Areas of application and sample applications
- Safety : explosion- protection (methane and carbon monoxide detection in mines, hydrogen detection at fuel cells), detection of gas leak (natural gas supply, LPG) poisoning safety (Hardcover carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide monitoring), leak detection (monitoring of chemical camps with volatile organic components, solvents and coolants), fire alarm (fire gas detection intelligent detectors), drug test chemical (breath alcohol test on the road) detection. Warfare agents (explosives, poisonous gas). Use in gas Protection Units of ATMs.
- Emission measurement (motor control over the oxygen sensor, vehicle diagnostics, measurement of gaseous emissions in urban transport)
- Comfort: air quality indoors (automatic ventilation flap in the car, building management systems, fume hood)
- Quality assurance: Leakage detection (solvent detection), process monitoring (lambda probe)
There are different priorities worldwide. The carbon monoxide detection is very common in the U.S. and increasingly in Europe, while gas sensors are used primarily for the detection of natural gas (heating systems) in Asia. The gas sensor in the automotive industry (air recirculation flap control) was initially found only in Europe, now worldwide. The application in industrial safety engineering and building management (air quality) is primarily used in North America, Africa and Europe, and increasingly in Asia. In safety technology for public facilities, the area of application is mainly the United States. The global market for gas sensing and gas analysis systems is estimated at about 1.5 billion dollars per year, with Germany is in third place in the ranking of the world market leader in the manufacture of sensors behind the U.S. and Japan.
Requirements for gas sensors
- High selectivity: restriction of the sensor response to a target substance
- High sensitivity: detection of gas concentration desired interval, either a few percent by volume to a few ppm
- Stability : chemical, electrical, mechanical
- Long life: 10 years and more
- For fast applications : small thermal and chemical time constants
- Low power consumption
- Easy calibration capability for the widest possible calibration intervals
- Low tolerances
- Ease of use
- Low price
Depending on the application, these requirements are weighted differently.