Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The temperature is being logged

Some data loggers have just arrived for the thermometers we put into the slab at a couple of levels. The recording all started back in the middle of winter at the bottom of the foundation, when we added sensors into the rebar.

Then we had all these sensor plugs growing like flowers from the wet concrete.

Most of them survived the layer of aggregate, then another sensor was added in the metal grid for the screed floor. I tried to get them to move the sensors as far as possible from the underfloor heating pipes, outlined in red.
Hopefully the sensor in the middle is around this position, although it may have moved when the concrete was poured.
After the screed floor, there's a few centimetres of wire to the plug. This is at the back of the house where the store room floor is a few centimetres lower and the slab a few centimetres thinner.
To avoid another decapitation, the carpenters very quickly made little boxes to cover the protruding sockets.
Tsukanaka-san arrived from T&D, and fixed the one we broke when the aggregate was poured in. I had tried to fix it, and stripped back the cover of the wire only to find three identical wires inside. I tried to fix them together, hoping for the best, but when Tsukanaka-san and the company president Morizumi-san plugged in the sensor, there was no reading. The president pulled my work apart, and reconnected two of the wires. One is apparently a dummy. He got the right two wires first time!

When the data loggers arrived they had to make bigger boxes.

You can see from the readings that there's already over 2 degrees difference between the temperature at the top of the slab to the bottom. There was also a difference from the west side of the slab, which gets some sunlight in the evening, while the other parts are in the shade. We can track the temperature over the next few months and get some idea of its reaction time, which should help when we start operating the underfloor heating. I'm hoping to some extent we can build up heat at the end of summer, and then release it over the winter so the slab is as cool as possible when summer hits. Probably not enough thermal inertia though. 

Each logger has an index number from 1 to 10, so we have started in the middle of the house with number 1 at the bottom of the foundation, inside the insulation, and number 2 in the concrete floor. Each logger can store 16,000 readings, or around 110 days' worth of data. The batteries last six months, so we need to fix the loggers where we can get to them. They have extension cables, but three pairs are positioned in or under cupboards, one is under the stairs and the other is in the storeroom. Maybe the cupboards should have removable floors or something. The data can be collected by a radio collector, which can then put the information into a computer.

There are fifteen channels, so we can record the room temperature and humidity in a few places, possibly outside as well. Also I was wondering about recording the temperature in the air channel under the solar panels, which I think is going to get quite hot and impair the power generation.