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The Nano Advantage: How Miniaturized Sensors Are Revolutionizing Gas Detection

There’s no denying that technology has shrunk over the years. From mobile phones and hard drives to drones, the world is now operating on an incredibly small scale - and gas sensors are no exception.

To give you an idea of just how compact some of today’s sensors are: the average human hair is a mere 0.5mm in thickness. In comparison, our proprietary MEMS chip measures 3mm X 3mm X 0.5 mm.

But do we need gas sensors that are this small and lightweight? And what does it mean for detection accuracy, speed, power, and efficiency?

In today’s article, we explain the numerous benefits of the small form factor and how it is making gas sensing smarter, faster, reliable, and cost-effective - perfectly in keeping with our rapidly miniaturizing world.

How Small Gas Sensors Enhance Safety and Help You Build a Competitive Advantage

We are witnessing growing support for low-carbon initiatives from all sections of the government and economy. A key enabler to a clean energy future is hydrogen. However, it is not the easiest gas to work with - it is highly flammable, has low ignition energy, is odorless, and is prone to leaks. And therefore, accurate monitoring and leak detection of hydrogen are critical for making it more accessible.

Not just hydrogen, there are other gases that require constant monitoring and measurement, such as detecting methane leaks in coal mines, natural gas pipelines, and waste-to-energy projects to ensure safe and high-performing systems. Addressing the above needs are our Omni-Gas Nanochip Multi Gas sensors, which have been intentionally miniaturized over the years to bring you a host of benefits, such as those below.

1.Cost Savings

It’s essential to have an adequate number of gas sensors in a confined environment, such as a battery room where hydrogen is outgassed from batteries and starts can accumulate as potentially explosive pockets near the ceiling. Yet there’s a general reluctance towards adopting gas sensing solutions, possibly due to the high-cost factor. At 21Senses, we’ve integrated multiple gas sensing principles on a single micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) platform chip to create a design that is ultra-compact and low-power.

Nanotechnology not only makes our sensors highly precise and selective at detecting a wide range of gases, but it also allows us to produce higher volumes quickly and efficiently. It gives us a leg up over most sensor manufacturers that require more electronics and components, further adding to their costs and burdening the supply chain. Simply put, our technology helps us produce low-cost sensors that can be deployed in large numbers, creating significant cost and safety advantages for ourcustomers.

2.Enhanced Portability

Heavy sensors require extensive bolting and fitting for installation, which can be quite a strenuous task. In comparison, our PlatfoMEMS Omni-Gas Chip is unbelievably light. Its small form factor allows engineers and operating staff to integrate it with any portable device and move it to any site in need of gas detection.

3.High Energy Efficiency

It’s no secret that small form factor designs have lower power consumption. A sensor as ultra-miniaturized as ours requires significantly lesser components and can be powered by a single mini battery for a long time. That’s not all. The low environmental impact from their remarkably low energy usage makes these nanochip sensors as great for the planet as your company’s bottom line.

4.Versatile Placement

A common blindspot that impacts gas sensor adoption is its optimal placement. Things like where to locate these sensors or how many to place to get an accurate reading aren’t as easy or well-defined as in the case of smoke detectors. Also, since most sensors in the market still take up a lot of space and are fairly heavy, installing them in the most precise and vulnerable locations, such as exhaust pipes, becomes challenging.

At 21Senses, we leverage our specialized knowledge of gas dispersion to strategically place our easy-to-port hydrogen and multi-gas sensors across all leak-prone areas. Our sensors’ miniaturized form and low-cost help in installing them in all hard-to-reach nooks and corners with minimal effort and allow us to collect data from multiple sources to drive intelligent outcomes.

5.Broader Coverage Through Easy Integration

The smaller footprint of our sensors enables broader coverage through multiple integrated sensor placements. These sensors can be integrated directly with the client’s centralized control systems, such as SCADA, PLC, and BMS, to collect and analyze critical sensor data remotely. Our nanotech sensors are also designed for easy integration with local fire panels or response actions, triggering an alarm whenever the user-defined concentration thresholds are breached.

6.Designed for Rapidly Innovating Miniaturized Systems

There’s a reason nanotechnology is called shrinking technology. It aims to create smaller-footprint items with highly miniaturized components to drive greater performance, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Take computer chips, for example – the integration of nanotechnology with high-purity silicon wafers has made microchips smaller and faster than ever before.

With the growing miniaturization of electronics, there’s no place for bulky sensing equipment anymore, which is why our compact, low-power sensors are designed to embed seamlessly into the electronic systems of today and the future.

7.Boost Operational Flexibility and Resilience

Agility is key in order to keep up with the rapidly evolving industrial landscape. Any sensing solution that requires specialized infrastructure and additional resources exposes itself to economic downturns and supply chain disruptions. Driving sensor adoption boils down to an affordable solution that fits seamlessly with the customer’s existing infrastructure. The last thing you would want is to have a supply chain riddled with delays and inefficiencies, thanks to your sensing solutions partner.

Our intelligent nanotech sensors are small, lightweight, and consume less energy, boosting the resilience, safety, and performance of any system they are part of. They also require fewer components, lowering our own exposure to supply chain issues, unlike other sensing solution companies.

Final Thoughts

We’ve come a long way from the large, heavy catalytic combustion gas sensors of the early 20th century. Miniaturization has helped modern solid-state electrochemical hydrogen sensors and multi-gas sensors become faster, more accurate, and designed for easy integration with various data acquisition and control systems.

At 21Senses, we’ve gone several steps ahead and leveraged nanotechnology to create a groundbreaking platform capable of detecting and measuring any target gas with exceptional precision, sensitivity, and selectivity. Reach out to us to elevate the safety of your plant, equipment, and personnel with our smart, versatile, and affordable range of small-sized hydrogen and multi-gas sensors.

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