Honeywell's New Sensor Helps Monitor Air Quality in Buildings

The invention of a new particle sensor that will help monitor the air for potentially harmful particulate contaminants caused by smoke, soot and dust has been recently announced by Honeywell. This new invention will be useful for building owners and consumers.

HPM series particle sensor from Honeywell is custom designed to work in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and consumer products such as air purifiers to measure air quality in public spaces, buildings and homes. Honeywell's new PM2.5 Indoor Air Quality Detector, a portable air monitor for consumers in China, has already incorporated this sensor.

Particle sensors play a critical role in measuring and managing the quality of the air we breathe to help protect our health. Honeywell leveraged decades of expertise in sensing technology and connected solutions to develop this state-of-the-art, affordable sensing solution to help prevent building occupants from developing health issues that could be caused by poor air quality.

Graham Robinson, president of Honeywell's Sensing and Internet of Things business

The new sensor is capable of being used in a wide range of consumer products such as mobile air quality detectors, automotive air systems and air purifiers. Laser technology used by this sensor allows cost-effective and accurate monitoring for fine inhalable particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller. For reference, the average human hair is almost 30 times larger at 70 micrometers in diameter.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency point outs that fine particles, which are mostly caused by burning fossil fuels, can enter the bloodstream and also settle deep into lungs, causing health risks.

The sensor outputs an electrical signal capable of being fed into HVAC control systems in homes and buildings or in various other monitoring devices. This information can alert building operators when an air filter has to be changed or that air purification systems should be activated or early maintenance should be carried out on indoor air delivery systems or if outdoor air could be used to enhance indoor air quality.

A light-scattering method is used by the laser-based sensor to accurately detect and count particles in the concentration range of 0 micrograms-per-cubic-meter-of-air (µg/m3) to 1,000 µg/m3 in a given environment. The particulate size and concentration are then analyzed by the sensor in real time to enable systems to provide alerts and also allow operators to take remediation actions.

The HPM series sensor, with its heavy industrial level electromagnetic compatibility, works accurately in challenging, harsh environments. The sensor's industry-leading long life of 20,000 hours proves to be beneficial for building operators as this long life allows for continuous use and stable operations.

The sensor is capable of working with HVAC and building management systems like those from Honeywell Home and Building Technologies, which develops products, technologies and software found in more than 10 million buildings all over the world in order to increase energy and operational efficiencies.

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