Environmental Monitoring has gained great significance in current years with growth of social consciousness. There are mainly two devices that are frontrunners in this category – Chart Recorder and Data Logger.
Chart recorders are devices operated mechanically that comprise of rotation of paper chart around a center hub. Simultaneously an articulating arm draws on the rotating chart. The arm of the pen moves according to the readings picked by bimetal (special metal that contracts and expands on basis of temperature) or sensor.
Whereas Data loggers are digital devices that comprise of sensor that accesses and reads the conditions of the environment and then stores the data collected.
The two devices are vastly different from each other. Some of the differences between a chart recorder and data logger are-
Ease of use and accuracy – Data logger can be used more easily as it is compact and fits almost anywhere while in the case of chart recorder the units vary from smaller to larger. The former meaning low data resolution but more flexibility of placement while the latter larger unit meaning higher data resolution but low flexibility of placement. Accuracy of data is proportional to resolution of data.
Flexibility– Charts used for chart recorders come in varying sizes yet are still restricting and recordings are limited to the range of the chart. In case of data recorder data is all in digital format.
Tools required– Chart recorder comes with consumables like charts and pens that can be easily replaced and need to be refilled when it gets over. Data recorders do not come with consumables like charts or pens but require good computer skills.
Documentation– Chart recorders create physical documents on paper of the history of the data recording while data recorders create digital files. The digital data from data loggers need to be downloaded onto a computer using Ethernet/USB cable/SD card or through back taking of the data to the computer.
Cost– Basic cost of both is similar but chart recorders come with additional operational costs.
Environmentally friendly– Chart recorders require paper which is invariably less environment friendly than data loggers.
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