In greenhouse applications, the accurate measurement of a number of environmental parameters such as carbon dioxide concentration, temperature, light intensity, water, humidity, pH and nutrient levels using sophisticated sensors is used to create a controlled environment for optimising plant growth rates while minimising energy usage.

Carbon dioxide concentration is also one of the best indicators of air quality in offices, schools and other inhabited buildings since it is produced by the people occupying the building. Accurate control of the indoor environment is required for the well-being and comfort and efficiency of buildings occupants, but it can have a major impact on energy efficiency and running cost of the building itself. The measurement of carbon dioxide levels is in many buildings an intrinsic part of the indoor environmental quality strategy and allows the use of sophisticated demand control ventilation practices.

In the renewable energy sector, methane and carbon dioxide sensing are hugely important in landfill and biogas production. The UK Environment Agency recommends infrared as one method of measuring methane and carbon dioxide on landfill sites, see LFTGN03: the “Guidance on the Management of landfill Gas”. Biogas, produced by the anaerobic digestion of food waste, agricultural residues, sewage sludge, etc., contains both methane and carbon dioxide. Methane is normally measured both in the process gas stream and in the ambient area, while carbon dioxide is often measured in the gas stream.

Methane measurement (CH4) is important in the mining industry. Ventilation systems add air to ventilate the mines at high flow rates, resulting in a Ventilated Air Methane stream (VAM), with CH4 in concentrations between 0.2-1.2% by volume that is typically vented to the atmosphere. Because of the environmental threat posed by methane, regulations have been set to limit the level of discharge. These regulations require the accuracy and stability provided by Edinburgh Sensors’ infrared CH4 measuring products.

Other applications for Edinburgh Sensors’ products include SF6 leak detection and monitoring, methane flaring, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), diving, metal finishing, carbonated drinks dispensing, continuous emissions monitoring (CEM), welding, laboratory incubators, oceanographic research, medicine/physiology, biology/plant research, refrigerant safety/leaks, Nitrous Oxide (N2O) detection etc.