While there are many different types of sensors in the world that measure a variety of "things", gas sensors are one type that is very beneficial in detecting gas concentrations and ensuring safety throughout many different industries.
Whether you are looking for a gas sensor that is fast in speed, low powered, has high sensitivity, is precise, ultra-compact, or easily integrated - the most critical factor in finding the best sensor is to understand the environment and application you intend to measure.
And not all sensors are created equally either. A sensor that is great for measuring ambient CO2 levels for indoor air quality will not work to measure for fire suppression. One OEM might want I2C protocols while another wants UART. Some applications require the use of a sampling sensor instead of diffusion. Knowing the application and requirements is critical in selecting the best sensors.
CO2Meter has earned an outstanding reputation in the gas detection industry for its gas sensing solutions. One way that we've created that trust is by ensuring our team knows how to elicit the information from customers about their application and use cases helping us determine which sensor options are best for the customer.
Here is a list of the top ten most popular applications for gas sensors and how are customers utilize them to improve their processes and keep people safe.
Gas detection has always been closely correlated with the protection of individuals working in many hazardous environments where the presence of inert gases can be found. When it comes to gas sensor technologies, you can always guarantee that at the heart of any gas detector is a gas sensor designed specifically to monitor and repeatedly measure the gas concentration to indicate higher than normal levels; and ensure safety for those working in and around hazardous areas.
For example, the S8 5% CO2 Sensor is an ideal sensing solution that is designed to act as a safety switch for alarm applications that are critical in ensuring safety for restaurants, beverage industries, factories, and mining.
Indoor Air Quality/HVAC Applications
Another main application in which gas sensor technologies are used is for the monitoring of air quality in enclosed spaces such as homes, office buildings, and classrooms. Not only do gas sensors provide a reliable early warning of rising CO2 levels, but they also greatly assist in providing energy efficiency and reducing wear and tear on HVAC systems.
In terms of top gas sensor solutions for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and HVAC industries, many of our customers turn to the CozIR®-LP2 CO2 Sensor for its low power and long lifespan. An additional gas sensor application that uses the CozIR®-LP2 includes Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) industries because the sensor can be powered from a small battery, solar panel or other energy harvesting device.
Medical and Life-Science Applications
One gas sensor application that utilizes gas sensing technologies tremendously is the medical and life science fields. Because many gas sensors are incredibly accurate, reliable, and consistent; they can be easily integrated into areas such as incubation, neuroscience, robotics, capnography, and many others.
One example that showcases the use of gas sensors in medical applications is a specific California University who was awarded a government grant to study CO2 levels flowing through blood and exhalation of human brain activity.
Medical research such as the example from California University relied heavily on the SprintIR6S 20% CO2 Smart Sensor for its ability to record hyper-accurate data at 20x per second!
Aside from this fascinating medical application, another highly recognized CO2 sensor is the Incubator IR CO2 Sensor which is used primarily in monitoring and detecting CO2 levels in cell incubators to manage ideal cell and tissue growth.
One gas sensor application that is quite unique is that of Aerospace and its use for gas sensor technologies to measure both oxygen and carbon dioxide gas concentrations. Aerospace applications utilize gas sensors specifically to monitor for in-flight conditions and air quality maintenance for the crew and overall passengers.
One interesting customer study from the National University Capstone Project involved oxygen safety masks and the CM-42951 0-25% UV Flux Oxygen Smart Sensor. By using the UV Flux Oxygen Smart Sensor, researchers were able to pinpoint precise O2 concentrations passing through an F-35 Lightning II Pilot Mask.
Many customers often search for gas sensor technologies to be incorporated into aggressive and robust industrial applications. When dealing with extreme environments such as those in industrial gases, it is is important to note that your gas sensor should be fit to deal with specific harsh conditions.
For example, specific gas sensors such as the ExplorIR®-W 100% CO2 Sensor, can measure up to 100% CO2 concentrations even in high vibration, humid and aggressive environments.
If you are looking to monitor combustion processes such as optimizing boiler combustion efficiency and measuring oxygen concentrations the Oxy-Flex Oxygen Analyzer is the perfect solution.
When it comes to finding the perfect sensing solution for agriculture applications, it is most common for those individuals looking to measure carbon dioxide in terms of maximizing plant yields. One sensor solution that is commonly utilized in agriculture industries is the K30 1% CO2 Sensor due to its accuracy and ability withstand a variety of climate conditions.
Aside from Agriculture applications, the K30 1% CO2 Sensor also has been the preferred sensor solution for those looking into plant disposal and composting research.
Modified Atmospheric Packaging (MAP) Applications
Modified Atmospheric Packaging (MAP) applications have become more prevalent in the past few years due to the demand for a longer shelf life of perishable products. Customers looking to integrate sensor technologies in MAP applications typically are looking to measure the CO2 or O2 content that is present within the packaging.
If there is an issue on the production line, chances are it needs to be spotted quickly. For those looking at monitoring CO2 concentrations, we recommend the SprintIR®-6S for its high speed and ability to take readings at up to 20x per second.
Interested in measuring Oxygen concentrations in pierceable packaging? Then the TecPen MAP Oxygen Analyzer is an ideal solution for its ability to measure every 3s and its extremely effective sensing mechanism.
One application that is often using gas sensor technologies for further research is transportation industries. These industries are typically looking at analyzing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in cargo or shipping containers.
By monitoring gas concentrations within these enclosed environments, customers can have a further understanding of how to prolong perishable goods by altering the gas concentrations in the containers.
For customers in transportation applications, we recommend the CozIR®-A 10,000 ppm (1%) CO2 sensor due to its accuracy, low power consumption, and easy integration.
Fire Suppression Testing Applications
An additional gas sensor application that relies heavily on the monitoring of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is fire suppression. Because CO2 is an ideal fire suppressor, it is often released into the area in which it is protecting and needs to be further analyzed. Additional common environments may include switch room control panels, power generator systems, or gas turbine enclosures.
When looking into fire suppression testing applications, one sensor technology that is utilized commonly is the SprintIR 6S 100% Carbon Dioxide Sensor for High-Speed Measurement.
University Research Applications
Finally, many of our customers typically seek gas sensor technologies and solutions to further their research studies and advancements in the scientific fields. Dependent upon the overall study will determine the best gas sensor for your specific application requirements or needs.
Over the years, CO2Meter has been proud to have worked alongside many universities and research projects worldwide. To give one example, we were able to work with one student in measuring CO2 levels both indoors and in the community. By utilizing the K30 10,000 ppm CO2 sensor and Arduino Uno Micro-controller, the student was able to pinpoint what his communities system was currently lacking.
By ensuring a better knowledge of the specific gas sensor applications that are commonly searched for, we hope you are able to better understand the ideal sensor solution that best fits your application and overall requirements.