For this DOE-funded project, PARC will produce a low-cost, printed sorbent that measures CO2 via physical adsorption. The sensor heats up as a result of the CO2 adsorption, and PARC measures the heat produced to determine the levels of CO2. The goal of the research effort is to develop a low-cost sensor with a sensitivity of 50ppm.
“Prominent studies have shown that high levels of CO2 lower our efficacy in decision-making and in our ability to concentrate,” said Dr. Clinton Smith, lead PARC researcher on the project. “We aim to create a technology which will enable per-room level measurement of CO2 concentration. This will allow building managers finer grained control of their HVAC system for more energy efficiency, and it will also help to promote healthy indoor air quality.”
The average CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is 400 ppm, with higher indoor concentrations that can reach over 1500 ppm. National regulations require indoor CO2 levels to be below 1,100 ppm. Currently, there is no cost-effective means of measuring indoor CO2 levels and buildings are over-ventilated, wasting substantial amounts of energy. Low-cost CO2 sensors will be significant in helping reduce levels and manage building efficiency.
The Internet of Things (IoT) enables a myriad of solutions to help us sense and interpret the world. Printing is a promising approach to mass-produce and customize sensor systems to support the fast growing IoT. The low-cost, flexible form factor, and simple installation of PARC’s approach is ideal for a variety of applications including building efficiency, air quality, smart cities, industrial and residential safety, and wearables. The key to the success of any widespread IoT deployment is the ability to utilize configurable, on-demand, low-cost sensor systems, and to design the technology to best fit the application.