Cal Sensors announces the global launch of the IRCO2, an infrared CO2 sensor for HVAC applications. Designed to meet the challenging accuracy and reliability requirements of Demand Controlled Ventilation systems (DCVs), the IRCO2 combines superior sensitivity and reliability with lower costs and power consumption.
Cal Sensors’ IRCO2 sensor applies the latest in non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) technologies. The optical path consists of a state-of-the-art emitter and detector that optimize the signal to noise performance while minimizing costs. Unlike traditional CO2 sensors that produce a signal by reacting with the gas, thus degrading over time, NDIR sensors generate a signal passively, by measuring the absorption of infrared light through the gas. Consequently, the infrared system eliminates degradation concerns, reduces maintenance and provides accurate measurements more reliably.
Cost savings are achieved via an innovative highly efficient detector design. Modern conventional sensors achieve measurement consistency and reliability by including two detectors in the measurement path. The first detector measures the CO2 content and the second detector serves as a reference. The signals from both detectors are compared real-time and provide the means to compensate for changes in the measurement path or the environment, such as dust or changes in temperature. Cal Sensors’ IRCO2 uses a two channel detector, thus eliminates the extra detector. This design optimizes measurement consistency and reliability, while minimizing manufacturing and maintenance costs.
The IRCO2 further reduces costs and power consumption by employing the latest pulsed emitter technology. The emitter features a patented burst mode that only energizes the emitter 188 ms out of every 30 second measurement cycle. Traditional infrared emitters, such as a miniature vacuum filament lamps, are slow to warm up and need time to stabilize. Subsequently, although a measurement is only required every 30 seconds, conventional emitters often have to remain on 24/7 to achieve the required measurement stability. Not only does it waste energy, but it also may cause degradation in the measurement by heating up the sensor. The IRCO2 eliminates these extra cost and power consumption concerns.
In addition, the IRCO2 delivers its’ highest sensitivity in the 4.26 micron wavelength region, where CO2 gasis absorbed. The detector material offers a very fast response with high signal to noise performance, providing up to twice the sensitivity of competing CO2 solutions. Combined with an emitter that has an almost instantaneous “on” state and a peak optical output near the CO2 absorption band, the IRCO2 sensor offers low power consumption with an accuracy of 25 parts per million (ppm). Lastly, the IRCO2 sensor applies surface mount technology to optimize manufacturing efficiencies and allowing automated assembly to achieve a price of $125 each at volumes greater than 10,000 units.
Filed Under: Sensor Tips