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Data loggers - the smart alternative to thermo-hygrographs.

Complete expert report

Some history: Thermo-hygrographs.

For many decades, thermo-hygrographs were the tool of choice for documenting the indoor climate in museums. Technically simple and easy to understand, they can be operated and maintained by museum staff after a relatively short briefing. On regular inspection rounds, a quick glance at the drum is sufficient to establish whether the climatic conditions are OK. However, this advantage can also be detrimental. This is because thermo-hygrographs are comparatively large and therefore conspicuous, which is why they may well be regarded as exhibits in some museums. They are also high-maintenance. The paper for the recording drum needs to be changed regularly – daily, weekly or at the very latest monthly, depending on the setting. The batteries for the clock mechanism and the pens also need to be replaced regularly.

Requirements for data loggers in museums

Due to the obvious disadvantages of thermo-hygrographs, data loggers have been increasingly used for monitoring the climate in museums since the 1990s. And after all these years, you might think that there would be a large selection of perfect data loggers specifically for museums.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Firstly, this is because in general these instruments were developed with completely different applications in mind and they are often "misused" in museums. Secondly, there is no typical museum application. The requirements for a data logger vary considerably within a museum.

Fields of application

Here, the instruments need to be unobtrusive, to be able to be fixed securely and enable permanent monitoring of the indoor climate via a display. These latter completely assume the function of thermo-hygrographs. In order to fulfil the most stringent design requirements for the exhibition area, ideally the instruments need to be "invisible". Here, limitations are often placed on the "misused” instrument: Many data loggers are completely unsuitable for a museum environment due to their technical design.

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