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Sap Flow Sensors: Construction, Quality Control and Comparison

Author(s): Tyler W. Davis | Chen-Min Kuo | Xu Liang | Pao-Shan Yu

Journal: Sensors
ISSN 1424-8220

Volume: 12;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 954;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: environmental sensors | heat ratio method | thermal dissipation method | sap flow

This work provides a design for two types of sensors, based on the thermal dissipation and heat ratio methods of sap flow calculation, for moderate to large scale deployments for the purpose of monitoring tree transpiration. These designs include a procedure for making these sensors, a quality control method for the final products, and a complete list of components with vendors and pricing information. Both sensor designs were field tested alongside a commercial sap flow sensor to assess their performance and show the importance for quality controlling the sensor outputs. Results show that for roughly 2% of the cost of commercial sensors, self-made sap flow sensors can provide acceptable estimates of the sap flow measurements compared to the commercial sensors.
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