Different Types Of Anemometers And Buying Guide
Well, you know; Anemometer is a device that measures the wind speed, and it’s there since 1450 (at least.) People who have home weather stations are keen on what type to buy. In the 14th century, there was the cup type, but now we have many types of Anemometers in the market. While all the meters measure the wind speed, each has unique characteristics. I mean, some meters do more than just measuring the wind speed. Why don’t you try to build your own meter (for fun?)
* Cup Anemometer: The oldest type and my favorite. Three or more cups fixed onto a vertical axis. The blowing wind causes the cups to turn around. The faster the wind blows, the turning speed increases relatively. The modern ones have digital readouts. Widely used in homes, educational institutions, and weather stations. Cup Anemometers are highly durable. Nothing can beat its look. And which is why it’s the most popular type even in the 21st century. Anyway, measuring the speed of slow-moving wind is somewhat difficult with this type, but it’s the best to have for your home weather station.
* Vane Anemometers: Well, it’s similar to the cup type, but works more like a windmill or a turbine (looks like a propeller.) Not like the cup type, the blades of the vane type rotate about a horizontal axis. If you live in an area where the wind uproots the trees, this is the type you should have. Very durable and can handle higher wind speeds. Anyway, there’s a downside. You would only obtain accurate readings if you pointed it to the source, which is less practical. Rotating parts can wear out with time (the same happens in cup type.)
* Hot Wire Anemometers: Measuring both the wind speed and pressure and no rotating parts are the main advantages of this type. The thin electrically heated wire in the meter cools down as the wind blows over it. The instrument makes sure it will maintain a constant temperature within the hot wire by changing the current. Or, it maintains a constant current and measures the heat loss. Finally, the heat loss or the change in current lets us know the wind speed. Can measure very low wind speeds. More durable compared to other mechanical types. Quick response and more accurate readings. Anyway, would you have it for your home weather station? I mean, using or looking at it is not fun like the mechanical types. Large moving particles can damage it.
* Pitot Tube Anemometers: Measures wind speed and the pressure. Using Bernoulli’s equation, the wind speed is calculated. Again, no rotating parts so can handle high-speed winds. Same as a vane type, the meter should face the blowing wind. Again, boring. (https://accuweather.brightspotcdn.com/7c/7c204d99262eccb9d387dc6a0e70d85a/IMG_4420_small.JPG.)
Ultrasonic and laser Doppler are the other types of Anemometers in the market (expensive compared to other types explained so far. Perhaps, not suitable for home use.) Well, people have home weather stations for fun. They want to show their kids how the Anemometer works/rotates. So, I think buying a cup type is more than enough. The vane type is also a good choice, but as I said earlier; pointing it to the source is a must for accurate readings. So, I recommend the Cup Anemometer for your home weather station.