Flexicon Handles the Heat
6 November 2012
Flexicon’s FSU conduit has been used to protect the cabling on five new Automatic Weather Stations (Estaciones Meteorológicas Automáticas – EMA’s) that have been installed in remote, mountainous locations throughout Mexico.
Fairmount Weather Systems Ltd purchased 4 x 50 metre 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 extreme 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 Ltd needed a guaranteed weatherproof solution. Paul Copping, managing director for Fairmount Weather Systems Ltd 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.
Says Ian Gibson, technical director for Flexicon, “the term ‘weatherproof’ can mean different things in different applications in different environments. For example a product that is ‘weatherproof’ in a railway station in England might not suffice the high temperature and humidity in the mountainous regions in Mexico.
The automatic weather stations were commissioned under German Government Ministry of the Environment, funded assistance program administered by Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in co-operation with the Comision Nacional de Areas Natural Protegidas (CONAP) and the Comision Nacional del Agua (CONAGUA) of Mexico called, “The Climate Change & Natural Areas Project, Sierra Madre Oriental, Central Zone, Mexico”
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