Four weather stations have been deployed across five rooftops on PPPL's campus since March 2012 by a team of researchers.
Each station is responsible for obtaining weather-related data and climatic conditions including air temperature, surface temperature, solar radiation, atmospheric pressure, humidity, wind parameters, and precipitation. The stations are equipped with a series of four high-tech devices that detect and record the data every minute. Wireless data transmission allows for live streaming online, making it immediately available to researchers for analysis.
Each device, outlined below, is an essential component of the project.
Vaisala manufactured a model wx520 instrument that is capable of detecting an assortment of weather-related data including wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure and humidity, air temperature, and precipitation parameters. These parameters are beneficial in supplying an overview of outdoor conditions that may influence heat flux behavior. Wind speed in particular is important to observe because rooftops are prone to high levels of wind, which could potentially alter surface temperatures, subsequently influencing the heat flux.
B. Data Unit
The data unit is the brain of the station and is also responsible for the transmission of information. Data collected by each device is sent to the data unit then wirelessly transmitted to the server.
C. Infrared Gun
The TNX decive is an advanced infrared gun that detects surface temperatures. It important to the research study to analyze these readings because they provide comparative information for understanding temperatures on the surface of the roofing membrane in relation to outside air temperatures.
D. Solar Panel
This small solar panel generates the energy needed to run each of the devices on the weather station. It is a clean, sustainable, and sensible source of energy.
E. Davis Device (Not Shown)
The Davis device is a solar radiation sensor that detcts the albedo, or reflectivity, values emitted from the surface of the roof membrane. Only one solar radiation sensor is available at this time; consequently, the use of this device is limited. As a result, its location will vary across rooftops through the duration of the study in order to acquire adequate data for each roof. The importance of this device is to measure the albedo of both black and white roofs during both the summer and winter months to visualize seasonal change.
The data is available online. Click here to view live streaming data!
This may help when viewing the live data:
Administration Roof - Station 1133
Theory Roof - Station 1124
Engineering Roof - Station 1126
LSB Roof - Station 1208
Scroll down to see more pictures!