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Case Studies

MicroLite Solution – Monitoring the Archaeological Collection of the Masada Museum


The primary goal of any museum must be to ensure the long-term safety and preservation of its collections. Monitoring and control of the temperature and relative humidity conditions in which the artefacts are stored are crucial factors in achieving this goal. Lack of monitoring can lead to harmful environmental levels that will cause deterioration of these valuable collections at significantly greater rates than is acceptable.

Application: Temperature and Humidity Monitoring in a Museum

Organization: Masada Museum


Background:

The primary goal of any museum must be to ensure the long-term safety and preservation of its collections. Monitoring and control of the temperature and relative humidity conditions in which the artefacts are stored are crucial factors in achieving this goal. Lack of monitoring can lead to harmful environmental levels that will cause deterioration of these valuable collections at significantly greater rates than is acceptable.


About the Customer:

The Masada Museum was opened in May 2007, showcasing archaeological finds unearthed at the ancient UNESCO World Heritage site. The display in the museum combines finds from the excavations and a theatrically designed backdrop, presenting the timeless story of Masada in its historical context, including the political and military processes that shaped the period. The museum is divided into nine spaces according to its archaeological and historical content.


Key Customer Challenges:

  • The display in the museum contains organic materials (for example: 2,000 year-old fabrics, shoe soles, a comb with strands of hair, pits from olives/ palms) arranged on different walls of the museum, requiring conditions of 50% relative humidity and 20° C within the museum space. The museum has a computerized climate control system, designed to maintain these conditions and able to create graphs, based merely on the climate of the space and not inside the display itself.
  • The display includes humidity absorbing silica gel to absorb excess humidity and small temperature/humidity indicators, which are not very precise, hence not sufficiently reliable.
  • In order to save energy and costs, the museum aspired to reduce air conditioning use at night during certain periods of the year and wanted to check how this will influence the temperature and relative humidity inside the displays.
  • Therefore, the museum’s demand was for a reliable system that will be located inside the closed display, monitoring the actual temperature and relative humidity of the items presented inside and not just the environment around the display.
  • The museum required a more reliable system than the temperature/humidity indicators currently used and a system that will provide data analysis to enable evaluation of the conditions inside the display.


MicroLite Implementation:

Two MicroLite II data loggers with internal Temp/RH sensor are deployed inside two displays in order to monitor the temperature and humidity conditions, and to verify that the required humidity conditions (45% to 55% for fabrics and 28% to 35% for metal-based items) are maintained. PDF reports are produced via the complimentary DataSuite software, which indicate deviations from the defined range. In its attempt to reduce energy consumption and reduce costs, Masada Museum uses the MicroLite II devices to monitor and record the relative humidity inside the displays in order to learn the affects of reduced air-conditioning use on the items stored there.


Measurable Results:                     

  • Cost effective solution - Perfectly suited to the customer application, providing maximum results with minimal resources and implementation time.


Energy and cost saving - The data analysis provided by the DataSuite software, based on the recorded data downloaded from the MicroLite II devices, enabled the museum to conserve energy and reduce it costs by limiting the air-conditioning use.


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