Sensata Technologies launches automotive humidity / temperature sensor family for cabin comfort control and defogging applications
Enables climate control systems to ID elevated fog and humidity 40+ seconds faster
Attleboro, Massachusetts | October 24, 2006 | With a focus on automotive safety, passenger comfort and fuel economy, Sensata Technologies, (www.sensata.com), formerly the Sensors & Controls division of Texas Instruments, is introducing a family of capacitive humidity / temperature sensors for climate control and windshield anti–fogging systems. Built on proven ASIC technology from Sensata and an advanced thin–film polymer capacitive sensing element, this new line of humidity / temperature sensor has a response time five times faster with twice the initial accuracy of traditional resistive sensor technologies.
Sensata Technology’s capacitive sensing element relies on a porous electrode, which allows water vapor to pass through to the thin–film dielectric as air is drawn over the element. The change in capacitance and the signal from an on–board temperature sensor are passed into the company’s proven ASIC signal conditioning process, which translates these readings into a relative humidity signal, which is far more accurate than other capacitive or resistive sensing systems. The more common resistive sensing elements, by contrast, measure voltage change between two resistive materials as water vapor collects on the surface of the sensing element. The larger resistive elements require more water vapor to collect, slowing the response time.
This new sensor features an initial accuracy of ±4.0%, compared to the ±10% of competitive devices featuring capacitive or resistive sensor technology. Response time is less than 10 seconds over an operating range of 5—95% relative humidity, exceeding the industry norm. Over the useful life of the vehicle and after exposure to typical automotive environmental stress testing, the accuracy may shift ±4.0%, compared to industry average ±10% drift over life.
Climate control systems
The automotive industry is evolving beyond simple temperature controlled climate systems to include relative humidity to create a more comfortable cabin environment. Traditional zone–based or pre–set air conditioning systems regulate air temperature regardless of the cabin’s relative humidity.
Sensata Technologies’ in–panel humidity / temperature sensor measures temperature and relative humidity within the cabin as air is drawn over the thin–film polymer capacitive element by a fan (aspirator, DC–motored or other). These signals are then sent to the air conditioning control system, which will take any number of actions, including opening / closing the cabin recirculation door or turn on / off the AC compressor for optimal comfort.
About Sensata Technologies
Sensata is a leading designer and manufacturer of sensors and controls in each of the key applications in which we compete. Sensata has business and technology development centers in Attleboro, Massachusetts, Holland and Japan and manufacturing operations in Brazil, China, Korea, Malaysia, and Mexico, as well as sales offices around the world. Sensata Technologies employs approximately 5,400 people worldwide.
The Company manufactures approximately 18,000 different products that are highly–engineered and application specific, and ships over one billion units each year.
Sensata Technologies B.V.’s U.S. business and technology development center is located at 529 Pleasant Street, Attleboro, MA 02703-0964. Further information can be found on the Company’s website: www.sensata.com
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