Effect of solar shielding on portable datalogger temperature readings

Eileen F. Wheeler, Jennifer L. Zajaczkowski, Robert E. Graves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


As portable self-contained datalogging monitoring devices become cheaper, industry professionals have taken a greater interest in researching and understanding animal housing environments. Monitoring conditions at animal level is important, as is having an outdoor sensor to monitor the weather challenge. This leaves the issue, for which no data are currently available, of how to protect the sensor from solar load and animal interactions while allowing free air exchange. The purpose of this study was to evaluate ways to affordably and simply protect the sensors with shielding constructed of readily available materials without biasing the temperature data. Paired sensors within 12 different radiation shieldings (both commercial and home-made) were mounted outdoors where solar and aerial conditions were expected to be the same for all sensors. A commercial radiation shield offered the best performance compared with the control temperature, which was provided by a sensor in an aspirated housing. A sensor placed in the shade was the next most desirable location but this is often a challenge in field conditions where the sensor must be shaded during all daylight hours. The simplest shielding that gave the closest consistent reading to the control temperature was the white solid 38-cm (15-in.) long, 10-cm (4-in.) diameter PVC tube with both ends open.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-481
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Engineering in Agriculture
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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