The UV Flux oxygen sensor module from CO2Meter uses a LuminOx LOX-02 optical sensor. It is an excellent sensor for the price, but how does it compare to a much more expensive oxygen sensor like the Piccolo2 sensor by PyroScience?
This was the question raised by Heinz Surbeck, President of Nucfilm GmbH in Switzerland. Mr Surbeck is a physicist working in the field of environmental monitoring. For 20 years he was head of the Swiss Federal Environmental Radioactivity Lab, then for 10 years a Senior Scientist/Lecturer at the University of Neuchatel's Center for Hydrogeology and a lecturer at the Earth Sciences Dept of the ETH-Zurich.
In one of his company’s projects, Mr. Surbeck needed oxygen sensors to helping fish farms mitigate their supersaturation problems. This included continuous monitoring of oxygen, carbon dioxide and total dissolved gas pressure (TDGP) to determine nitrogen partial pressure that is important for the fish. At nitrogen partial pressures in the water above partial pressure in the atmosphere, trout fish get sick (bubble disease).
“I'm well equipped with optical oxygen sensors from PyroScience - the best you can have - but I'm always looking for new innovative sensors that may be cheaper than my ‘Rolls-Royce’,” Surbeck said.
To compare the sensors, Surbeck devised an experiment where both sensors were subjected to the same air samples over the course of an hour. Serial output was run through an Arduino PRO, then to a serial to USB converter for display on a PC. What he found was that the UVFlux sensor gave almost identical results to the Piccolo2.
Although this experiment has not been replicated, the Piccolo2 cost 10 times as much as our UV Flux sensor module. This makes our sensor worthy of serious consideration for researchers who need an accurate, cost-effective way to measure oxygen levels.