Wind Anemometer; Understanding the winds

An anemometer is an instrument that is used as a weather monitoring device. The primary job of an anemometer is to measure wind speed and provide important data about the weather and its various other aspects. With the advent and use of modern technology, anemometers and their applications have evolved in a lot of ways. Combined with the traditional anemometer and modern-day weather monitoring equipment, they have transformed into highly accurate wind speed monitoring instruments that make weather forecasting and data recording look seamlessly easy.

Background and Origin

The first mechanical anemometer was invented in the year 1450 by an Italian, Leon Battista Alberti. They have been around now for more than 500 years telling us about wind speed and other atmospheric conditions. And after those numerous other inventors including Robert Hooke invented many different versions. Through centuries of research and hard work by different inventors, we now have many versions of an anemometer for all types of geographies and weather conditions. Let’s have a closer look at how these anemometers work and some common versions.

How they work and their types?

Different versions of anemometers function differently based on the types they are based on. Here’s a list of some of the most common types of modern-day anemometer:

Cup Anemometers

These are the simplest and most accurate types of anemometers. They usually consist of a set of three or four cups mounted on a pole, which spin as and when the wind blows. Stronger the winds, faster the spinning of the cups. The anemometer captures the speed of the winds through these spinning cups and outputs the readings on a digital display. They are usually mounted on rooftops of the building or sailboats but there are some handheld versions too.

Vane Anemometers

These anemometers are also known as propeller or windmill anemometers. They use a horizontally mounted blade array and a wind vane opposite to the blades. The vanes shift in the direction of the wind and the propeller or the blades rotate as the wind blows to capture and output the wind speed readings digitally. Like cup anemometers, these too calculate wind speed based on the number of revolutions per second. These come in both handheld and roof-mounted versions.

Hot-wire Anemometers

These are anemometers that work by calculating the time taken by the winds to cool a wire heated to a certain temperature. They measure the wind speeds by figuring out how quickly the blowing wind cools down the heated wire. These are usually used in hand-held use.

Now that we know about the different types of anemometers, it’s easier to figure out its uses and applications. Let’s have a closer look.

Common Applications

From sailors, venturing out in the seas to weather stations inland these anemometers are a requirement for anywhere there is a requirement to measure wind speed. Apart from sailors and weather stations, anemometers are installed in airports, sports stadiums, and research centers to study wind speeds and atmospheric conditions. No matter where they are installed they are perfect to tell you how the day is going to be, windy or easy and breezy.

The Conclusion

Inventions of Instruments and devices have made our lives easier. Wind Anemometers have made it possible to study one of the most powerful forces of nature; the winds. Though, humans may not have been able to tame nature’s forces yet, understanding these forces are key to a beautiful mutual co-existence.