Sensor technology

Next-generation CH4 sensing technology by Sensirion: reliable and cost-efficient

Why photoacoustics?

Photoacoustics allows the miniaturization of a well-established and reliable measurement principle like laser spectroscopy to not only increase energy efficiency but more importantly it reduces costs and hits the sweet spot in performance versus price. This groundbreaking innovation is the result of Sensirion's 25+ years of experience in developing scalable sensor technology, and is specifically designed to meet the requirements of the oil and gas industry in its efforts to monitor and reduce methane emissions. The combination of the following specifications allows across-the-board improvement in detection, localization and quantification accuracy, especially over metal-oxide based monitoring solutions. This was showcased during the blind, controlled release ADED 2023 test campaign at the METEC facility operated by Colorado State University.

High absolute accuracy

The ability to accurately determine absolute concentration measurements of methane in ambient air, above background levels, at any time and under many environmental conditions, is key when estimating the locations and rates of emission sources. Sensirion Connected Solutions’ sensor design has improved accuracy, repeatability and device-to-device variation by several factors each compared to metal-oxide sensors. This is crucial to avoid over- or underreporting, false positives and to enable reliable site-level emissions quantification for years of operation. On the image you can see a laboratory test setup: 10 cycles of 50 ppm methane in a gas monitoring system (GMS). Each cycle represents measurements from 6 devices for both MOx (left) and Sensirion’s proprietary photoacoustics-based sensor technology (right). Improved absolute accuracy, high repeatability and low device-to-device variation is shown.

High specificity

The fundamentals of the spectroscopic measurement principle, as well as the chosen mid-infrared wavelength band at which the laser is operated, reduce cross sensitivity to other gases to a minimum, on the order of 1%. Consequentially, false positives are reduced, if not eliminated, and overreporting is avoided.

Fast response time

Thanks to the true one-second response time of Sensirion Connected Solutions’ laser spectroscopy sensor technology—impossible with MOx sensors—the movement of methane plumes resolve on a microscale. A higher resolution provides a better representation of reality and, consequently, improves localization accuracy.

Extended sensor lifetime

By relying on Sensirion’s extensive know-how in developing reliable and scalable sensor technology, this next-generation methane sensor offers long-term, stable measurements across a wide range of environmental conditions. These laser spectroscopy sensors require no in-field re-calibration and, as part of a cartridge-based sensor system, are easy to upgrade or exchange. Their lifetime of six years has been demonstrated through accelerated aging tests. This supports the low total cost of ownership of the Nubo Sphere solution.

Want to try Nubo Sphere?

Get in contact with us. We are happy to demonstrate what our solution can do for you!

Want to try Nubo Sphere?

Get in contact with us. We are happy to demonstrate what our solution can do for you!