Infineon CO2 Sensors Tackle Air Quality

Article By : Infineon Technologies AG

Infineon is addressing this growing demand for good air quality with its innovative CO2 sensors.

The requirements for good air quality are on the rise especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has resulted in rising demand for sensors that measure the CO2 concentration in the air. Regulations in Asia, Europe, and North America also play a critical role in this regard. In California, for example, every ventilation systems in private homes must be equipped with CO2 sensors. Infineon Technologies AG is addressing this growing demand with innovative CO2 sensors that can be used to monitor indoor air quality and reduce energy costs. Suitable applications include ventilation, air conditioning systems, portable room air monitoring devices and smart speakers. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the XENSIV PAS CO2 sensor received the CES 2022 Innovation Award Honoree in the “Smart Cities” category.

“Demand for good air quality is growing. Not only because of legislative regulations but due to the growing awareness for this issue among the population. With its new CO2 sensor, Infineon provides a top solution with outstanding performance that is smaller and easier to integrate than other products currently on the market,” said Andreas Urschitz, President of the Power & Sensor Systems Division at Infineon. “This sensor will be used wherever there are people gathering in one space, such as classrooms, offices, restaurants and in the home.”

Through its use in air conditioning systems or in air quality monitors, the new sensor allows targeted control of the air quality. This method contributes to health and well-being, and also improves productivity. According to scientific findings, a CO2 concentration of just 1,000 ppm (parts per million) can cause drowsiness and affect concentration.

High-quality air also helps combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports have shown that there is a direct correlation between CO2 and aerosol concentrations – one of the transmission routes for viruses (such as COVID-19 or influenza). That means with a reliable CO2 concentration measurement indoors, it could also actively reduce the risk of virus transmission with timely impact and cross ventilation, for example.

The use of CO2 sensors can also save energy with reliable data on the CO2 concentration in the room to control the ventilation time in classrooms, offices, restaurants and in the home. This reduces the operating costs for ventilation systems when they are used in an on-demand manner, using the sensor data.

One of the first applications on the market is the portable CO2 sensor co2go produced by the Munich-based technology company eesy-innovation in partnership with Infineon. The device can be linked to a smartphone or laptop, and will provide detailed, reliable information about the air quality in a room at different locations and can help make a significant contribution to the user’s health and well-being.

The XENSIV PAS CO2 sensor from Infineon is based on the innovative PAS technology (photoacoustic spectroscopy). The method enables highly efficient measurement with a very small footprint. The sensor is less than a quarter of the size of conventional CO2 NDIR sensors, and the only sensor this size that meets the title 24 requirements in California. Infineon has the largest patent portfolio in disruptive PAS technology and a leading position in MEMS technology.

The integrated microcontroller directly converts the CO2 measurement into a ppm value, which is available via three interfaces: the serial I²C, UART, and PWM interface. The spectrum for the CO2 measurement covers a range from 0 ppm to 32,000 ppm with an accuracy of ± 30 ppm ±3 percent (0-8000ppm). The production process offers more benefits for customers. Infineon offers the first SMD-capable CO2 sensor that meets the international JEDEC standard for lead-free surface-mounting using the reflow method.


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