What is an anemometer

what is an anemometer

We have always interpreted the wind as the movement of air from one area to another and, unless it is carrying sand or materials, we cannot see it. People's curiosity in the wind comes from how to measure what we cannot see. The anemometer It is the measuring device used to measure the wind and its force. It is one of the most widely used meteorological instruments in the world of meteorology.

Therefore, we are going to dedicate this article to tell you what an anemometer is, its characteristics and its usefulness.

What is an anemometer

importance of measuring the wind

An anemometer measures instantaneous wind speed, but bursts can distort measurement results, so the most accurate measurement is the average of measurements taken every 10 minutes. On the other hand, an anemometer allows us to immediately measure the maximum speed of a gust of wind. That is why it is very suitable for nautical activities.

Thanks to these meteorological instruments we can know the speed of the wind. The most used are the so-called windlass. They measure speed in km / h. When the wind 'collides' with the windlass, it rotates. The laps it makes are read by a counter or recorded on a paper band if it is an anemograph.

To measure the horizontal wind speed, the most widely used instrument is the cup anemometer, in which the rotation of the cups is proportional to the wind speed. The unit of measurement is km / h or m / s.

Key features

variety of anemometers

The physical characteristics of the anemometer vary greatly due to its appearance, but as the most used rotation, you should know that it has a blade on its body, a few popsicles or cups at the end, and a fan-like torso. is for wind speed calculations.

Although other types provide major changes to the original model and images, their functionality has not changed. All provide a measure of the velocity of gaseous fluids. Of course, some are more accurate than others.

Its use is very practical, the data you provide is very useful, and as it is not very expensive, anyone can enjoy its benefits, making this measuring instrument the basis of the daily and professional life of many people.

Types of anemometers

wind measurement

There are many types of anemometers. The thrust is formed by a hollow and light sphere (Daloz) or paddle (Wild) whose position relative to the suspension point changes with the wind, which is measured in a quadrant.

The rotary anemometer is equipped with a cup (Robinson) or a propeller connected to the central shaft. Its rotation is proportional to the wind speed and can be easily recorded; In a magnetic anemometer, this spin activates a microgenerator to help with accuracy. Measurement.

The compression anemometer is based on a Pitot tube and consists of two small tubes, one of which has a front hole (for measuring dynamic pressure) and a side hole (for measuring static pressure), and the other has only a side hole. The difference between the measured pressures allows the wind speed to be determined.

Surprisingly cheap anemometers can be purchased from some of the major vendors on the market. When high precision is really required, these anemometers can be suitable for meteorological applications and installed in wind turbines. (Usually only used to determine if there is enough wind to start it)

However, cheap anemometers are useless in measuring wind speed in the wind power industry because they can be very inaccurate and poorly calibrated, and the measurement error can be 5% or even 10%. You can buy a well-calibrated professional anemometer at a reasonably low price and its measurement error is about 1%.


There is a wide range of applications for the anemometer in different aspects. Let's see which are the main ones:

  • Agriculture: Check the conditions for spraying crops or burning straw.
  • Aviation: hot air balloon, glider, hang glider, microlight, parachute, paraglider.
  • Civil engineering: construction safety, working conditions, safe crane operation, wind measurement.
  • Training: measurement and experimentation of air flow, evaluation of outdoor conditions for school sports, environmental research.
  • Extinction: Indicates the danger of fire spread.
  • Heating and ventilation: air flow measurement, check filter condition.
  • Hobbies: airplane model, ship model, kite flying.
  • Industry: Measurement of air flow, pollution control.
  • Outdoor activities: archery, cycling, shooting, fishing, golf, sailing, athletics, camping, hiking, mountaineering.
  • Work abroad: condition assessment.

How does it work

It can be said that the most widely used type of anemometer is the cup type, which calculates the wind speed by counting the number of revolutions recorded, expressed in meters per second (m / s).

Another type of anemometer is the hot filament anemometer, which is used primarily for very sudden speed changes. This type of anemometer is composed of electrically heated platinum or nickel wire and when exposed to gusts of wind, the filament temperature will change to provide the required data.

In this way we will obtain the readings, but if we want the data to be averages, it is necessary to expose the device for 10 minutes to get a good calculation margin, because if you test the wind speed for a few seconds, it may only measure a gust of wind, not a major constant air flow.

Importance of the anemometer

The importance of this tool is reflected in the large number of fields or activities in which it can be used. Although it doesn't have many uses, the measurement of wind speed represents a very useful data for multiple tasks, so it occupies an important place. Instrument measurement.

Since the wind is a key factor in many situations or tasks, its measurement is an important advantage, thanks to this instrument we can easily understand the information and the price is very affordable.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about what an anemometer is and its characteristics.

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