Waterproof IAQ sensor for high-humidity environments

December 22, 2020 //By Rich Pell
Waterproof IAQ sensor for high-humidity environments
Semiconductor manufacturer Renesas Electronics has announced what it claims is the industry’s first IP67 waterproof sensor for high-humidity environments and devices - including smart HVAC systems, ventilator fans, bathroom lights and switches, and wearables - that operate in a wide range of high-humidity, splash zone, dirty, or submersible environments.

The company has expanded its ZMOD4410 Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) sensor platform with a software-configurable IP67-qualified waterproof option for IAQ applications operating in wet or dirty environments such as kitchens, bathrooms, and hospital rooms, where they are frequently exposed to water, oils, and dust.

"The increasing use of IAQ sensors in splash zone environments along with other areas with frequent exposure to water, oils, and dust," says Uwe Guenther, Senior Director, Sensing Solutions, IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas, "drives higher demand for protection from those elements without sacrificing performance - a traditionally expensive process that requires additional hardware and firmware. The new waterproof ZMOD4410 sensor combines the best of both worlds cost effectively, enabling broader adoption of highly accurate smart sensing devices that can operate in high-humidity and harsh conditions for a wider range of market applications."

The firmware-configurable waterproof ZMOD4410 sensor features a unique hermetically sealed package that protects the sensor from water and dust with a hydrophobic and oleophobic material that is permeable to humidity and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at the same time. By combining IP67-rated packaging with the industry-leading accuracy and reliability that the ZMOD4410 platform is known for, says the company, it enables new, low-power IAQ applications that operate in splash zones, while maintaining the high precision and flexibility customers need to customize their systems and eliminating the need for expensive waterproofing systems.

The sensor is shipped fully calibrated in the hydrophobic and oleophobic package, and customers can apply a conformal coating on their circuitry rather than adding an external membrane to the module. As part of the ZMOD4410 family, the waterproof sensor features AI firmware implemented on an MCU to improve sensing performance, and is also highly resistant to siloxanes, enabling exceptional reliability for use in harsh applications.

The company's software-configurable ZMOD platform provides greater design flexibility for smart sensing systems, allowing firmware updates in the field that enable new, application-specific capabilities


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