You all have heard weather forecasts, about how fast the wind is blowing; but have you ever wondered how the wind speed is measured? The wind speed varies over a wide range and it isn’t something that can be measured using your stopwatch. So how is the wind speed measured? To your relief, scientists have invented an instrument known as Anemometer, to measure the wind speed and pressure. The term comes from the Greek word ‘anemos’, meaning wind and is used to describe any wind measuring instrument.
Depending on the type of application anemometers can be classified as pocket sized and hot wire anemometers. Anemometers find application everywhere – from industrial use to hobby applications. Now-a-days, the pocket sized handheld anemometers have become very popular, due to its portability, size, weight and ease of operations. With the handheld anemometer you can now monitor your air conditioning and ventilation systems. You can check the wind speed by yourself before kite flying or venturing into any adventure sports. You can even measure your site’s wind speed by yourself, for wind turbine projects even a 0.1 m/s difference wind speed can make the difference between a viable and unviable project.
These anemometers are very easy to use and transport and since they are lightweight they can be handheld as well. Moreover they can measure long term wind speed and record the data in their internal storage space. The data can be easily transferred to a computer or any other device for better storage and further analysis. Modern handheld anemometers come with LC displays and auto switch off features. This allows effective monitoring of wind speed.
Most of these mobile anemometers work on the principle of generation of eddy current and enables you to measure the wind speed, irrespective of your location. You can measure the wind speed in m/s, km/h, knots, or mph making it suitable for a variety of applications including yachting, wind surfing, ski jumping, and meteorology. More advanced devices works on optoelectronics, where the rotating cups turn a kind of paddle wheel inside the metallic canister. Each time this paddle wheel rotates it breaks a beam of light and generates an electric pulse. This pulse is timed and measured and used to calculate the wind speed. The sophisticated and complex anemometers uses ultrasound, doppler effect and laser technology to measure the wind speed. Hence get hold of a handheld anemometer and bring home a small makeshift weather station today!!!