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Tinytag Data Loggers for Dynamic Composting System Temperature Monitoring

Robust Tinytag data loggers monitor temperatures throughout dynamic composting systems.

Tinytags are used to monitor compost temperature to help comply with PAS 100 regulations. Waterproof and rugged, the data loggers can be used in systems where the compost is stirred or turned - such as aerated in-vessel, rotating drums or agitated bins.

Tinytag temperature data logger dynamic compost system monitoring

The world-famous Eden Project in Cornwall has chosen Gemini's data loggers to monitor temperatures throughout its dynamic composting system.

All organisations producing high quality compost for resale or use in horticulture, agriculture, land restoration etc. will be aware of the need to comply with the PAS: 100 regulations and the Quality Protocol for Compost. Accurate temperature monitoring of such composting processes can present various challenges: in static systems, the compost can generally be monitored easily using stand alone or wireless loggers with probes. In dynamic systems, a logger that travels with the matter monitoring temperature will give a more accurate record of what is happening throughout the process.

The Eden Project in Cornwall is an example of a site where Gemini was able to supply loggers able to meet such requirements. Any logger deployed would be required to withstand the harsh conditions generated by compost turning equipment such as screw augers, with a high level of protection for the circuit board that forms the core of the logger to ensure the production of accurate data. While Gemini's traditional loggers were water-proof and extremely rugged, a higher degree of durability was required. The solution developed was a conventional logger contained in a very robust nylon egg-shaped case. The logger is bright yellow, to ensure it is spotted when the compost is passed through a grid at the end of the process. Because of its shape this logger is colloquially referred to as the 'egg logger'.

The egg loggers are used at the Eden Project, where a 30m³ in-vessel composter that can hold up to 10 tonnes of waste, makes easy work of the 2.5 tonnes/week of catering waste disposed of during peak season. The Eden Project needs to prove compliance with PAS: 100 and Animal By-Product regulations, therefore 20 in-built loggers record data for this reason alone. As the composting system is also a research project, it is important that additional data is collected to provide in-depth information on the process; Tinytag egg loggers are ideal to provide this.

"Whatever we chose for this job had to be rugged" commented Maureen Newton, Laboratory Manager at the Eden Project. "The only way out of the machine is through a screw auger, so we wanted a logger that would stay intact throughout the whole process. The loggers could withstand the hostile environment in the vessel, and the brightness of the loggers means they are easy to spot, very useful if you don't want to go wading in compost!"

The egg logger has an advantage over alternative systems which some composting organisations have employed, which use probed loggers attached to the side of the vessel: although they monitor fixed points in the process (where the probe is placed) they are unable to provide random data for the whole process. Gemini's egg logger therefore meets the challenge of being robust enough to operate accurately while travelling throughout the harsh conditions encountered during the process, while its simple yet effective design makes it ideal for ease of use and data retrieval.

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