At Sensors Expo 2018, Masakazu Shiinoki, a field application engineer from the MEMS Sensor Business Unit of Omron shows how different microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensing technologies can be used in a building. The three (ground, first and second) floors use barometric (absolute pressure), airflow and differential pressure sensors. In addition, the first floor has an air quality sensor and the ground floor has a temperature sensor. When an elevator moves from one level to the next, it activates smart building functions such as ventilation. The results are displayed and can be compared from one floor to another.
A MEMS flow sensor, such as the company’s D6F-01A1-110 can measure from 0 to 1 liter per minute and provide an analog output signal from 1 to 5VDC. It has accuracy of ±3% full scale (FS).
For a smart building, a digital barometric pressure sensor, such as the 2SMPB-02E, can provide digital output and control through an I2C/SPI interface. The individual calibration parameters for the sensor are stored in one-time programmable (OTP) memory. The unit automatically powers down non-working circuits to minimize power consumption.
An air quality sensor such as the B5W-LD0101-1/2 is a natural addition to a smart building. Using a light scattering technique detection of particles down to 0.5 µm is possible. The sensor has a unique flow path structure to efficiently suck air into it to make measurements.
These are just a few of the sensing applications for smart buildings. Other commonly used sensors include temperature, light and motion sensing to provide comfort and minimize power usage.