A Thermal Flow Sensor Based on Printed Circuit Technology in Constant Temperature Mode for Various Fluids
Sensors, 19(5), 1065
We present a thermal flow sensor designed for measuring air as well as water flow velocities in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The sensor is designed to integrate the flow along the entire diameter of the pipe also quantifying the volume flow rate of the streaming fluid where the calorimetric principle in constant temperature operation is utilized as a readout method. In the constant temperature mode, a controller keeps a specific excess temperature between sensing elements at a constant level resulting in a flow dependent heater voltage. To achieve cost-effective sensors, the fabrication of the transducer is fully based on printed circuit board technology allowing low-cost mass production with different form factors. In addition, 2D-FEM simulations were carried out in order to predict the sensor characteristic of envisaged setups. The simulation enables a fast and easy way to evaluate the sensor’s behaviour in different fluids. The results of the FEM simulations are compared to measurements in real environments, proving the credibility of the model.
thermal flow sensor
printed circuit board