Achieving Highly Accurate Air Quality Readings

Achieving Highly Accurate Air Quality Readings

Image Credit: Superior Sensor Technology

Importance of Accurate Air Quality Measurements

Air quality is currently a major topic of interest. From pollution to airborne viruses, allergens and gas leaks, accurately safeguarding the air we breathe is of vital importance. To measure particles and other contaminants in the air, various institutions utilize air quality measurement devices, like the one exhibited in Figure 1.

Air Quality Measuring Device from Particles Plus

Figure 1. Air Quality Measuring Device from Particles Plus. Image Credit: Superior Sensor Technology

Across the general range of HVAC systems, air quality is measured for a number of various applications, including:

  1. Air filtration systems that monitor both the quality and flow rate of air
  2. Carbon monoxide detectors are used to ensure carbon monoxide levels do not surpass safety levels
  3. Fume hood monitors to reduce exposure to toxic and hazardous fumes, vapors or dust
  4. Clean room environments to prevent contamination of the laboratory or manufacturing facility through dust or other particles
  5. Radon detectors to establish levels of radon in the environment
  6. Air purifiers that make sure the air flow is in accordance with the air quality requirements
  7. Smoke detectors for the early detection of a potential fire
  8. Carbon dioxide detectors to show levels of carbon dioxide present in the air
  9. Smog detectors to measure pollution emitted from automobile exhaust
  10. Outdoor air monitoring for measuring levels of pollutants in the air (see Figure 2) – to see real-time air quality scores across the globe, click here

This list is partial as there are hundreds of use cases to measure air quality accurately.

Air Pollution and Impact on Health

Figure 2. Air Pollution and Impact on Health. Image Credit: Superior Sensor Technology

Superior’s System-in-a-Sensor: Better Performance and Lower System Cost

Superior Sensor's proprietary NimbleSenseTM architecture is an industry-first System-in-a-Sensor integrated platform.

Combining an extremely differentiated state-of-the-art pressure sensing system with the capability to introduce optional building blocks means that it is possible to achieve both the greatest accuracy and reliability with lower overall system cost.

For air quality applications, Superior Sensor has designed an HV Series of differential pressure sensors.

Accuracy & Reliability

The HV Series was developed to offer the greatest levels of accuracy and best reliability for air quality and other HVAC applications.

The HV Series delivers accuracy within 0.10% of the pressure range selected with prolonged stability as low as 0.10% in the first year and Total Error Band (TEB) within 0.15% FSS. These industry-leading results guarantee supreme accuracy for air quality level monitoring.

Additionally, the HV Series includes a built-in advanced digital filtering technology. This cutting-edge digital filtering technology is a multi-order filter that uses state-of-the-art filtering capabilities on the front-end of the sub-system to eradicate intrusive noise generated by fans, blowers or other dry air/gas sources prior to reaching the pressure sensor.

This results in a system noise level reduction of 10x or more, and enables the sensor to make low pressure readings that are extremely accurate.

Lastly, the NimbleSense architecture’s optional closed loop control can be applied to enhance the speed/responsiveness and reliability of the air quality monitoring device. This ability can reduce loop delays significantly and guarantees accurate readings through the direct control of motors, valves and actuators.

These built-in features also streamline the product design process while reducing system power/heat and providing an improvement in accuracy.

Reduction in System Costs

One of the most cutting-edge NimbleSense architecture components across all of Superior Sensor's differential pressure sensors is the advanced Multi-RangeTM technology that enables just one sensor to perform the task of several different sensors.

On the HV Series, Multi-Range can be configured to support up to 8 different pressure ranges, with each pressure range factory calibrated and optimized to guarantee no deterioration in total error band, accuracy or stability regardless of the pressure range being used.

The HV Series can support a total of 12 pressure ranges from as low as 25 Pa (0.1” H2O) to as high as 15k Pa (60” H2O). Figure 3 illustrates the difference between a conventional differential pressure sensor and the Superior Sensor’s HV Series.

HV Series Multi-Range Technology Comparison

Figure 3. HV Series Multi-Range Technology Comparison. Image Credit: Superior Sensor Technology

With Multi-Range, ‘on the fly’ adjustments of pressure ranges is possible so that just one device in the field can be employed to serve multiple purposes. Additionally, Multi-Range allows manufacturers to rapidly design and bring product variants to market and lowers inventory costs and product obsolescence since only one SKU needs to be inventoried.

By employing a System-in-a-Sensor approach wherein just one sensor device module includes a number of state-of-the-art functions and multiple pressures, Superior Sensor is streamlining product design and reducing system costs.

Besides the aforementioned Multi-Range cost savings, the built-in closed loop control and cutting-edge digital filtering offer additional system cost savings. With capabilities such as these contained in the sensor module, it is no longer necessary to design these functions externally with discrete components. This lowers BOM cost, improves reliability and accelerates time to market.

Conclusion

There is little doubt behind the important role air quality measurement devices play. Whether tracking internal or external air quality, the necessity to detect dust particles, chemicals, viruses and other pollutants with great precision will continue to grow.

With an increasing number of air quality devices being used, guaranteeing their reliability is just as crucial. Eliminating unnecessary components results in a decrease in the number of field failures.

Moreover, ‘on the fly’ configuration of air quality devices optimizes flexibility and extends the application potential of the system.

NimbleSense Building Blocks for Air Quality Applications

Figure 4. NimbleSense Building Blocks for Air Quality Applications. Image Credit: Superior Sensor Technology

The NimbleSense architecture has a number of building blocks (see Figure 4) that are specifically customized for air quality applications:

  • Multi-Range
  • Closed Loop Control
  • Advanced Digital Filtering

Major global manufacturers such as Johnson Controls and Dwyer Instruments have placed their trust in Superior Sensor Technology for their differential pressure sensors needs. Contact Superior Sensors today for further information about air quality and other HVAC solutions.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Superior Sensor Technology.

For more information on this source, please visit Superior Sensor Technology.

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