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Sensor Industry – A Complete A to Z Guide

Recognised as a global leader of advanced gas and fluid sensor technology, SST Sensing Ltd offers a comprehensive range of oxygen measurement sensor solutions. In this article, we are going to explore SST’s A to Z guide of the sensor industry, from Boiler Efficiency and Quality Assurance to ppm and UAV’s.

Full infographic can be downloaded at the bottom of the article.

A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z

Sensor Industry: A - Aviation

A

Aviation

SST’s highly reliable zirconium dioxide oxygen sensors are at the very heart of the control of the Inert Gas Generation Systems known as OBIGGS (On-Board Inert Gas Generating Systems) across a wide range of commercial aircraft.

B

Boiler Efficiency

SST’s Zirconium Dioxide oxygen sensors can help customers optimise their boiler combustion efficiency within the oil, coal, gas and biomass boiler market. SST’s sensors allow the excess oxygen to be reduced while still maintaining safe operation. This saves both money and the environment.

C

Carbon Dioxide

SST supply market leading Carbon Dioxide sensors, integrating unique mid infra-red light source and detector technology into innovative optics and signal processing. These CO2 Sensors offer leading edge technology, ultra fast response time, low power and ambient and wide ranges up to 100% CO2.

D

Downtime

Catching an issue at an early stage, adds value to the products and services by supplying end user confidence. SST’s sensors are used to alarm or shut down systems to minimise the loss of fluids and downtime within products such as peristaltic pumps and detecting rain water leaks in outdoor telecommunication units. This prevents the loss of service and costly damage.

E

Electrochemical

Oxygen detection has historically relied on conventional oxygen sensors such as electrochemical measurement mechanisms which rely on an electrolyte which is consumed over a short period of time. Typical feedback on the lifetime customers get from an electrochemical sensor tends to be around 2 years before needing replacing. A key advantage to SST’s LuminOx sensor family is that the technology has no lead components and exposure to oxygen does not deplete the fluorescent dye.

F

Flow-through

SST’s flow-through housing style is sealed on the base which allows for a clean gas sample stream into the sensor which can be completely removed from the process environment. A flow-through housing allows for better sample gas management and options in terms of where the sensor can be situated.

G

Gas Analysis Probe

Designed for monitoring of oxygen content within flue or stack gases, the GAP has relays, analog and Modbus outputs along with pressure and temperature compensation making it a complete analyzer for combustion optimization and burner/boiler trim applications.

H

Sensor Industry: HVAC

HVAC

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are used worldwide to monitor and regulate the environmental conditions in every type of property and practically all vehicles on the road. HVAC systems are based on multidisciplinary technologies with distinct operating principles. Ventilation units are used to modulate the concentration and gaseous composition of indoor air, based on continuous measurements carried out using ultra-sensitive gas sensors.

I

Industrial

SST’s range of Oxygen and Liquid sensors are used in a variety of Industrial markets and applications. These applications range from helping customers optimise their boiler combustion efficiency to protecting robotic process automation systems by detecting oil leaks at and early stage. Our Oxygen sensors can operate in temperatures from -100⁰C to 700⁰C. Our Liquid Level sensors can operate in temperatures from -40⁰C to 140⁰C.

J

Just-In-Time

Just in time (JIT) manufacturing is a strategy used in the sensor industry to increase efficiency and decrease waste by receiving goods only as they are needed during the production process, therefore reducing inventory costs. SST also uses lean manufacturing which focuses on using the efficiency of JIT manufacturing to add value for our customers.

K

Knowledge

Our technical department is comprised of highly experienced and qualified engineers who work extensively with our customers to ensure their requirements are met. Our engineers work with customers to provide full application and technical support if required. SST have the in-house ability to take any of our standard range of sensors and customise it to your exact specification if the standard spec is unsuitable.

L

Level Control

Level Control

In level control and detection applications, the liquid level of a tank or vessel will vary at a continuous pace over a period of time. In order to know when failure occurs or when the level goes dangerously high or low, it is critical to have a level control monitoring solution in place to prevent expensive damage, flooding or run dry situations.

M

Marine

SST initiated communication between inert gas system manufacturers for the marine industry, as they use a similar process to OBIGGS (On-Board Inert Gas Generation Systems), in order to keep the atmosphere within non-explosive limits. To do this, it is necessary to check and control the oxygen and hydrocarbon gas content in the fuel and cargo tanks using SST’s highly reliable zirconium dioxide oxygen sensors.

N

Non-depleting

SST’s Non-depleting oxygen sensors allow for an extended lifetime compared to similar technologies. Due to SST’s patented technology, our LuminOx Optical Oxygen Sensors have a lifetime of > 5 years.

O

Sensor Industry: O - Oxygen

Oxygen

Both of SST’s oxygen sensing technologies employ non-depleting sensing principles that measure the partial pressure of oxygen (ppO2). Our LuminOx sensors measure ambient oxygen levels using the principle of fluorescence quenching by oxygen. Our Zirconia Oxygen Sensors use a unique closed loop measurement system. While the sensor continuously measures the oxygen level, a heartbeat signal is also generated providing an immediate warning of any failures.

P

Parts-per-million (ppm)

Parts-per-million (ppm) is the ratio of one gas to another. Therefore 100 ppm of O2 is equivalent of 100 Oxygen molecules in a count of a million gas molecules, the remaining 999,900 molecules would be made up of other gases. In persepective, 1 ppm is roughly equivalent to 5 litres of material in an Olympic-size swimming pool.

Q

Quality Assurance

As an ISO 9001:2015 certified organisation, SST manufacture, design, customise and configure a range of sensors and switches for gases and liquids. All of SST’s quality management documents available for download at our customers convenience.

They inlcude: RoHS and REACH declaration, EC Declaration of Conformitys, Biocompatibility test data and many more.

R

RoHs & REACH

RoHS: Restriction of Hazardous Substances.

REACH: Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals.

The main difference between RoHS and REACH is that RoHS bans substances that are present in electrical equipment that is within the directive. REACH, however, pertains to all chemicals including those used to make a product. This can include materials, solvents, chemicals, and more.

S

SST Sensing

SST Sensing are a global leader in Oxygen and Liquid Level sensing technologies. Our primary goal is to deliver the required sensing and control solutions to our customers which exactly meet their technical and commercial sensor requirements. This can be achieved through our standard range of sensors or providing customer specific sensor solutions.

T

Sensor Industry: T -Transportation

Transportation

Oxygen sensors and gas sensing systems are increasingly used to prolong the shelf-life of perishable goods during transportation. It is possible to diminish the metabolic rates of perishable cargoes by up to 30% by maintaining oxygen levels at just 2% of a controlled atmosphere container. Slowing down their metabolic rate delays the natural ripening of the produce without effecting its flavour and eating quality.

U

UAV

The technology behind unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) continues to improve rapidly and is spreading across almost every industry. The sensors typically used in UAV’s such as accelerometers, light-pulse distance sensors and Infrared are not the only ones. SST’s Glass tipped Liquid Level switches are also used on-board UAV’s within the header tanks. The inclusion of a sensor to detect a low liquid level increases reliability in UAV fuel delivery systems, particularly with heavy fuels.

V

Voltage

The Nernst Effect – Above 650­°C, an oxygen pressure difference across a piece of ZrO2 will cause a voltage to be generated. This is known as the Nernst Voltage and is logarithmically proportionally to the ratio of the partial oxygen pressures on either side of the material.

W

White Paper

A white paper in the sensor industry is a technical document that describes how a technology or product solves an industry or customer related problem. They are meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision. SST Sensing have produced white papers providing insights into oxygen sensor industry. We have explored the ongoing evolution of oxygen sensing technology and also how SST’s LuminOx outperforms electrochemical oxygen sensors.

X

X (Cross) – Sensitivity

Many oxygen sensors have cross (X) sensitivity issues associated with them therefore it is important to know the root cause of the cross sensitivity in order to avoid environments that may pollute your sensors. Cross sensitivity can be caused by combustible gases, vapours from heavy metals such as Zinc, high amounts of halogen and sulphur compounds. Details like this should be made clear to customers.

Y

Yes We Can

Whether that be adding or modifying electronics and software, changing outputs, adapting housing or thread styles, adding cabling, connectors or environmental protection… Yes we can! SST consider all options to ensure we satisfy the customers’ requirements. SST’s application engineers work directly with our customers’ engineers to provide complete application and technical support in order to develop customised solutions that will meet their exact specifications.

Z

Zirconia

The zirconium dioxide oxygen sensor does not measure oxygen concentration %, but rather it measures partial pressure of oxygen in a gas or mixture of gases. The oxygen sensor employs a well proven, small zirconium dioxide-based element and its heart and due to its innovative design does NOT require a reference gas. This removes limitations in the environments in which the sensor can be operated with high temperatures, humidity and oxygen pressures all possible.

A - Z of the Sensor Industry

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