Natural calamities are the worst sort of tragedy that can happen to humans. While it is not possible to cease the possibility of calamities happening, it is possible to foresee them and avoid minimal damage. For this purpose, science has been given a tool that is commonly known as an anemometer.
An anemometer is a mechanical device that is used to measure wind pressure and its flow. The popular use of an anemometer happens in weather forecasting. Through an anemometer, a person can study weather patterns by calculating the rotations they make. An anemometer has made a revolution in the field of weather forecasting. However, its uses are not limited to weather forecasting alone. Another significant use of an anemometer is that it helps aerospace engineers and physicists. These engineers used an anemometer to calculate the flow and speed of air around automobiles, which helped them set the safety standards for using these automobiles.
The working principle of an anemometer
An anemometer works on the simple principle of determining wind speed and velocity. Although the basic structure of an anemometer device has not changed, with the rise of technology there are many types of anemometer available in the market. Some of the anemometers are used to measure only wind, speed, and velocity. An advanced anemometer cannot only be used to measure wind speed and flow but also to measure air temperature and infrared temperature.
Types of Anemometer
There are four major types of the anemometer, based on their working principles, as follow:
This kind of anemometer is the most conventional type of anemometer. It is used to determine climate conditions and weather forecasting. You may find this type of anemometer in weather house stations. Usually, a cup anemometer has four cups placed at a horizontal level. These cups are connected to a pole or shaft which is placed in a vertical position. When wind flows the cups start making rotations. Meteorologists calculate this rotation to obtain the speed and flow of wind.
Hot Wire Anemometer
As the name suggests, this kind of anemometer is made by using a hot wire. The wire is heated to the extent that its temperature reaches a higher degree than the atmospheric temperature. When it is exposed to direct contact with the wind, it starts to get cool. Engineers have to calculate the velocity with the help of the resistance of the wire to wind. The Hotwire Anemometer’s application can be found in the structure of heating and cooling gadgets in household and commercial buildings.
These types of anemometers are accurate, reliable, and safe to use since they have no moving parts. These anemometers can be used to determine the wind speed and velocity, even at low wind pressure. An ultrasonic anemometer has four transducer sensors arranged in a square arrangement. These sensors use ultrasonic waves to find the velocity of the wind. Ultrasonic anemometers are used in the fields of aviation, weather forecasting, and navigation. These kinds of anemometers are also used as thermometers.
It is a form of mechanical velocity anemometer. A windmill anemometer works like a normal windmill. The difference between a windmill anemometer and a cup anemometer is that it moves parallel to the direction of the wind. A windmill anemometer uses an aerovane to make rotation possible. It is also called a propeller anemometer
Pressure tube Anemometer
This type of anemometer is classified as a pressure anemometer because of the principle it works on. As the name suggests, a pressure tube anemometer determines wind speed by measuring the pressure exerted through a tube. It can be useful in determining wind speed in the event of high wind pressure. The most common use of a pressure tube anemometer can be found in ventilation and air conditioning technology. In a pressure tube anemometer, one side of the tube is placed facing wind pressure. This pressure is measured by a manometer, which helps us get wind speed.
Innovations in the Anemometer industry
The invention of the anemometer was made back in the 14th century. From then a lot of development has been made in the structure of this device. Initially, cup anemometers were used predominantly which were helpful in determining the speed and flow of air. With the development in technologies and industries like aviation and shipping, more kinds of anemometers are invented. One such example is the ultrasonic anemometer which was developed in the 70s. Unlike cup anemometers, these are best suited for avoiding loss due to extreme air pressure or speed since they don’t have moving parts. Also, ultrasonic anemometers are also not affected by inertia which makes them more resistant.
Certain industries witnessed a revolution with the development of these types of anemometers. For instance, the aviation, agricultural, and electronics industries can now determine wind speed and flow and use it to their advantage.
The Importance of the Anemometer: The Academic Viewpoint
While watching weather forecasting news every child must have wondered how do these people have forecasted weather? How do they know it’s gonna rain? How do aeroplanes fly at such great heights where air pressure is much higher? The answers to such inquisitive problems can be understood if one studies anemometers.
Every successful scientist or physicist was once a student. What we learn in school lays the foundation for our future. Students must strengthen their foundations from the very beginning. For this purpose, the curriculum should be inclusive of important concepts like anemometer devices. The application of an anemometer is deep-rooted in aerodynamics, navigation, and electronics. Therefore, it becomes crucial to prepare school students to understand the mechanics of an anemometer system.
Through projects, work, and assignments, students can develop a thorough understanding of the practical implementation of these systems. Project work gives students a chance to learn in a safe and fun way, which infuses curiosity in young minds. Teachers or parents can encourage their children to try their hand at the simplest model of an anemometer, which is the cup anemometer.
With only a few stationery products, children can form a cup anemometer, which could explain to them how wind speed and flow are determined through these devices. At the secondary educational level, students can experiment with some advanced anemometer projects, such as the hot-wire anemometer, under the guidance of their teachers. These projects work on anemometers at different class levels and will allow students to explore the possibilities of innovation in fields where anemometers are particularly used.