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Sensor system improves air quality while making building ventilation more energy efficient
Date:2/4/2014

ng will maintain high-quality indoor air with the lowest possible contaminant levels while ensuring energy efficiency by means of automatic, customized ventilation,' explains Professor Schtze. 'The health hazards associated with high contaminant concentrations can therefore be avoided while at the same time reducing energy consumption in buildings by about fifty percent, which is highly significant in terms of existing carbon emission targets,' says Schtze. These highly sensitive artificial sense organs can reliably detect gases of all kinds, from toxic carbon monoxide to carcinogenic organic compounds, and can determine their concentrations quantitatively. Even the smallest quantities of trace gases do not go undetected by the sensors. The novel metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) gas sensors and so-called gas-sensitive field-effect sensors, which Schtze has been developing in collaboration with partners in Sweden, Finland and Switzerland, are able to detect air contaminants such as formaldehyde, benzene or xylene at concentrations well below one in a million. However, in order to be used for the proposed application, the sensitivity of the monitoring system will need to be improved even further. The sensor system therefore collects molecules in the air over a known period of time and then quantitatively measures the amounts collected an approach which significantly reduces the system's detection threshold.

'If the concentration of a particular molecule is above a specified limit, fresh air is automatically introduced to modify the composition of the air and re-establish good air quality. If all of the rooms in a building are equipped with our sensors and if the sensors are connected to an intelligent ventilation control unit, the system can ventilate each room in a way that has been optimized for the specific use to which that room is put. For example, if there is a problem with contaminants in the indoor air of a school building, classroom ventilation can b
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Contact: Dr. Andreas Schütze
schuetze@lmt.uni-saarland.de
49-068-130-24663
Saarland University
Source:Eurekalert  

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