HFD8 - Quick Start Guide

HFD8 - Quick Start Guide
Heat Field Deformation
ICT International
Solutions for soil, plant & environmental monitoring
HFD Sap Flow Meter Quick Start Guide
NOTE: This manual should be used in conjunction with the instructional videos
provided by ICT International to compliment each section of operation.
These videos are located on the ICT YouTube site: http://youtube.com/user/ictintl
WARNING – The measurement needles of the HFD Sap Flow Meter are made of hollow
1.9mm stainless steel tubing. They can easily be bent, damaged or broken off if basic care is
not taken in handling the instrument. The significant length of the needles relative to this
very thin diameter demands additional attention to detail when handling or transporting the
needles. Once installed in sleeves within the tree the needles are very robust.
NOTE: the needles gain much of their structural strength when combined with the sleeves.
HFD Sap Flow Meter Start-Up Check List
WARNING 1 - Please Read, Understand and Complete this checklist before unpacking the
HFD8 Sap Flow Meter
Have you Read the Manual? http://www.ictinternational.com/support/productmanuals/
Have you watched the instructional videos? http://youtube.com/user/ictintl
Have you contacted ICT to schedule webcast training?
Email: [email protected] Phone: + 61-26772 6770
2 System Requirements
2.1 Hardware
The ICT Instrument software does not require a powerful computer.
Recommended Minimum System Specifications:
Intel Atom 1.66 GHz and 1GB RAM or higher.
2.2 Software:
The ICT Instrument software is fully resizable on screen and compatible with the
following Operating Systems:
a. Windows Vista
b. Windows 7
c. Windows 8 and 8.1
d. Windows Virtual OS run from a Mac computer
Charge the HFD Sap Flow Meter Internal Battery
The HFD is a self-contained instrument that incorporates a dual power supply consisting of a
4V, 1A lithium polymer battery, located between the circuit boards and a large capacity 4 v
5A Lithium battery located within the end cap at the top of the instrument where the
needles exit. Before use the instrument MUST be charged. To choose from a range of
charging options see section 3 – Charging - Powering the Instrument.
The unique power-bus plug design was developed by ICT to simplify the electrical wiring
process. It minimises the need for custom tools in the field, requiring only that the outer
cable sheath be stripped back to expose the copper wire. As shown below no other tools are
required with all necessary components and fixings fully incorporated into the instrument
design. Retaining straps ensure the power-bus plugs do not separate from the instrument
when removed from the power-bus during wiring preparation and connection of external
3.1 Connecting a Power Supply to the Instrument
Individual Power Supply Connections
Remove both ICT bus plugs
from one end of the logger
1. 12V Solar Panel Only
2. 12V Solar Panel and
3. 12V DC Power Supply
Connecting Power Directly via Solar Panel
3.3 Connecting Power via External 12V Battery
Connecting Power via External 12V Battery and Solar Panel
3.5 Sharing an External 12V Battery and Solar Panel via Daisy Chaining
Install the HFD Sap Flow Meter Software & USB Driver
Insert the supplied CD into the computer. The CD will auto-run to present a menu.
Choose install software.
Turn the Instrument On
The HFD Sap Flow Meter can either be turned on manually by pressing the power button or
automatically by connecting an external 12V DC power supply. This includes a USB cable
connected to a PC. The HFD Sap Flow Meter can be charged directly from any computers
USB port.
On/Off Switch
USB Port
LED light pipe
Micro SD
6 Connect to the Instrument
Connect the USB cable to the instrument. The HFD8 will automatically be detected by the
computer as with any USB device. Double click the HFD icon on the Desktop to open the
software and click the icon “Connect to HFD”, then click “Find Devices” to search for the
instrument and select the named instrument from the Available Devices within the Device
Selection Window.
Alternatively, if you are using an MCC1 wireless Radio Modem
Instrument Information:
Fields are provided to Name the instrument and attach a Comment. Entries in these fields
will be recorded in a header line within the data file and can be beneficial to recalling
important aspects of the experiment after data has been collected. Every time these fields
are changed and updated, the change is automatically recorded in a new header line entry
in the data file.
The name should be indicative of the instrument or treatment and identify its location, as it
is the “Name” field which is displayed (along with the serial number) when connecting to
the instrument. This is especially valuable if connecting wirelessly to the instrument.
7.1 Drilling:
Drill speed should be high. Only use short increments, stopping regularly to clean the flutes
of the drill to prevent friction and heating of the drill bit which will cause the drill to become
fluid and take the path of least resistance between fibres rather than through.
NOTE: If using a Dremel drill you will need to use the optional drill chuck accessory. This is
necessary to accommodate the 1.9 and 2.0 mm drill bits which exceed the maximum collet
size of the Dremel.
Use the guide rods provided in the installation kit to check the alignment of the drilled
holes before inserting sleeves. If the alignment is not parallel a new installation will be
7.2 Sleeves:
The HFD Sap Flow Meter uses surgical grade 316 stainless steel tubes with a very high
tolerance Inside Diameter (ID) of 1.7 mm and Outside Diameter (OD) 1.88 mm. The choice of
material and dimensions are very important. This grade of stainless steel prevents corrosion
when inserted in the stem both on the outside of the sleeve that is in contact with the
xylem, and internally to ensure smooth movement of the needles. A thin coating of vacuum
grease is recommended for use on the needles to expel any air void (however small),
between the needle and the sleeve to ensure good thermal coupling with the stem. Two
sizes of drill bit are supplied with the installation kit, 1.9 mm and 2.0 mm. It is
recommended that holes be drilled with the drill guide using the 1.9 mm drill bits. In many
installations this will ensure a good “tight fit” of the sleeves in the stem, but the fit should
not be “too” tight.
NOTE: installations that are “too” tight are easily determined. If pressure greater than
finger pressure is required to ease the sleeves into position with the aid of the Insertion
Tool, the holes are “too” tight.
If holes are “too” tight it is possible to enlarge the holes by reaming them out using the
2.0mm drill bits provided. This is not common, but in some installations it's essential during
installation of the HFD Sap Flow Meter. For this reason two 2.0 mm diameter drill bits are
supplied. No actual drilling is done with these drill bits so breakage is uncommon. Great care
should be exercised when reaming the holes out. No pressure should be placed on the drill,
instead merely allow the drill to follow the existing hole that has already been drilled
(hopefully) perfectly straight and parallel to its neighbours.
WARNING: Always use the Insertion Tool to insert the tubes, never use your fingers.
The very small diameter and wall of the tubes makes them very sharp and they will cut
perfectly symmetrical discs out of the flesh of your fingers which is very painful.
Again, a small amount of vacuum grease can be applied (using the offset 10 ml syringe) to
aid insertion. Using the Insertion Tool provided, slowly ease the sleeve into position. Never
force the sleeve and resist the temptation to “tap” the Insertion Tool to insert the sleeve.
Any force greater than finger pressure will buckle the very thin walled sleeve, destroying
the sleeve and rendering it unable to be reused, and potentially (if the sleeve can be
extracted) ruining the installation site, requiring a completely new site to be started due to
the hole deforming during extraction.
The measurement needles of the HFD Sap Flow Meter are made of hollow 1.6 mm stainless
steel tubing. They can easily be bent, damaged or broken off if basic care is not taken in
handling the instrument. The significant length of the needles relative to this very thin
diameter demands additional attention to detail when handling or transporting the
needles. Once installed in sleeves within the tree the needles are very robust.
NOTE: the needles gain much of their structural strength when combined with the sleeves.
ICT provides sleeves with a closed end to prevent sap and resin from filling the sleeve and
gluing the needle in place. This also enables the sleeves to be left in place without the HFD
needles installed and to be used again at a later time without the sleeves having become
blocked by sap & resin.
NOTE: if you intended to use the sleeves for more than one growing season, it may be
advisable to allow a small excess of sleeve protruding from the stem surface to
compensate for tree growth and increment of the stem, otherwise the sleeves will become
engulfed and obscured by the tree making reuse difficult. If this technique is employed it is
very important to make allowance for this to ensure the specific depths of insertion for the
measurement points are known and adjusted using a insulated spacer (see below).
Insert the sleeves into the drilled holes. A Sleeve set consists of three 100mm long sleeves
for the three measurement needles and one 120mm long sleeve for the heater needle. The
sleeves should slide easily into the drilled holes.
7.3 Needle Position:
Positioning of the first measurement point is crucial to the interpretation of the measured
All measurement needles have a 20mm distance between the base and the first
measurement point (Point 1). To accurately position this first or outer measurement point,
a plastic spacer should be cut to the precise length and slid over the needle to regulate
the positioning of this measurement point.
Begin by measuring the bark thickness and establish a reference or datum point of smooth,
firm bark, (not rough, flaky bark) such that the outer measurement point is located 5mm
below the cambium.
This depth of 5mm below the cambium is the default value used in the Sap Flow
Tool software for analysing the data.
This ensures the measurement point is located mid way between the sphere of influence of
the thermsitors (or measurement points), which are spaced exactly 10mm apart radially
along the needle. For thin bark installations, measure bark thickness and calculate the
spacer length of 20mm (to the outer measurement point) then subtract 5mm depth below
cambium plus the bark thickness to determine the length of spacer required to fit over each
needle, including the heater.
In the case of very rough fiborous and flaky bark, the bark surface must be smoothed and
trimmed down to between 10 and 15mm thick. If you can confidently trim to 15mm no
spacer should be required, otherwise a spacer must be used to ensure precise placement
of the outer measurement point 5mm below cambium.
When preparing the bark surface it is essential that the reference or datum point be equal
for all needles both in the axial and tangential directions around the heater. This is to ensure
all measurement points are located at the same depth below the cambium and across the
radial profile of the sap wood.
Heater Installation: The heater (needle with the red base) must also be fitted with the
insulation and spacer.
NOTE: Attach the HFD Sap Flow Meter to the tree and secure it in place before attempting
to insert the needles into the sleeves. Ensure that a gentle curve is placed in the needle
cables to provide strain relief for the needles.
7.4 Insulation:
Once installed, fasten the base of all needles together to prevent needles from moving
relative to each other over time. Then insulate the block on all needles bases by tightly
wrapping them with high density foam. Secure the foam tightly at the top of the stem. A
bead of Blu-tac or plasticine can be used as a boundary layer. The final installation should
then be covered with aluminium foil to reflect radiant energy. Secure the foil at the top of
the stem using electrical tape or similar.
NOTE: it is important not to secure the insulation at the bottom of the installation to allow
air flow past the needles to maintain a stable ambient temperature.
8 Configuration
Enable The Heater by clicking the check box
Set Heater power to value of 0.04 W/cm by using the slider bar to achieve the desired value.
Select Continuous Heating mode
Select prefered logging interval. For long term measurements every 1 minute to 5 mins is
adequate. For dynamic experiements such as cut stem, every 1 second or 10 seconds should
be employed.
Set to Instantaneous logging mode.
Under Logging Configuration, Check all supplementary parameters to be logged. Save
8.1 Live Data:
After installation connect to the HFD Sap Flow Meter and view the HFD Channels Tab.
Verification Test
It is best to use a low heater power for initial measurements. If night time dT Asymmetrical
value for the outer meaurement point (number 1) is persistently below 1oC then heater
power should be applied in incremental steps of 0.005 W/cm and checked to determine the
optimum heating setting.
A dT Asymmetrical temperature of at least 1°C is required to achieve sufficient sensivity of
measurement, however, increasing the temperature above 1°C does not significantly
improve sensitivity but does unnecessarily increase damage to the plant tissue.
NOTE: The inner measurement points can have a higher night time dT Asymmetrical
value due to lower flow rate and heat storage in heart wood.
View the absolute temperatures for each radial measurement point and confirm using the
colour coding feature that all temperatures are within similar ranges within the stem. If the
temperatures of individual measurement points are significantly different in temperature
from others, (especially on the outer edge of the stem Measurement point 1) check the
position of the needles and insulation around the needle base
Data Storage & Downloading
The HFD8 does not store data on internal non-removable memory. Data is stored on
MicroSD cards. Data can be downloaded via USB Cable, wireless Radio Frequency (RF) or
through physical removal of the MicroSD card.
9.1 MicroSD Card Storage Capacity
The storage capacity of the MicroSD card is 4GB. The HFD8 is configured to record the
temperatures of all needles; Upper, Lower and Side needles, as well as automatically
calculated Symmetrical and Asymmetrical values. A 4GB card has the memory capacity to
log all raw parameters relevant to the calculation of Sap Velocity and Sap Flux Density
including optional operational diagnostics of the instrument such as: Heater Voltage,
Current and Power, battery voltage and temperature, external power supply voltage and
charging current at a 1 second logging interval for at least 12 months.
9.2 Data Format
Windows FAT-32 Compatible
Data is written to and stored on the MicroSD card in fully compliant Windows File Allocation
Table (FAT-32) format. What this means is that any MicroSD card can be used in the
Instrument. There is no requirement that memory cards must be supplied by ICT. Any
MicroSD card purchased anywhere
in the world, or a MicroSD card from any digital camera or mobile phone can be inserted
directly into the Instrument for immediate compatibility and use. Similarly, any MicroSD
card used in the HFD8 can be removed and placed into a Camera, phone or any computer
and is automatically recognized and functional. If inserted into a computer the data can be
copied across through Windows Explorer to any file location on the PC.
NOTE 1: MicroSD cards are “Hot Swappable” meaning it can be removed from the
instrument and inserted into a USB port of a computer using a USB card adaptor and
then reinserted to the instrument. No closing down, ejecting or formatting is required.
9.2.2 Data File Nomenclature
The data file is automatically generated by the HFD8 using the following
nomenclature; instrument_serial_number.csv e.g. HFD1C905.csv. The serial number not
only uniquely identifies each instrument, it contains specific information about the date
of manufacture and production run. Please provide the serial number to ICT International
for all support inquiries.
NOTE 2: The Serial Number is automatically stored in the “Header Line” of the data file as
well as being the data file name. A Serial Number is affixed to the back of the instrument for
physical display. Finally, the Serial Number is displayed on screen in the HFD8 software
upon connection to the instrument.
9.2.3 Data File Format
The HFD8 stores data in *.CSV format on the internal MicroSD card. The file structure
of the HFD8, whether it uses a comma (,) or a point (.) for the separator, and a point (.)
or a comma (,) for the decimal delimiter, is based upon the regional settings of the
user’s computer.
These regional settings are typically set the first time a user connects to the computer. If
the computer’s regional settings are different to the HFD8 Sap Flow Meter a message is
displayed on screen warning that the Regional settings of the computer do not match
those of the instrument. If they are both set to the same regional settings no message will
WARNING 2 - It is recommended that the regional settings of the Instrument are set to
those of the computer that will be used to process the Sap Flow data. Failure to do this will
result in a data file that is unreadable in both Excel and Sap Flow Tool Software because the
file structure is the opposite of what the computer is configured for. Main Data File
The *.CSV data file is a true Comma Separated Values (CSV) data file that can be easily
opened in Excel or SFT software. It is used for logging all measurement parameters.
Depending upon the logging frequency these files can be very large (MB in size). The file
includes a detailed header with all of the configuration parameters relevant to any
processed data contained in the data file. As well every column is preformatted with
headings denoting the measurement parameter and the engineering units of the
WARNING 3 – It is very important that the integrity of the original *.CSV data file be
maintained. Opening this file in Excel will corrupt the native Comma Separated Values file
format as Excel introduces hidden formatting markers. These hidden markers have the
potential to make the file unreadable in Sap Flow Tool. It is recommended that if the CSV
file is opened in Excel save file as an *.XLSX file format maintaining the original file name,
but do not save any changes to the original *.CSV file.
9.2.4 Download MicroSD Card via USB Adaptor
The HFD8 data can be downloaded by removing the MicroSD card and putting it in a USB
Adaptor (supplied by ICT or available from electronics and computer stores) and inserting
the adaptor into a USB port of a computer. Open the communication port to access the
MicroSD card. The MicroSD card is secured by a spring locking mechanism, press on the edge
of the card to release the spring then remove the card. A pair of forceps or tweezers is very
convenient to extract and insert the card into the slot.
Removing the MicroSD card using a pair of forceps (tweezers) via the communications port
Place the MicroSD card inside the USB Adaptor and insert it directly into a USB port on a computer
ICT uses Microsoft FAT32 formatting so that the card is immediately recognizable as a mass storage
device when inserted into a computer running a Windows OS. An Explorer window will pop up, allowing
files to be cut, copied, pasted or dragged as normal. Copy the file and paste it to the preferred directory
location on the computer. The full USB 2.0 transfer speed is then possible when downloading data. If a
USB cable is used between the device and the PC then the speed is much slower.
NOTE 2: The ability to remove the MicroSD card from the instrument means data can be manually
downloaded from the instrument without the requirement of a laptop in the field. The MicroSD card can
simply be removed from the instrument and exchanged with a new MicroSD card inserted in its place.
The HFD8 automatically generates a new data file and continues logging uninterrupted while the data is
returned to the office for download from the original MicroSD card.
Data files that have already been downloaded can be imported by HFD software for basic analysis.
Click on the Import CSV file icon select the data file
Click on the Select Channel, choose the channels or add all and click ok
Click on the Plot icon and display the graph
Clicking plot size icon can enlarge the graphical display by turning off the tabular display
Using the filter menu provides the facility to select and display only portions of
the data on the displayed graph.
10 Analyse Data
Whilst raw temperature data can be displayed in the HFD software, all data must be
imported into SFT Sap Flow Tool Software for post processing and analysis of sap flux
density and Sap Flow Rates.
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