location in the hopes to find a spot that’s warmer and less humid then my original tree position. I’ve noticed that moving it from my “shelter” to under the trees the temperature dropped from 108 (about 7 degrees to high) to 100 (about 1 degree low). The humidity rose from 22 to 26, but 26 is actually about right at this moment in time.

I think if I want to do the tower properly I would have to build a larger structure that provides covered shade in the entire area all day long – too costly. It would be a lot cheaper to replace the 5-in-1 motor every 6 months. Hopefully I’ll find a good spot under the tress...