Collaboration: Gas Sensing Solutions and CO2Meter.com
GSS Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Sensors to Improve your Grow Space
While many farmers, cultivators, and growers alike may know the importance of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in terms of photosynthesis for their crops, seldom do they know the significance of CO2 enrichment. While the carbon dioxide gas is a critical element in which we exhale each day, the gas also serves to help plant growth, development, and productivity. Studies have shown that farmers who enrich their grow spaces with CO2, gain the benefits of increased yields at a rate of 20%-30%, in addition to reducing the amount of water the crops lose through transpiration.
Even today with the evolving cultivation market, commercial greenhouses, growers, and cultivators are all attempting to get in on the “secret to faster-growing plants” in order to take advantage of maximized production and be able to achieve the benefits from increased CO2 levels.
How much CO2 is Needed in Your Grow Space?
No matter what you’re growing, the parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide gas you are trying to maintain in your grow space, depends upon the amount of CO2 the crop needs plus the amount lost by infiltration. For example, if you have an 8 x 8 x 7 ft grow room, you will need to cover 448 cubic feet (8x8x7=488).
To compute the amount of CO2 required to raise the level to 1,000ppm use this equation: Width x length x height x desired CO2 level in parts per million.
Although many growers tend to argue that the optimal CO2 enriched in the space can be anywhere between 800ppm-1,500ppm - CO2Meter recommends starting at 1,000ppm and adjusting the CO2 levels over time with experience. The rule of thumb is that CO2 levels below 400ppm and above 1,500 will reduce plant growth.
How to Measure CO2 in Agriculture?
Understanding the importance of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in applications such as greenhouses, grow rooms, cultivation facilities and horticulture is the first step; yet controlling the amount of CO2 that can be added can be done by several methods. The most popular method is by utilizing cost-effective gas sensor technologies – specifically designed to monitor, CO2.
By performing daily checks on indoor grow space environments, cultivators, and farmers can perform and ensure proper supply of CO2 gas in a closed room system, otherwise, if no carbon dioxide is supplied - plant growth will come to a halt rapidly.
GSS ExplorIR®-M CO2 Sensor
Why NDIR CO2 Sensors?
Non-Dispersive Infra-Red (NDIR) LED-based gas sensors offer an alternative to incandescent technology with an abundance of benefits for the user.
Measurement of the CO2 level is determined by using the Beer-Lambert law. This states that the loss of light intensity when it propagates in a medium is directly proportional to intensity and path length. CO2 molecules absorb in the mid-range infrared – between 4.2 to 4.4.
Light is emitted from the LED and passes through the sensor, reflecting off the gold optic found internally. Some light is absorbed depends on the level of CO2 present. The remaining light then reaches a photodiode at the opposite end of the chamber and is converted into an electrical current. This output is then interpreted to give an accurate CO2 measurement reading. This whole process is referred to as Non-dispersive Infrared (NDIR) technology.
History of Gas Sensing Solutions?
As a global leader in solid-state Non-Dispersive Infra-Red (NDIR) LED-based gas sensors, Gas Sensing Solutions (GSS) provide innovative products to the world’s leading OEMs. Established in 2006, GSS has a wide range of solid-state NDIR CO2 gas sensors suitable for a variety of applications including horticulture, agriculture, vertical farming, and composting. GSS is unique in the manufacturing of CO2 sensors as owners of the only epitaxy wafer machine on their premises. Unlike other CO2 sensors on the market, all sensors manufactured by GSS have been developed entirely in-house. This gives GSS complete control of the manufacturing process and ensures optimized performance and quality.
The CozIR®-A sensor is part of the Ultra-Low-Power range of CO2 sensors by GSS. Unlike typical infrared CO₂ sensors that rely on incandescent technology, the CozIR® range all feature proprietary LED technology, enabling a substantial reduction in power consumption.
The typical power consumption of this sensor is less than 3.5mW at 3.3V. The CozIR-A comes as a cased or uncased sensor. The customer’s preference will play a large roll in selecting what option is more suitable. The cased sensor offers additional protection – particularly beneficial where the sensor may come into contact with dust or dirt. While the uncased CozIR-A is smaller in size which may suit a customer’s solution with limited space.
As with all sensors in this range the CozIR-A 2000ppm has been specifically designed to take ambient readings. For many customers, there are additional conditions that should also be monitored. The CozIR-A has many optional features, including temperature and relative humidity, extended temperature range, and voltage.
CO2Meter and Gas Sensing Solutions Partnership
Over the years, CO2Meter.com has been immersed in the agriculture and cultivation space and is often recognized as the “leading source” for providing monitors, controllers, and sensor technologies to growers, nationwide. In partnering with Gas Sensing Solutions, CO2Meter continues to integrate GSS CO2 sensors ensuring robust, low power, and best-in-class technologies are integrated into many CO2 devices, as well as offered as stand-alone sensors.
In providing gas detection sensors paired with Gas Sensing Solutions, CO2 technologies such as the CozIR®-A 2,000 ppm CO2 + temperature and % relative humidity sensor and the ExplorIR®-W CO2 Sensor have been showcased across a variety of agriculture customer case studies to date. Some of our most fascinating customer insights stem from mosquito control in greenhouses, cannabis cultivation, horticulture university research, composting, and even large-scale avocado farming. By using the GSS sensing technologies, their solid-state design makes an ideal solution particularly for growers who need to monitor CO2 yet can expose the sensor to humid environments, while gaining quick and precise response times.
Not only are the CO2 sensors more cost-effective, they are far more accurate and user friendly allowing some technologists to even create their own devices in the agriculture field by using the Gas Sensing Solutions CO2 sensors as the main component. To provide a bit of customer perspective, one major corporation that focuses primarily on commercial agriculture and safety for the U.S. is committed to using the ExplorIR®-M to demonstrate precise CO2 concentrations, as well as the potential hazards that can arise from CO2 overexposure.
The most impressive features from Gas Sensing Solutions technologies are durability, accuracy, power consumption, and ease of use. Furthermore, making the sensors perfect across a variety of agri-applications and even sought after in custom indoor grow research and development. By combining intelligent sensing with accurate control and ease of integration, growers nationwide can improve yields and speed to market by maximizing growth and maximizing profitability.
Gas Sensing Solutions (GSS) is a UK-based business specializing in CO2 sensing. Their in-house engineering and technical teams have many years’ experience in solid-state carbon dioxide gas sensor development. The team at GSS has been leading CO2 sensing technology within the global market for over a decade – understanding CO2 monitoring inside and out. In almost every application and customer use case, the GSS team has already delivered a specific, catered solution. If you’re looking to do something a bit special, the GSS team can easily adapt an existing product, or work with customers to develop a complete custom solution.
- Gas Sensing Solutions. Horticulture & Food Processing Applications. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from https://www.gassensing.co.uk/horticulture-and-food-processing/
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- Reiny, S. (2016, May 3). NASA Study: Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Will Help and Hurt Crops. Retrieved from NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/nasa-study-rising-carbon-dioxide-levels-will-help-and-hurt-crops