The helical solar radiation shield, officially launched at the Meteorological Technology World Expo 2017 by Barani Design Technologies, a Slovakian manufacturer of meteorological sensors, achieves what had not been previously possible with multi-plate radiation shields. Opposing goals of maintaining free airflow to the internal sensor whilst also ensuring 360° sensor protection from the sun and all reflected radiation were realized in this one-of-a-kind design. It also protects sensors from water spray, rain, dirt and snow. These opposing goals had previously not been possible without fan-aspiration in the now market-dominant multi-plate solar screens. The patented spiral design achieves both goals simultaneously, thus ensuring new levels of air temperature accuracy and long-term measurement stability. It is noticeable when looking through the side of the continuous 27-piece double-helix spiral how air freely flows through its left side while the right side remains restricted, causing free moving air to organize into spiral flow around the centrally mounted sensor, which at the same time remains fully protected and out of sight. The relationship between the outer and inner helix forms was inspired by the design of high-lift devices on the wings of aircraft and optimized using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), thus enabling vortex formation even in practically windless conditions. The field-proven maintenance-free measurement qualities of the MeteoShield-based sensor systems have demonstrated the ability to measure with better precision than fan-ventilated radiation shields in challenging conditions. This includes over snow and water, and any other tough environment with strong sources of reflected radiation or nearby infrared heat sources, including pavements and walls as found in built-up areas. The ability to accurately measure air temperature near building walls makes the MeteoShield Professional an ideal choice for the challenging environment of cities. It is now possible to gather quality data from large distributed networks where the placement of a weather station was not previously possible. Agricultural applications and installations in arid climates benefit from its ability to keep sensors cleaner than both multi-plate and fan-aspirated shields.
Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for more than a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and has since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and automotive to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.