Air quality has become as important to people as clean water and healthy food. With new studies emerging on the impact of healthy air on our bodies, measuring and reporting have become an industry-standard in new homes and buildings.
For the integration of these devices into our everyday lives and structures; performance, size, and power are critical factors. If we look at humidity and temperature sensors specifically; a sensor that can maintain better than 1.5%RH accuracy and 0.2 °C respectively, can adequately control building systems for optimum comfort. The perceived comfort or temperature on our skin will swing significantly if humidity rates are too low or high. With the ability to maintain the correct RH level, energy can be saved and comfort levels for home occupants are increased.
To integrate these devices into our thermostats, HVAC systems, and household devices; size and power become defining attributes. Many thermostat applications now have a power supply as well as remote battery-operated modules in each room reporting back to a host device. The remote modules must consume very little power for an acceptable customer experience where battery changes take place no more than every 3 years. The remote modules themselves must also be small enough to be easily affixed to a wall and not easily noticeable. Reducing overall size with the smallest form factor components is key to achieving this goal. Relative humidity and temperature sensors can now be found in a miniature format with sizes as low as 1.5mm x 1.5mm x 0.5mm.
Renesas has developed a relative humidity and temperature sensor with the lowest power on the market and also offers the same technology to white goods markets that require an analog output. The HS4001 miniature sensor can be integrated into a remote thermostat. The HS4101 can be used in refrigerators requiring an analog output. Package derivatives are available with an IP67-rated hydrophobic membrane for waterproof applications.
As we continue to address the health and safety of our air quality, integrating the systems with the least amount of user effort will accelerate adoption, control systems around us, and ensure that our well-being has been addressed.
Leveraging sensor platforms designed for these applications provide rapid time to market.