How To Choose an IoT Sensor for Your Application
In this video we’re going to talk about choosing a sensor for industrial iot applications
when choosing a sensor for your industrial IOT application there are many factors to consider. overlooking something during the design phase of your project could mean that the longevity of your system is compromised
that it’s not feasible to move from prototype to production or that you get inaccurate or insufficient data well there are hundreds of different types of sensors many fall under some well defined sensor categories like sound sensors vibration sensors electrical sensors flow sensors that measure fluid velocity and so on all sensors can be classified into one of two categories; analog or digital.
they’re fundamentally different in how they perform mainly because of the type of readings or outputs they generate analog sensors produce a smooth continuous signal of values which is why they are shown on a graph as a wavy line
think about turning the knob on a faucet to increase or decrease the temperature you can turn it up or down in a continuous motion and fine-tune it to the specification you want by moving the knob in either direction
digital sensors have a range of values that they can output as well but the value must increase or decrease in steps which is why they are shown as stair steps on a graph. an example of this type of sensor is a push-button switch it has discrete values that allow it to be turned on or off but does not have any values in between.
the computer processors that will be handling these outputs deal with discrete values so how will they be able to use analog sensors if they don’t produce data in discrete steps.
well they typically include a component called an analog to digital converter we won’t go over these in detail but it’s worth keeping that in mind when you’re planning out your connected sensor application. there are three types of factors to consider when choosing a sensor.
environmental factors economic factors and sensor characteristics. let’s start with environmental factors. when choosing a sensor you’ll want to make sure that it can hold up in the environmental conditions that it will be placed in
if you’re measuring temperature you’ll want to make sure that the sensor can accommodate the temperature range of the environment it will be placed in figure out the maximum and minimum temperature range your sensor will need to measure and check to make sure that it’s capable of detecting those thresholds
is the sensor going to be in a humid environment will it be able to withstand moisture, will humidity affect the readings of the sensor think about if the sensor will be exposed to corrosive agents in its environment if so you’ll want to make sure that you find a sensor that can withstand being exposed to those elements for a long period of time
just make sure to think about where you need to place the sensor and that there is enough room for it to stay there without getting in the way if there’s a possibility of the sensor being exposed to electromagnetic interference you’ll want to make sure that the sensors readings won’t be affected by it
how durable is the sensor will it last for a long time without needing to be replaced. will it be able to withstand harsh environments. Does the sensor use a lot of power will it increase the costs of your power consumption greatly industrial IOT applications often require low power consumption rates to minimize the need for sending maintenance crews to inspect edge infrastructure
Try to find sensors with as minimal a power overhead as possible in order to maximize battery duration checking for proof of compliance with quality standards is the best way to figure out if the sensor will work for you in your environment
The next type of consideration that we’ll explore is the economic factors associated with the sensor of your choice. will your IOT budget be able to include the sensor that you choose what if you want to deploy more of them
will you be able to keep purchasing the same type finding a cost-effective scalable sensor is necessary to support the financial scope of your project not all sensors are available for purchase in all locations additionally if you are purchasing through a wholesaler remember that there are often minimums for orders
so if you are not able to meet the minimum you’ll have to go through a regular retailer. how long is the sensor expected to last in your chosen environment. replacing the sensors in your system can be expensive and time-consuming
so try to choose a model that will last for a long time finally you’ll want to consider the characteristics of the sensor itself
is your sensor able to pick up all the data that it needs to the sensitivity of a sensor is defined as the minimum input of a physical parameter that will create a detectable output change. so if you are sensing a very detailed set of parameters you’ll want to make sure the sensor is sensitive enough to pick up on all of the small changes it needs to
range is the maximum and minimum values that the sensor can pick up on in its environment. you’ll want to check the parameters of the values you are expecting and make sure the sensor is capable of detecting all the values in that set
does the sensors characteristics remain stable over time changes in stability known as drift can be caused by a variety of factors such as the age of the component, changes and signals and a decrease in sensitivity repeatability defines how good the sensor is at achieving the same reading if tried again and again in the same conditions
you’ll want to make sure that the sensor is accurate otherwise data will be skewed another important factor to check for is the error range of the sensor
how large is it is it acceptable to your application or do you need a sensor that is extremely accurate often sensors don’t respond to a change in conditions immediately as it occurs the period of time in between the change in the environment and the sensors response is called the response time how quickly do you need the sensor to respond to its environment
are the conditions the sensor is measuring changing quickly and frequently, if so response time will be very important to check for when choosing a sensor.
finally you’ll want to check for the linearity of the sensor.
a sensors linearity is the amount of deviation in the actual measured curve from the sensors ideal straight line performance linearity is affected by environmental factors like temperature, vibration, acoustic noise in humidity
it is important to know how your sensor behaves under various conditions and what its maximum amount of deviation from the ideal curve is
so now that you know what to look for in a connected sensor it’s time to get your system working today contact tembu for more information on getting your industrial IOT application up and running and make sure to subscribe to our youtube channel for more videos from tempo you