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Handling the heat

Published: 8 November 2012 - Joe Bush

Flexicon is protecting the cabling at five new Automatic Weather Stations (Estaciones Meteorológicas Automáticas – EMA’s) that have been set-up in remote, mountainous locations throughout Mexico, following the installation the company’s FSU conduit.

Fairmount Weather Systems purchased 4 x 50m rolls of off the shelf FSU conduit with glands to protect the cabling on the equipment. The apparatus is used to measure rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, air temperature, soil temperature, barometric pressure and soil moisture.

The data is transmitted to the GOES Geostationary satellite from the five automatic weather stations and is received by a ground station where it is used for climate and meteorological research. The equipment is also used to activate alarms when rainfall exceeds predetermined levels to aid the National Weather Service of Mexico to issue flood warnings to the general public.

Fairmount’s specification was IP65 and needed to withstand extreme environmental conditions, as heat, humidity and high rainfall are common at all five of the mountainous locations. The conduit had to have a high level of ingress protection in order to resist the high levels of rain, but also had to protect the cabling from being eaten and damaged by small animals, insects and birds.

Because of the remote locations and the extreme conditions Fairmount Weather Systems needed a guaranteed weather-proof solution. Paul Copping, managing director for Fairmount Weather Systems, said, “The fact that Flexicon was able to meet such a challenging specification with an off the shelf product saved us a lot of time and the excellent customer service and technical expertise ensured we received the exact product we required.

“Maintaining the weather measuring equipment is no easy feat, as they are all located in mountainous areas. We needed a product that offered the ultimate in reliability to maintain the integrity of the cabling and resist the elements in such a challenging environment.”

Making sure the conduit was up to the job was one of the most important aspects of the installation, as maintenance in such a challenging environment is extremely difficult. The conduit had to be strong and reliable enough to protect the cabling to ensure maintenance could be kept to a minimum.

Ian Gibson, technical director for Flexicon, added, “The term ‘weather-proof’ can mean different things in different applications in different environments. For example a product that is ‘weather-proof’ in a railway station in England might not suffice the high temperature and humidity in the mountainous regions in Mexico.



 
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