Humidity sensors are amongst the most important of Meters And Test Equipment. They are devices that are used in a variety of fields including medical, environmental, pharma, technological, archaeological and other fields. They principally determine how much water is present in the surrounding air. In many fields, the ambient environment is required to be dry and there exists a need to control the level of humidity. To ensure that this aspect is fulfilled, humidity sensors are an obvious and ideal solution. There are several applications of a humidity sensor. They can be used domestically to measure the humidity in homes, offices, and outside to determine various factors. For those who are interested in gardening as well, humidity sensors are extremely helpful. However, the main use of humidity sensors is from industrial settings. They are extremely important in industries such as chemical refineries, oil industries, mining industries, in furnaces, etc. They ensure:
- Maintenance of ambient temperature
- Reduce the risk of combustion
- Improve production in various sectors such as agriculture and technology
- Improve the effectiveness of various medical equipment, pharmaceutical, and biological processes.
Humidity sensors are also classified based on their type. The main types of humidity sensors are:
- Capacitive Humidity sensors
- Resistive Humidity sensors or electrical conductivity sensors
- Thermal Conductivity Humidity Sensors
Oxygen Analysers : Oxygen analysers are another type of meters and test equipment purchased commonly. They measure the amount of oxygen present in the surroundings. They are usually of four types, either the Zirconia type measurement system, the paramagnetic type, the optical type, or the electrochemical type. Based on the type of usage and application, an appropriate oxygen meter and test equipmentmay be chosen. They are usually used in settings to ensure oxygen deficiency by introducing inert gas in situations wherein inerting is required.
Particle CountersIn many industrial as well as cleanroom settings, a particle counter is an extremely important type ofmeters and test equipment.They are usually aerosol particle counters that measure various aspects of particulate matter such as the type of particles and size of particles (measured in micrometers). They are currently designed in a manner to be hand-held, easily portable, and lightweight without compromising on quality. Benchtop models, as well as remote models, are also available.
The main aspects that need to be considered before choosing a humidity sensor are as follows:
- How accurate the sensor is: This is perhaps the most important and critical aspect before choosing a sensor. There is no point in choosing a sensor that gives incorrect or inconsistent readings. A good quality sensor will ensure that the accuracy aspect is not compromised. By purchasing an accurate sensor, you can not only obtain correct readings but also ensure that the work you are doing is progressing in the right direction, as well as eliminate the possibility of hazards (such as in cases where a low degree of humidity may be required to prevent explosions, or low particulate matter is required to ensure sterility).
- How easy it is to calibrate: ask any engineer or anyone who has worked on a project that utilizes meters and test equipment, and they will tell you that calibration is one of the most important aspects to understand while using an instrument. Only if an instrument is calibrated properly can it show you accurate and correct readings? Therefore, the instrument that is purchased must be easy to calibrate and must also have easily understandable and clear methods of calibration.
- Cost of the sensor and how expensive its parts are: undoubtedly, another important factor to consider is the cost of the sensor. An ideal trade-off between cost and features and other factors such as reliability and quality of the instrument must be made. In the case of the sensor not working, and parts are required to be replaced, the cost of such potential replacement of such parts must also be factored into the cost of the sensor.
- How resistant it is to contaminants: many instruments are purchased for usage in laboratory or cleanroom settings. Therefore, contaminants are a big enemy in this situation. The sensors and instruments purchased must be resistant to contaminants and easy to clean. They should also not accumulate various contaminating particles or dust and must not corrode when cleaning products are used on them.
- How reliable they are: There is no point purchasing a sensor if they are to break and falter frequently. The purchased sensor/instrument must be robust, reliable, and effectively provide the requisite readings.