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H2O – General Information, H2O Gas Sensors & Relevant Applications

In common parlance, water vapor (H2O) is usually understood to mean the visible vapor clouds of condensed water vapor (wet vapor). Discover all the info about this gas and about the H2O sensors from Wi.Tec-Sensorik ...

Table of Contents

General information on H2O / Water vapor

Water is one of the most essential and abundant molecules on our planet. Therefore, over 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. Through evaporation, water enters the atmosphere (gas phase) where it is perceived as humidity. Water plays a very important role in biology, because life on earth depends on the existence of water.

In colloquial language, water vapor (H2O) is usually understood to mean the visible vapor clouds of condensed water vapor (wet vapor). Vapor plumes are visible because microscopic droplets (aerosols) have formed, as they also occur in clouds and in fog. In technology and science, steam is the term for water in its gaseous state (gas phase).

The content (concentration) is also referred to as humidity and is expressed in % relative humidity, absolute humidity (mg/m3) or vol.-% or ppm. Another important indication of concentration is the dew point in °C.

Technologies for the measurement of H2O

Wi.Tec offers two different technologies that can be used to measure water content or humidity.

  • The INFRA.sens® uses the selective H2O absorption band in the IR range and can thus perform highly accurate measurements down to dew points of -50°C. Compared to dew point mirrors, this method is very robust and can also be performed in corrosive gases.
  • The HUMI.sens uses a polymer film sensor element which is suitable for simple monitoring tasks. It is very small and can also be combined relatively easily with an NDIR gas sensor (INFRA.sens) to form a measurement system.

Possible applications of Wi.Tec sensors in humidity measurement technology

  1. Plant physiology: Plant growth is influenced by respiratory activity, which is determined by CO2 and H2O exchange. In the INFRA.sens, both components can be measured with a high accuracy, so that the gas exchange of individual leaves can be reliably determined in the range <1 ppm.
  2. Diffusion rate: The diffusion rate of H2O is of great importance for the use of plastics. For this purpose, the H2O increase in the ppm range is measured in a standardized test setup using an NDIR method (INFRA.sens).
  3. Water activity: The water activity indicates the ratio of the water vapor pressure of a product to the saturation pressure of pure water at the same temperature. It is represented as an aw value of 0…1 and is an important indicator of product quality in industrial manufacturing such as plastics. The determination of water activity is also very important in the food, tobacco or pharmaceutical industries.
  4. Switchgear: In SF6 switchgear, moisture contents are undesirable. However, water vapor can enter these plants from outside through leakages. With the INFRA.sens, these low H2O concentrations can also be detected in combination with SF6 gas analysis.
  5. Hygrometer: The measurement of air or process humidity is done with hygrometers. The NDIR method (INFRA.sens) is suitable for a wide range of uses in this field of application due to its high accuracy.

Gas sensors from Wi.Tec-Sensorik for the precise measurement of H2O

Overview Products and Measurement Ranges

  Measuring range (*)
  100
Vol.%
50
Vol.%
30
Vol.%
20
Vol.%
10
Vol.%
5
Vol.%
1
Vol.%
5,000
 ppm
2,000
 ppm
1,000
 ppm
500
 ppm
300
 ppm
100
 ppm
50
 ppm
10
 ppm
1
 ppm
KOMBI.sens®
INFRA.sens® AK100
(*) Full scale value (F.S.)
For other measuring ranges please refer to our further datasheets

Product Previews

Some relevant Applications to H2O

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  • The employees of Wi.Tec-Sensorik GmbH have extensive expertise in the field of industrial gas measurement technology and sensor signal processing.
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