Environmental Sensors Target Air Quality

Dec. 4, 2023
Pooja Bhadrappanavar, Business Development Manager at Renesas Electronics, demonstrates how the company’s volatile-organic-compounds sensor can be used to check air quality.

Check out our Sensors Converge 2023 coverage.

We need to breathe clean air and most applications need proper air characteristics to operate properly, so sensing the conditions that surround us is important. On that front, Renesas Electronics has developed a range of environmental sensors to detect things like ozone, CO2 and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In the video (above), Pooja Bhadrappanavar, Business Development Manager at Renesas Electronics, demonstrates how the company’s VOC sensor can be used to check air quality.

The ZMOD series features different sensors that target the type of chemical to be detected, such as ozone. The ZMOD4410 Gas Sensor Module provides a firmware configurable indoor air quality (IAQ) configuration with embedded artificial-intelligence (AI) support to provide more refined data (see figure).

In addition to monitoring IAQ, the module can detect total VOCs (TVOCs) and estimate CO2. It operates in various conditions, from very humid and dusty applications to conditions with condensation or even immersion.

The chip’s sensing element is a silicon-based, ASIC-controlled micro hot plate with a very sensitive metal-oxide (MOx) chemiresistor. The firmware enables different machine-learning (ML) algorithms to be employed to recognize TVOC concentrations, IAQ rating according to UBA, and estimated carbon-dioxide (eCO2) levels. It’s possible to use models to determine if the absolute TVOC concentrations meet Public Building Air Quality (PBAQ) standards.

The chip uses an I2C interface. An extremely low operating current make it suitable for low-voltage, ultra-low-power battery applications.

Check out more videos from our Sensors Converge 2023 coverage.

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