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Tinytag data loggers used to inform innovative energy solutions

A range of Tinytag data loggers have been used to evaluate energy efficiency and find profitable solutions for businesses in a Local Enterprise Partnership scheme.

With increasing pressure for electrical and heating appliances to meet energy efficiency ratings, it can be a challenge to find a solution that both works and is profitable for small businesses and enterprises.

With increasing pressure for electrical and heating appliances to meet energy efficiency ratings, it can be a challenge to find a solution that both works and is profitable for small businesses and enterprises.

Richard Baines is a committed conservationist who has used Tinytag data loggers for many years across his career in a number of different projects, which have aimed to help improve energy efficiency and reduce the adverse environmental impacts of the modern way of life. His most recent work has involved working with SMEs in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area to find innovative energy solutions that improve energy efficiency while increasing profitability.

The project, in partnership with a leading research university in the UK, has involved monitoring a number of energy systems, processes, products and services to assess their efficiency. Since its foundation, the programme has delivered £24 million added GVA to the more developed Greater Birmingham and Solihull area.

Richard's years of experience with Tinytags led him to implement them in this project. When he first began work on the project, he was using data loggers, which needed to be hardwired into buildings; after some cables were misplaced, Richard decided to switch over to Tinytags, as he knew that their portability and ease of use would benefit his consultancy work.

Richard uses a number of different Tinytag data loggers for different purposes within energy system and appliance monitoring, depending on the client's requirements. Thermal comfort levels and condensation risk are assessed by measuring ambient temperature and relative humidity using Tinytag Plus 2 and Tinytag Talk 2 data loggers. Surface temperatures of heating pipes, vessels and radiators are monitored using Tinytag Ultra 2 data loggers with thermocouple probes to analyse appliance performance and energy demand. Water meters are monitored using Tinytag Plus 2 Instrumentation count data loggers, where flow-rate and temperature are measured to assess energy delivery from appliances (e.g. radiators). A Tinytag Plus 2 Instrumentation current data logger, which was factory-configured to work with a current 'clamp-on' sensor, is used to evaluate solar energy generation and usage and the performance of lighting equipment.

Richard explains that the purpose of monitoring is "to make sure we are getting what is expected or to find out why we are not getting what is expected" from appliances and systems. If a problem is identified through monitoring, he can recommend a solution to clients, and sometimes implement solutions for clients directly. The solution is then monitored using Tinytags to track the effects of the changes and measure results.

Before and after data collection for one client using Tinytags showed that current was halved following the installation of an energy component as recommended by Richard. At constant voltage, this gave a 50% power saving and commensurate 50% fuel bill saving for the client - who was extremely pleased with the results.

Monitoring costs have also plummeted for the project since using cost-effective Tinytags. The amount of parallel work that Richard and his team are able to undertake has risen thanks to the portability and versatility of Tinytags. Their discreet and compact design has also proved to be an advantage, as the loggers were less likely to be disturbed by building occupants. This has led to an increase in the quality of data collected, making reports more accurate and valuable to Richard's clients.

Richard is enthusiastic about how Tinytags have assisted his work across his career, and especially in his latest role. "I swear by Tinytags" Richard comments. "Academic colleagues have been very pleasantly surprised by their performance and are already migrating to these loggers."

Read about Richard's previous reserach work with Tinytag data loggers.

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