Datalogger stories


Weird graph from truck

A food delivery truck driving from Adelaide to Darwin showed a very weird graph on the data logger upon return. It showed a lot of unusual activity with many spikes at higher temperatures in the first part of the graph. What was wrong with this data logger?

Well, it turned out that a new driver had taken over the truck in Alice Springs. He rang the company and asked: “Should the thermostat in the fridge compartment be sat at 0°C?”. The answer was, “No, it should be set at 5°C”.

From the moment the thermostat was sat correctly, all was good. The weird temperatures were caused by the fridge plant trying to cool a load at 5°C down to 0°C. The fridge plant was obviously struggling, as it is not able to do that. It was spending a lot of fuel and going into unplanned defrosts trying.

A difficult cool room

A cool room in a large hotel was really playing up. It was not holding the temperature and the mechanic was at a loss to understand why that was. He placed a data logger in the cool room to see what was going on. He got a clue: The cool room was going very well over night, but in the early morning the temperature increased and it took several hours before the temperature became normal. But how could that happen? He decided to go and see for himself. He found that the cleaning staff felt it was too hot in their quarters, so they opened the door to the cool room to cool themselves down.

Mushrooms going brown

A mushroom grower could not understand that the mushrooms he had picked and loaded onto a refrigerated truck the night before, arrived browning at the market a 4 o’clock AM and only fetched 2nd grade price. He put a recorder into the load and found that the truck’s fridge plant had been turned off for many hours over night. Confronted with the fact, the driver admitted that he went to get a bit of sleep at a truck stop, but were told that his truck was too noisy and he could not stay there and disturb other people. So he turned the noise off.

Workplace Health and Safety

An employee at a supermarket check-out was feeling cold air blowing directly on her head from a vent above. She developed all the signs of hypothermia and went to management to ask for the setting of the thermostat to be changed. Unsurprisingly, staff that could move around did not feel the cold and she was told that she was wrong, sick, lazy and lying. She took a data logger to work and it showed temperatures well under the mandatory 20°C. Add the windchill factor and the fact that uniform requirements stopped her from protecting herself, and she had a solid WHS claim.