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Air classification module for automotive climate control systems

Development of an innovative air classification module for automotive flap conrol w.R.T. Cabin air quality control. This will detect toxic gasses and unpleasant odours and prevent them entering the car.

BACKGROUND In the automotive industry, sensors are becoming an increasingly important field of technology. The growing need to reduce emissions, improve fuel economy and enhance safety and comfort has driven the market for automotive sensors in electronic systems. Drive-by-wire, electro-hydraulic brakes and high-pressure fuel injection systems and different kinds of airbags are features of automotive innovations from the last decade that are facilitated by sensors. Moreover, sensors are extensively introduced in comfort supportive car applications, like: - air conditioning and climate control; - automatic operation of windshield wipers; - real-time continuous monitoring of tyre pressure; - automatic dipped rear view mirror. TEXAS INSTRUMENTS (TI) is one of the leading companies in the worldwide automotive pressure sensor market. TI has realised several innovations in this field, e.g. common rail pressure sensors for diesel engines based on so-called PSG and MSG (Micro-fused Strain Gauge) technologies. However, current market developments in the automotive industry demand continuous efforts in research and development, to improve existing technologies and to develop new technological solutions. In this respect, TI has an innovative idea to develop a new sensor concept, i.e. an air quality sensor. This sensor will focus on the detection of low concentrations of toxic gases and gases that produce unpleasant odours (e.g. manure odour). The function of these sensors is to control the ventilation strategy of air conditioning systems in passenger cars to avoid exposure of the passengers to toxic gases and unpleasant odours. The main research topic is the development of a manure odour sensor. The innovative challenge is the low concentration of the gas species that need to be detected, in relation to the high variation in concentration of other gases present. In order to tackle this challenge, TI is teaming up with APPLIEDSENSOR (AS), experts in chemical sensor components and sensor modules for Air Quality Control for Comfort and Safety. OBJECTIVE The general objective of this project is to develop an air classification module (ACM) for automotive flap control applications for cabin air quality control. The envisaged ACM will have an improved and enlarged performance and additional functions compared to existing products on the market. It will combine CO, NOx as well as Voice-of-the-Customer (VOC) detection into one integrated sensor. The ACM will be installed in the air-intake system of a car, thus enabling the early detection of concentrations of CO, NOx and VOCs in the air. If the detected concentrations exceed a certain level (measured in ppb), an automatic flap control will be activated to circulate in-cabin air, in order to keep toxic gasses or unpleasant smelling air outside. Once the CO/NOx/VOC concentration regains an acceptable level, the automatic flap control will reset the air-inlet systems, so fresh air can enter the air conditioning system again. The benefits of ACM will lie in the following specific surroundings and circumstances: - During heavy truck traffic, for example driving closely behind a truck; - Dense traffic situations, i.e. traffic jams; - Tunnels; - Driving in the countryside during manure-spreading season; - Passing dunghills and organic garbage dumps. Keywords: air classification, dual hot plate, signal conditioning.
Acronym: 
ACM
Project ID: 
3 088
Start date: 
01-05-2003
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 700 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Sensors/Multisensor Technology, Instrumentation
Market Area: 
Motor Vehicles, Transportation Equipment and Parts

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