Improving Vacuum Cleaner Performance with Pressure Sensors

Vacuum cleaners are becoming smarter as, in recent years, additional features have been added which have improved suction performance based on their ‘smart’ ability to determine what kind of flooring is being cleaned.

Improving Vacuum Cleaner Performance with Pressure Sensors

Image Credit: Superior Sensor Technology

Instant access to this information means that vacuums can readily self-adjust their settings, including brush height and suction power, in real-time. They can also determine what accessories need to be used and can notify users when a filter needs to be replaced or cleaned.

The sophisticated capabilities outlined above are a result of the inclusion of pressure sensors in the vacuum hardware. As implied by their name, pressure sensors have the capacity to measure the pressure of air, gasses or liquids, either in contrast to absolute or local atmospheric pressure or differential pressure between two points.

There are two primary use cases for the application of pressure sensors in a vacuum cleaner:

  • Pressure sensors have the ability to detect changes in suction pressure while a vacuum is in operation. The suction will vary depending on the type of surface. As changes in suction pressure are detected, the sensors can instruct the vacuum to increase/decrease power and even regulate the brush heights to ensure optimal cleaning.
  • A vacuum cleaner’s air filters collect dust and other particles as they clean. Over time, a reduction in vacuum performance is likely, or the machine has to work much harder to continue performing as expected as the filters get dirty.

By changing or cleaning the filter, consumers are able to ensure that their vacuums function at maximum efficiency. Differential pressure sensors are able to determine the air flow on both sides of the filters and alert the user to when the differential pressure exceeds a preset level notifying the user to clean or replace the air filter. 

Superior Sensor Technology’s Pressure Sensor Advantages 

Superior Sensors’ proprietary NimbleSenseTM architecture is the industry’s first System-in-a-Sensor integrated platform. Introducing a highly differentiated advanced pressure sensing system with the capability to integrate optional building blocks allowed Superior Sensors to combine exclusive application features with the highest degrees of accuracy and reliability. 

Superior’s products offer several advantages for vacuum cleaner implementations with advanced, novel technology deployed in the ND Series. 

The ND Series supports differential, gauge, and absolute pressures from just 62.5 pascals up to 150 psi. Having an increased operating temperature range combined with the industry’s lowest noise floor and the capability to support up to 7 factory-calibrated pressures in one device, the ND Series has been optimized for the most demanding vacuum cleaner applications. 

The ND Series is able to measure dry air and non-aggressive gas pressure with exceptional levels of accuracy and a stable zero point. Another industry-leading feature is the non-linearity which is typically 0.05% FSS. 

The ND Series includes a selectable bandwidth filter which ranges from 1 Hz to 200 Hz, and 16-bit resolution. For an extra boost in performance, the ND Series has an intregrated 50/60 Hz notch filter to reduce the impact of power noise spikes. Finally, the ND Series is superior for applications demanding the utmost reliability. 

The ND Series delivers a new level of integration by combining a state-of-the-art piezoresistive sensing element with integrated amplification, ADC, DSP and interface, making design and integration efforts considerably easier. 

Advanced digital processing facilitates advanced functionality, thus making system development and manufacturing much simpler while enhancing product reliability. 

The ND Series is a complete pressure sensing sub-system owing to its optional advanced digital filtering, integrated closed-loop control customization, and a 3-mode pressure switch. 

The ND Series consists of three product families: 

  1. The ND Series Low Pressure product range is made up of differential/gauge pressure sensors that measure pressures from as low as ±62.5 Pa to as high as ±7.5 kPa. This product set has been optimized for monitoring the condition and performance of the vacuum cleaner air filter.
  2. The ND Series Mid Pressure product range is made up of differential/gauge pressure sensors that measure pressures from as low as ±0.5 psi to as high as ±150 psi. This product is best recommended for measuring the suction pressure of the vacuum cleaner.
  3. The ND Series Absolute product range is made up of absolute pressure sensors that measure pressures from 15 psia to 150 psia. If absolute pressure measurements are required, then this product set is a great choice. 

All the ND Series sensors are in production and available through Digi-Key and Mouser.

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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