GSS - Passengers on an airplane breathing in ambient air with CO2 sensors used to monitor the level of CO2 in the air and maintain safe air quality

Sensor Technology Role In Aircraft Air Quality

The innovative CO2 sensing technology that has been developed by Gas Sensing Solutions (GSS) will play a key role in a UK Government funded research programme to improve aircraft cabin air quality.

people on an airplane breathing in ambient air with CO2 sensors used to monitor the level of CO2 in the air and maintain safe air quality

Monitoring air quality with CO2 sensors on airplanes

The U-CAIR project, led by Honeywell in partnership with the National Physical Laboratory, Gas Sensing Solutions and SST Sensing, is developing cabin air sensor technology to monitor air quality and improve passengers’ cabin experience. The U-CAIR (UK ATI Cabin Air) project will not only create an improved passenger experience in large passenger aircraft, business jets and regional aircraft, but also allow for further fuel savings of up to 2000 litres on long haul flights. Receiving a grant of £2.3 million, this project will enable the UK to develop key technologies that will lead the market in passenger-friendly aircraft. This is part of the £3.9 billion that government and industry will have committed to the aerospace sector by 2026.

The project is driven by the increasing awareness of the effects that even slightly elevated levels of CO2 can have on health, which start with yawning and drowsiness and become progressively worse as levels rise. If a room feels stuffy that is not due to lack of oxygen but CO2 levels increasing to the point where it is starting to have an affect.

co2 sensors to monitor air quality on airplanes

High levels of CO2 can cause hallucinations

In an aircraft with hundreds of people all breathing out CO2, the level could quickly rise so the air has to be changed to remove it. Changing the air uses energy to pump low-pressure air in from outside the aircraft, then pressurise and warm it for the cabin. This energy comes from burning aircraft fuel, so the aim of this project is to monitor the level of CO2 in the cabin to match the air change to what is actually required. This can provide significant savings in fuel use and reduce carbon footprints.

Calum MacGregor, CEO of GSS, explained, “Our unique CO2 sensor technology has been selected for this project because of its industry leading features of low power, accuracy and immunity to vibration.

Calum MacGregor CEO of GSS

Calum MacGregor, CEO of GSS

Plus, our sensors are very robust with a long service life, making them the perfect choice for the challenging environment of vibration, pressure changes, etc. in an aircraft where they must work reliably for many years. This project is one of many that we are involved in where we develop a custom solution that precisely meets the needs of the customer.”

For more information, have a look at our range of CozIR® CO2 sensors for air quality monitoring. These low power sensors are designed to measure ambient air (up to 1% CO2), so they are highly suited to monitoring air quality on aircraft, and in similar confined spaces.

Sensor design process - Gas sensing solutions

CO2 Sensor Unveil At AHR EXPO

Responding to market demands for more compact, slimline devices, Gas Sensing Solutions is launching a new CO2 sensor aimed at Building Control, HVAC, IAQ and DCV applications at the forthcoming AHR EXPO running from 30 Jan – 1 February in Las Vegas.

A smaller version of GSS’ current CoZIR®-A, the CoZIR®-LP is the latest generation of this hugely popular product and is fully compatible with the existing device.

CoZIR®-LP’s physical volume is 85% less than the envelope of the current sensor and as with all GSS CO2 sensors it uses SmartIR LED-based technology, allowing for simplified systems and a robust design.

Just like size, power matters, especially for remote “Internet of Things” infrastructure. Operating at a speedy 2 samples/second, the CoZIR®-LP requires a miserly 3mW of sustained power and equally important, a peak pulse current of only 33mA – addressing the major Achilles heel of CO2 sensors in the current-limited environment typical of sensing applications, particularly those which are battery powered.

In fact, the new CoZIR®-LP can be supported by a compact low energy density battery, negating the need for larger batteries and supercapacitors.

Grant Notman, who was recently appointed as Business Development Director at GSS comments;

“With the advent of smart cities and increasing environmental awareness, the monitoring and control of CO2 has become a key green issue. Architects and building managers are now specifying elegant, thin sensor enclosures for consumer/public structures so the CoZIR®-LP, with a height of less than 8mm, provides the ideal CO2 sensor solution.”

Ralph Weir, who took over the role of CEO at GSS in December, adds:

“This new sensor release represents the next node of the evolving GSS leadership CO2 sensor roadmap and offers an ideal upgrade path for space sensitive and evolving battery powered wireless applications. We have a culture of constant innovation at GSS and CoZIR®-LP is effectively “version 3.5”.

“With every iteration, we try to improve every possible facet – this is a far more streamlined design, losing none of the performance whilst adding a greater flexibility for our customers who are seeking ever smaller components. We are hugely looking forward to launching it at AHR Expo this week – you can find GSS at booth C1072.”

AHR Expo, which started 85 years ago as a heating and ventilation show, has grown into the HVACR event of the year and is held in major cities across the U.S.

The 2017 Show will be in Las Vegas, hosting more than 2,000 exhibitors and attracting crowds of 60,000 industry professionals from every state in America and 150 countries worldwide.

It provides a unique forum designed expressly for the HVACR community, allowing professionals to get together to share new products, technologies and ideas.

If you would like to arrange a time to see the new CoZIR®-LP at the AHR Expo in Las Vegas, please get in touch. Alternatively, registration at the show is free until 25th January, so CLICK HERE to claim your free ticket.