GSS® - Gas Sensing Solutions

Smart IR CO2 sensing - Improving quality of life

With the advent of the IoT or the internet of everything, we are inherently becoming more coupled with our world. Indeed, we can improve the quality of life, save power, enhance our security and overall productivity by connecting more effectively with our real world presence. Gases have a huge impact on us and our environment. We immediately think of Oxygen as our life-sustaining gas and have become very aware of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the last 30 years or so as the “villain in the sky”. However, CO2 plays a large, positive and varied role in our day-to-day lives and the monitoring of CO2 has many social and economic benefits. This White Paper discusses some of the application areas for smart CO2 sensing and the leading semiconductor-based technology, developed by Gas Sensing Solutions (GSS) which is already being employed in these applications.

Smart IR CO2 sensing - helping to feed the world

Horticulture is a key market area which can benefit from CO2 management. The productivity of industrial growing enclosures can be significantly enhanced by monitoring and controlling the concentration of CO2. Multiple crop cycles can be achieved by optimal temperature, light and CO2 control. Using this technique, overall plant growth productivity can be improved up to 40%. Produce transportation is another area where CO2 sensing can significantly reduce wastage and help to ensure the product reaches its destination in peak condition. A myriad of foods are now exported and imported globally and in many cases have to travel thousands of miles in containers. The natural ripening process of these foods, such as bananas, can be accelerated or delayed by monitoring and adjusting the level of CO2 accordingly. Other associated food processing applications include individual, quick freezing of small food items with cryogenic CO2 gas to lock in the moisture, shape and freshness. Carbon dioxide is widely used in modified-atmosphere packaging to prolong the shelf life of food where a decrease in its concentration can signify leakage in a package. Freshness and safety of modified atmosphere food packages can be determined by detection of CO2 concentrations.

Smart IR CO2 sensing - keeping us alert!

A further and perhaps obvious application for CO2 detection is in the home, our schools and other public areas. Conventional heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) are focused on temperature control alone; however, modern indoor air quality (IAQ) equipment will include a CO2 detection component. CO2 is an insidious gas, therefore changes in concentration are difficult for humans to recognize. It has a molecular weight of 44 which makes it heavier than air. Typically, in low concentrations 5000ppm can lead to a range of health-related problems, such as sick building syndrome, causing fatigue like symptoms. For example, in a classroom environment, students are initially attentive; yet, with every breath, they expel a stream of CO2 which is diffused into the classroom. Gradually, as the students encounter rising levels of CO2, they experience lethargy and drowsiness, leading to reduced performance and concentration. The detrimental effects of CO2 in an educational setting such as a classroom or lecture theatre are the driving force behind current and emerging legislation [Building Bulletin 101 Version 4.1].

  Name Description
COZIR™ Ultra Low Power Carbon Dioxide Sensor
MinIR™ Low Power Carbon Dioxide Sensor
MISIR™ Low Power HVAC Carbon Dioxide Sensor
SprintIR™ High Speed Carbon Dioxide Sensor