Sensor development kit provides ability to build monitoring capabilities into process controls and building management systems.

Sensor Integration in Building Management


ncreasing demand from the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), agricultural and general manufacturing industries for measurement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has led gas detection instrumentation for environmental and occupational health monitoring specialist company, Ion Science to launch a high performance Sensor Development Kit (SDK). Comprising integration and sensor printed circuit boards (PCBs), the new Sensor Development Kit facilitates simple, low cost integration of Ion Science’s MiniPID sensors into existing OEM products across a diverse range of applications.

Due to its small size and number of

interfaces, the Sensor Development Kit will enable users to easily incorporate the MiniPID technology into their systems and applications that require the sensitivity of photoionisation detectors (PIDs) but without significant investment in engineering and R&D.

LOW COST ALTERNATIVE A low cost alternative to fixed and portable gas detection systems, the Sensor Development Kit is supplied ready for immediate integration. This allows engineers who need to measure VOCs as part of air filtration or fume extraction, for example, to develop a system in a shorter amount of time. The MiniPID sensor and integration boards handle the intricacies of PIDs reducing

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the need for design and development. Coupled with the company’s

MiniPID technology, the Sensor Development Kit provides real time, highly accurate data.

CONNECTIVITY FOR INDUSTRY 4.0 In addition, the kit also offers industry standard protocols and interfaces for seamless connectivity, an important factor to consider in highly connected enterprises and the boom in Industry 4.0 practices. The integration board provides data

logging as well as flexible 4-20mA input and Modbus RTU output for connection to PLCs, building management systems (BMS) and other equipment for rapid prototyping and product development. On-board data logging expands the potential for the sensors to be used in broader applications. An example provided by Ion Science is its use in remote low power applications such as fenceline monitoring. The onboard datalogging facility means that all data recorded from the sensor is captured and stored and this data can be exported in CSV/Excel format.

BMS INTEGRATION Having been developed for OEMs, the target markets for the Sensor Development Kit are likely to vary greatly. However, there has been growing demand for VOC monitoring from the HVAC industry with BMS manufacturers increasingly likely to

❱ ❱ Sensor development kit provides

flexibility in deploying integrated volatile organic compound detection systems

integrate it into their systems to check room pollution levels. In most modern commercial buildings, there are relatively few indoor sources of inorganic gaseous pollutants and the primary indoor generated airborne pollutants affected by ventilation are particles and VOCs. The existing particle filters in building HVAC systems remove indoor generated particles using far less energy than ventilation. To complement particle filtration, effective and energy efficient air cleaning methods are needed for VOCs. Recent studies have tested granular

activated carbon (GAC) filters for VOC removal in non-industrial buildings and have proposed test methods to evaluate the performance of such air cleaning technologies for reduction in ventilation. Similar to GAC, activated carbon fibre filters (ACF) can be implemented to efficiently remove VOCs from indoor air. As a result, low power PID sensors giving a continuous reading positioned pre and post filter screen will allow effective break through monitoring, filter replacements and increased ventilation system efficiency. Building management is by far not the only application however. The SDK can be connected to control systems via Modbus (RS485) or 4-20mA, making it incredibly flexible for use in manufacturing environments by connecting to existing controls and processes.

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