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Low-power sensor node for the detection of methane and propane

: Bierer, Benedikt; Grgic, Dario; Yurchenko, Olena; Engel, Laura; Pernau, Hans-Fridtjof; Jägle, Martin; Reindl, Leonhard M.; Wöllenstein, Jürgen

Fulltext ()

Journal of sensors and sensor systems : JSSS 10 (2021), No.2, pp.185-191
ISSN: 2194-8771
ISSN: 2194-878X
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IPM ()
Flammable Gases; Low-Power Sensor; Gas Detection; methane detection; Propane Detection; Sensor Node

The detection of flammable gases is necessary to avoid explosive atmospheres. For this reason, low-cost pellistors are frequently used. However, such commercial pellistors require an operation temperature of 450 ∘C or more for the detection of methane and a correspondingly high power consumption. We present a novel wireless low-power catalytic gas sensor system based on non-precious metal catalyst for the detection of methane and propane operated at 350 ∘C. The combination of a microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based sensor with a low-power radio system provides the opportunity to monitor complex infrastructure without using a power grid as power supply. The sensor system has been characterised extensively under the exposure to methane and propane at concentrations between 2000 and 8000 ppm, as these gases are the common test gases for pellistors in industry. Methane is the main component of natural gas; propane is an important component of liquified petroleum gas (LPG). In addition, the influence of changes in humidity on the sensor response to methane was examined in more detail. Due to the planned operation of the sensor and radio system in different application scenarios, short (3 s) and long (60 s) sampling rates were used for investigations.