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Sensors 2012, 12(1), 954-971;

Sap Flow Sensors: Construction, Quality Control and Comparison

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 3700 O’Hara Street 941 Benedum Engineering Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
Department of Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 December 2011 / Revised: 11 January 2012 / Accepted: 12 January 2012 / Published: 16 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [498 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental sensors; heat ratio method; thermal dissipation method; sap flow environmental sensors; heat ratio method; thermal dissipation method; sap flow
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Davis, T.W.; Kuo, C.-M.; Liang, X.; Yu, P.-S. Sap Flow Sensors: Construction, Quality Control and Comparison. Sensors 2012, 12, 954-971.

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