Alicat releases new flow calibrator for air quality samplers

 by Shaina Shay

Satisfy air quality monitoring standards and ensure good data with ease and accuracy using the FP-25 flow calibration kit.

Alicat FP-25 Calibrator

Tucson, September 26, 2019 – Today Alicat’s Environmental Monitoring division released their new and improved FP-25 flow calibration kit.  This calibration kit includes everything needed for auditing, calibrating, and leak checking air quality sampling instruments.

What’s included:

  • Portable FP-25 flow calibrator – with rechargeable battery
  • External temperature probe
  • Bluetooth antenna
  • Micro-USB to USB cable and adapter for charging and communications
  • 1/4″ NPT barb adapter (1/4″ barb) with face seal
  • 1/4″ NPT fittings with face seals for pass-through connection to 1-1/4″ OD air sampler downtubes
  • NIST-traceable calibration certificate
  • Operating Manual
  • Custom-fit hard case

The FP-25 flow calibrator uses advanced laminar flow technology that provides accurate measurements at a wider range of flow rates and temperatures when compared to DryCal technology.

“Alicat recognizes that new and emerging air quality challenges require improved technologies. That is why we are proud to introduce our upgraded FP-25 flow calibrator. It’s time to update your tech and expect more of your calibrator.”

Designed for the field.

The FP-25 is durable, reliable, and accurate. With an IP67 rating this device can be used in any weather and any temperature, from -30C to +60C. This FP-25 uses drop resistant laminar flow technology which means no glass, no pistons, and no problems.

This is the first calibrator with Bluetooth capabilities. Alicat has designed a tailored app that is available for IOS or Android devices. The Alicat Connect app now features a data logging function so you can capture your flow data in real time.

Technicians can now complete audits remotely, reducing the time needed for air quality sampler calibration. Improve work safety by reducing the number of trips up and down ladders.

“The FP-25 calibrator is everything you need to comply with government regulations and ensure good data in one, easy to use device.”

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Correcting for temperature and pressure effects on sensors

 by Alicat Scientific

Alicat recently rolled out a major update to the main circuit board and sensors on our mass flow devices. Improvements in our sensors and advanced our understanding of flow physics have brought about changes in our circuitry to ensure you’re getting the maximum performance out of every part of your Alicat mass flow device.

The high resolution information we get from our new circuit board gives us a better picture of what’s happening in the flow path of our devices than ever before. One thing this lets us see very clearly is how tiny changes in operating conditions alter the behavior of our sensors. Compensating for these changes lets us build devices which give more repeatable measurements and are less prone to drift.

Separating the signal from the sensor

A perfect sensor would map to external physical properties 1:1 with its output signal under any conditions.  But sensors and circuits are made of matter and their behavior changes as their physical state changes. Alicat sensors are no exception, as our electronics warm up and our sensors are compressed by process gas the signal we are interested in changes.

Alicat compensates for this variation in sensor behavior using the one of the strengths of our measurement technique: multiple independent sensors. In each of our flow instruments a differential pressure sensor provides our main tool to measure flow while absolute pressure and temperature sensors allow us to correct this volumetric flow rate to a mass flow rate. Read more on our theory of operation of laminar differential pressure flow measurement. As long we characterize the response of each sensor to pressure and temperature shifts beforehand we can use software to correct sensor output based on operating conditions.

From straight lines to curves

The previous generation of Alicat instruments used a linear compensation technique for temperature and pressure. Each device had its sensor offset measured at ambient and high temperature/pressure. We interpolated these two points to make a straight calibration line. In our new release, we’ve improved our modeling to more effectively model the physical systems we’re dealing with to create a non-linear interpolation of sensor state changes.

On a new Alicat device each sensor and circuit board combination is characterized in an environmental chamber at the full range of the device’s expected operating temperatures and pressures. This produces smooth compensation curves which better account for real sensor behavior.  The improvement is profound and especially noticeable at low temperature:

Shift in absolute pressure reading with varying temperature. Current generation in blue and previous generation in red.

By pairing better hardware with this software compensation the newest generation of Alicat devices is more capable than ever before. We’re now running into the limits of flow physics instead of sensor noise. Ongoing research into gas behavior and improvements to our flow channel will help us unlock the full potential of our devices moving forward.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

NEW HOLLOW SHAFT MULTI-TURN KIT ENCODERS FOR POSITION CONTROL APPLICATIONS

NEW HOLLOW SHAFT MULTI-TURN KIT ENCODERS
FOR POSITION CONTROL APPLICATIONS

through_holllow_kit_composing_4

Slim Form Factor for Motor and Machine Manufacturers

POSITAL is introducing a new family of absolute rotary encoders for servomotors, stepper motors, robot joints and anywhere else a hollow center design is needed to achieve an optimal mechanical layout. Both single and multi-turn variants are available; for multi-turn models, the rotation counter is self-powered, using POSITAL’s Wiegand energy-harvesting technology. This eliminates the need for backup batteries and lowers maintenance costs.

  • Hollow Center Design for Optimal Mechanical Layout on Robotic Joints and Drives Shafts
  • 30 mm or 50 mm Internal Diameter Sizes Available
  • Battery-less Rotation Counter Based on Energy-Harvesting Technology
  • Capacitive Measurement System Allows for High Accuracy Even in Harsh Environments
  • Non-Proprietary Interfaces of SSI and BiSS C Standards

Capacitive Measurement Technology

These new products make use of a capacitive measurement system. Each encoder has two principle components, a stator and rotor, both containing specially shaped conductive surfaces. These surfaces, which function as capacitor plates, are positioned in close proximity. As the rotor turns, the patterns of the conductive surfaces change their relative position, causing changes to capacitive coupling in the system. This in turn causes changes to the amplitude and phase angle of a high-frequency electrical signal generated by exciter circuits in the stator. Special ASIC devices capture and decode these signal variations to determine the rotor’s angular position to a high level of precision.

Read more on the technology here.

The new POSITAL hollow shaft kit encoders offer excellent accuracy (+/- 0.02°) and dynamic response (up to 6000 RPM), making them suitable for use in critical motion control systems. However, what makes them especially useful in many applications is their shape. Both stator and rotor elements are in the form of disks with large central openings. This makes them an ideal choice in space-limited situations, such as servomotors, stepper motors or the joints in robotic arms , where it is desirable to have an embedded position sensor fitting around a central shaft or axle.

POSITAL hollow shaft kit encoders will be available in two sizes, with 30 mm or 50 mm internal diameters. Non-proprietary SSI and BiSS C communications interfaces are supported. 

Energy Harvesting – No Battery

battery_icon

The energy harvesting system is based on the Wiegand effect and eliminates the need for backup batteries or complex gear systems. 

Read More about the Wiegand Effect

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Theory of Operation: FP-25 Field Flow Calibrator for PM Air Samplers

by Shruti Thakur

Alicat’s FP-25 and FP-25BT flow devices can be used to calibrate any low-volume particulate air sampler on your deck. These NIST- traceable field flow calibration devices are multi-parameter mass flow meters that display pressure and temperature. The FP-25 uses multiple pressure sensors to capture both ambient barometric pressure and internal flow stream pressure, resulting in all-weather accuracy.

These flow standards operate on the principle of differential pressure-based laminar flow measurement. The barometric pressure sensor monitors ambient atmospheric pressure and is housed within the instrument casing above the display.  The internal flow stream pressure sensor monitors pressure inside the FP-25’s flow body work in concert to generate flow and pressure readings. This sensor package monitors both differential pressure and absolute pressure within the flow stream directly. The FP-25 also uses two fast-responding temperature sensors, one mounted directly in the flow stream and one located at the tip of the external temperature probe. The FP-25 uses this raw data from the multiple pressure, temperature and humidity sensors to calculate both actual (volumetric) and standardized (mass) flow readings a thousand times every second.

Poiseuille’s equation for laminar flow measurement

Q=K∆P/Ƞ

At its heart, the FP-25’s flow measurement is based on laminar flow differential pressure technology. The FP-25 measures differential pressure, similar to Venturi products.  A stack of plates and spacers, called a laminar flow element, is used to laminarize the flow and create a pressure drop. A sensor measures the differential pressure across a section of the laminar flow element with known pressure drop, another measures the absolute pressure of the fluid and the flow stream temperature sensor measures the temperature of ambient air in the flow stream. By laminarizing flow, the Poiseuille equation can be used to determine the raw volumetric flow.

To the first order, the Hagen-Poiseuille equation can be used to determine the raw internal volumetric flow rate as follows:

Where:

Q = Volumetric flow rate

K = A constant factor determined by the internal geometry of the restriction

∆P = Differential pressure across the LFE

Ƞ = Absolute viscosity of air

Equation (i) demonstrated the dependence of flow rate on the gas viscosity. Because the actual viscosity of a gas varies with changes in temperature and relative humidity, the FP-25 continuously updates the viscosity value with live readings of flow stream temperature, relative humidity, and pressure to provide accurate flow readings all the way to 100% RH, at temperatures as high as 60°C.

Standardized Flow Measurement

M=Q(Ts/Ta)(Pa/Ps)

Once the raw internal volumetric flow rate has been determined, the FP-25 references the raw internal volumetric flow readings to standard temperature and pressure conditions (STP). The FP-25 ships with a default STP of 25°C and 1 atm for standardized (mass) flow readings, which matches the US EPA’s standard. Since the FP-25 is a laminar flow device, additional measurements have to be incorporated to determine the actual standardized flow measurement. To determine the standardized mass flow rate (M), two correction factors must be applied to the volumetric flow rate (Q): the effects of temperature and absolute pressure on density.
Together, the conversion to mass flow can be written as:

Where:

Ts = Absolute temperature (°K) at standard conditions (STP) in Kelvin

Ta = Absolute temperature (°K) at flow conditions in Kelvin

Pa = Absolute pressure at flow conditions

Ps = Absolute pressure at standard conditions (STP)

In the Alicat FP-25, discrete absolute pressure and temperature sensors are placed in the laminar region of the flow stream. This information is sent to the microprocessor to make the appropriate calculations to determine standardized mass flow.

Actual volumetric flow using the external temperature probe

Once the standardized flow rate has been determined, the FP-25 device references the standardized flow readings to ambient temperature using the temperature probe, and to ambient pressure using the barometer. This actual volumetric flow rate reflects the actual volume of air that passes into the air sampler (at the local barometric pressure and at the probe temperature) per unit time. Whenever the FP-25 is displaying volumetric flow referenced to the temperature reading of the external probe, the word Probe will flash on the right side of the display, alternating with the relative humidity value. Actual volumetric flow always appears at the bottom left of the FP-25 screen in Standard Mode.

Technology that works for you

The Alicat FP-25 flow device was developed in coordination with air monitor technicians and has resulted in a durable, accurate and easy to use device. The FP-25 comes in a kit complete with all the equipment required to complete calibration of any EPA approved air monitor.See the Alicat FP25 Device here

Shruti Thakur, MS Applications Engineer | India Liaison
Shruti holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Technology. She specializes in process improvement and design for environmental engineering applications including water treatment, air quality, and EPA regulated interests.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

LOW-COST KIT ENCODERS FOR STEPPER MOTORS

stepper_kits_update

POSITAL has expanded its line of kit-style encoders for feedback for servo and stepper motors with new models that utilize the same mounting form factor as incremental kit encoders from US Digital, Broadcom and other manufacturers.

  • Mechanical Drop In Replacement for Easy Upgrade to Absolute Position Control
  • Same Footprints as US Digital’s E5 Models and Broadcom’s (Avago) HEDS-5500 Models
  • Now Available with SSI and BiSS C Communication Interfaces
  • Identical Assembly Procedure – No Training Required
  • Various Hub Diameters from 4 mm to 10 mm (and 1/4 to 3/8 inch)
  • Magnetic Technology Which Is Generally More Robust Than Optical
  • Improved Connectivity via M12 Connector Additionally Available

See our Cross Reference Guide

POSITAL kit encoders provide absolute position feedback so that the control system always has complete information on the physical position of the mechanical components that it is directing. “Absolute position feedback is a natural way of providing accurate position control” comments Jim Stevens, market specialist for robotics at POSITAL. “Almost any position feedback application could be absolute-based. Many current systems were designed around incremental encoders because incremental feedback devices were historically much less expensive than their absolute counterparts.” However, with the introduction of POSITAL’s absolute kit encoders at prices much more in line with incremental devices, system designers no longer have to work around the shortcomings of incremental feedback in an absolute position world.

prq_exp

Multiturn Absolute Kit Encoders Provide Robust Solution

Multiturn Absolute Kit Encoders from POSITAL are based on magnetic sensing technology which provides a very robust encoder solution. The multiturn counting system is powered by Wiegand wire energy harvesting technology, which enables the absolute encoder to maintain true absolute position over power cycles and rotation of the encoder during power off conditions.

With 17 bits (131072 positions) of single turn resolution and 16 bits (65536 turns) of multiturn range, KCD Absolute kit encoders from POSITAL are ideal for position control applications.

FAQ Kit Encoders

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

ThermX

Industries Served
Our diverse temperature sensor product capabilities support a broad range of industries and applications. Several of our products can be applied into a variety of products or processes. Others are uniquely designed for a specific application. 

We can engineer a suitable temperature sensor into the most complex thermal heating and measurement requirement. Our technical expertise and production technologies, provide our design team with the flexibility to devise the most advanced sensing solutions, in the most practical configuration, and at the best value.

In addition to manufacturing temperature sensors, ThermX Southwest also distributes pressure, humidity, CO2 and flow sensors along with process control and data logging instrumentation. We also supply a wide variety of portable calibration equipment traceable to NIST. 
Industries served
Aerospace Pharmaceutical 
Semiconductor
Glass & Ceramics 
Metallurgical
Analytical Sciences
Material Sciences
Telecommunication
Power Generation 
Packaging Food & Beverage
Commercial Heating Medical
General Industrial 
Temperature Sensors
General Purpose Probes
High Temperature Thermocouples
Validation Thermocouples
Industrial Thermocouples
Insulated Wire Thermocouples
Thermocouple Rakes
RTD Probes
Thermistor Probes
Specialized Products
Thermocouple Wire
Calibration Services

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Acceleration-Compensated Inclinometers Now With New Interface Option

ACCELERATION-COMPENSATED INCLINOMETERS 
NOW WITH NEW INTERFACE OPTION

tiltix_aks_2

POSITAL FRABA has added a new communications interfaces for its innovative Dynamic TILTIX series – making it even easier to use these rugged instruments in mobile machinery and heavy commercial vehicles. Now available with either CANopen or SAE J1939 interfaces , these acceleration-compensated tilt sensors are able to deliver accurate measurement under the harshest operating conditions, including rapid motions, shock and vibration loadings.

  • Compensation of External Accelerations
  • Now Available with CANopen or SAE J1939
  • Clean Measurement During Dynamic Movements
  • Optional Output of Acceleration and Rate of Rotation
  • Well Protected up to IP69K
  • Compact and Robust Die-cast Housing with Integrated T-Coupler 
  • Wide Temperature Range from -40 to +85°C

Innovative Signal Processing Algorithms Reduce Signal Noise

The key to this remarkable dynamic performance is the addition of a second measurement system to the MEMS accelerometers used in conventional tilt sensors. An electromechanical gyroscope system was added to measure rate of rotational in the different axes. This eliminates the central shortcoming of conventional inclination sensors, where sudden accelerations or vibrations cause inertial loads in the accelerometers, adding noise to the output signals – and errors to the tilt angle readings. Signals from the accelerometer and gyroscope are combined by innovative algorithms to filter out the errors caused by acceleration loads so that the actual inclination is reported accurately. “What sounds so simple proved to be very time-consuming and labor-intensive in terms of practical implementation,” emphasizes Tobias Schubert, product manager responsible for POSITAL’s TILTIX inclination sensors. “We invested almost three years in the development of the algorithm alone. We worked extensively with pilot customers to assure ourselves that these instruments would work reliably under the harshest field conditions.”

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

TILTIX Inclinometers

LINARIX Linear Sensors Group

Inclinometers, also called tilt sensors are designed to measure the angle of an object with respect to the force of gravity. These tilt or level meters determine pitch and/or roll angle and output these values via the appropriate electrical interface. Inclinometers are easy to integrate to an application, because there is no need for mechanical linkages other than just the installation itself – a real advantage for design engineers. Posital developed several inclinometer types to have a suitable solution for different applications for each industry. Accurate measurement of the degree of tilt or inclination from a horizontal position is very important for many motion control systems or to ensure safety. 

  • Well Protected up to IP69K
  • Rugged and Compact Design
  • Measurement Range ±80° (Dual Axis) or 360° (Single Axis)

Dynamic Inclinometers

These inclinometers are equipped with a 3D MEMS accelerometer and a 3D MEMS gyroscope. A smart algorithm combines the signal of accelerometer and gyroscope to eliminate the effect of accelerations (e.g. due to rapid motion of the equipment), vibrations and shocks. 

  • Compensation of External Accelerations
  • Clean Measurement During Dynamic Movements
  • Accuracy 0.3°
  • Interfaces: CANopen

Static Inclinometers

These inclinometers are equipped with a 2D MEMS accelerometer as sensor cell. This type of inclinometer achieves a high accuracy in a static system or when the machine is only in a slow motion. 

  • Accuracy 0.1° or 0.5°
  • Interfaces: CANopen, Analog Current, Analog Voltage, RS232, SSI, J1939, DeviceNet

Installation and Mounting Options

Dependent on the application and machine it may be necessary to mount the inclinometer horizontally to monitor the tilt angle of two axes or to install the sensor vertically to measure one axis.

dual_axes

dual axis sensor is used for horizontal mounting and is ideal for leveling applications. This version got two outputs, one for the X-Axis and one for the Y-Axis. Each of the axes show the tilt angle with respect to the field of gravity.

single_axis

single axis tilt measurement version with one axis output is intended for vertical mounting.

Applications

Inclinometer offer an easy and efficient way of monitoring spatial orientation without the need for mechanical linkages – a real advantage for design engineers.

Static inclinometers can significantly improve operating safety in mobile machines, platform monitoring or medical applications by continuously monitoring the tilt or inclination angles. Inclinometers are much easier and thus less expensive to install compared to Rotary Encoders, which makes them ideal for applications like solar trackers. 

The dynamic inclinometer outputs a clean measurement signal and can be used reliably on mobile equipment such as construction machinery, mining equipment, agricultural machinery, cranes, and anywhere else where sudden movements, shocks and vibrations are likely to be encountered.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Humidity & Temperature Transmitter

Humidity & Temperature Transmitter  —Good quality, better price !
Features:
       Power supply:          12~36V DC
       Detecting range:        Humidity 0-100%RH,  Temperature -40~80Celsius
       Accuracy:                  Humidity +-2%RH,  Temperature +-0.3Celsius
       Selectable Output:      0-5V DC or 0-10V DC or 4-20mA or RS485 signal
       Wall mounting and duct type selectable.
       Light weight, easy installation.
       Full range temperature compensated.
MaxDetect capacitive humidity element based humidity & temperature transmitters are ideal solution for detecting relative humidity and temperature in applications such as HVAC in residential & commercial buildings. 

The capacitance element based transmitter is one of the most stable transmitters available and no recalibration required, transmitters are temperature compensated and calibrated.

MaxDetect transmitters are problem-free and accurate with long-term reliability by apply unique HydroProbe digital technology, our transmitters are developed for high-precision measurement of relative humidity & temperature and transmitters are available for wall & duct & outdoor mounting.

And all MaxDetect transmitters can be equipped with industrial-class LCD display, LCD shows both humidity and temperature.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

About Smartec

Founded in 1987, Smartec B.V. was established out of a laboratory concept.

A temperature sensor, with digital output, was developed at the Delft University of Technology (TUD), Netherlands. The sensor, which does not require calibration, has proved to be more accurate and stable than any other digital temperature sensor on the market, and has achieved worldwide sales of over 15 million.

Through research and development initiatives, our product range has been further enhanced with the introduction to market of the humidity sensor, and infrared sensor. We have also launched the Universal Transducer Interface (UTI), and a complete line of pressure sensors in the range of 0.01 PSI until 300 PSI.

Following 18 years of intensive research by scientific staff at the TUD, an improved version of Smartecs digital temperature sensor, named SMT172, was introduced in 2015. The SMT172 has proved to be the most accurate sensor in the world and has extensive worldwide sales.   

Over the years Smartec has built up strategic alliances with top rated semiconductor companies in Europe and the Far East. These alliances have led to long-term partnerships, excelling in close cooperation in research and development, not only with Smartec but also with Universities of Technology all over Europe.

We continuously expand our global sales network and we have sales representatives in over 20 countries worldwide.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com