Thermopile detectors for medical, industrial CO2 sensors

September 20, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Thermopile detectors for medical, industrial CO2 sensors
Semiconductor manufacturer Renesas Electronics has introduced a family of thermopile-based detectors with integrated optical filters for optical (NDIR) CO2 sensors.

The four new single- and dual-channel analog detectors for CO2 gases are offered as delivering the industry’s best performance, quality, and longevity in a TO-5 package. The devices, says the company, are ideal for use in a variety of industrial, medical, and IoT applications that require high reliability, high accuracy and operation in high temperatures.

CO2 levels are a major component of indoor air quality (IAQ) measurement, and thermopile-based detectors are a key building block of sensing solutions required by applications such as HVAC control, air quality monitoring, surgical equipment, and capnography equipment for ventilator systems.

"With more people spending longer hours indoors during current events, many home, healthcare, educational, and work environments are adopting HVAC systems and equipment with increasingly sensitive detection features to ensure healthy CO2 levels," says Uwe Guenther, Senior Director, Sensing Solutions, IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas. “Renesas’ new family of thermopile-based detectors support the development of the highest performance CO2 sensors, enabling manufacturers of HVAC systems and other medical and industrial applications to meet the changing requirements for CO2 detection at an affordable price point, delivering real-time feedback for these mission-critical applications while maintaining high accuracy and reliability.”

The new detectors deliver fast response times with a time constant ranging from 18 to 25 ms and a high signal-to-noise ratio ranging from 1,981 to 4,953 to ensure the accuracy required for mission-critical applications where high reliability is a must. The devices are certified for high-temperature environments, supporting applications operating with extended temperature ranges up to 125°C.

The devices complement the company's current environmental sensor line-up for air quality detection. Users can combine CO2 sensors based on the new detectors with a variety of Renesas sensors such as its popular ZMOD4410 IAQ platform featuring embedded AI and an IP67-rating package option, and/or its HS3001 high-performance, highly accurate relative humidity and temperature sensor. Together with its microcontrollers (MCUs), says the company, this combination enables customers


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