Hurricane Irma, Harvey and Jose have wreaked havoc across the United States and the Americas for the last few weeks, causing damage to vital infrastructure and leading to the loss of lives. Hurricane Irma has left over 12 million people without electricity and other vital utilities.
Kenya, being a largely equatorial country faces much more gentle weather. However technology is still a slave to the weather, with a lot of equipment unable to operate outdoors, let alone in harsh weather.
In order to conquer the weather in the development of your tech solutions it is necessary to consider the following important tips:
1. Outdoor equipment should be made of outdoor material
The casing of any outdoor equipment needs to be built using rugged material. This could include rugged plastic for plastic-cased equipment and sintered metal meshes for probes. While a lot of outdoor temperature sensors are developed from low-reaction elements, it is possible to achieve the same from locally available material protected by sintered metal mesh. This saves considerably on cost.
2. Design for connectivity in the worst weather conditions
For systems that transmit data remotely, it is extremely essential that the system design calculations are done to simulate extreme weather conditions so as to cater for the signal propagation delay effect when these conditions actually occur.
3. Seal it up and firm it down
It is extremely hard to waterproof electronics, and as such the primary line of defense for any system is its casing. To prevent action by weather, it is necessary to ensure that the entire system is sealed properly with no slots or holes that can let water in. This involves using seals at openings and minimizing the number of joints in a unit as these create weak points. For systems being erected, it is extremely essential that the system is firmed down to protect it from wind action.
4. If you can, shade it
To minimize effect by the elements, shading your system is always a good idea. For systems that do not necessarily need direct sky line of sight, shading can go a long way in increasing the System’s life.