Custom Ultrasonic Anemometer


Emily Raney

Faculty Mentor(s)

Greg Lyman (Electronic Engineering Technology)


Collecting wind speed and direction measurements can vary greatly based on the location that the measurement is being taken from. On the Hogue Technologies building roof there is an ongoing project funded by an NSF grant that is intended to measure the wind-loading effects on the solar panels or photovoltaic array (PV array) due to wind blowing across the Hogue roof. In the weather recording station, there are two existing ultrasonic anemometers, one stationed a short distance away from the PV array and a second anemometer one story higher. An ultrasonic anemometer uses ultrasonic waves to measure wind speed and direction. These two anemometers do not provide accurate enough wind data on the PV array; thus, a third ultrasonic anemometer was needed for implementation into the project. This anemometer is mounted directly onto the PV array to measure the exact wind speeds and direction affecting the panels. Air flow through the ultrasonic wave path will change the time it takes for transmitter data to reach the sensor. This delay in expected data measurement is quantified as a change in voltage from the sensor to the data acquisition system. The voltage runs through a calculated conversion via software programming to obtain the wind effects on the panels. Acquired data is then recorded and exported to an excel spreadsheet for further analysis

Keywords: Ultrasonic Anemometer, Wind, Data Acquisition


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