Utilizing KEMET’s expertise with the materials used in our capacitors, inductors, and magnetics, KEMET’s sensor portfolio focuses on high sensitivity temperature, current, and proximity sensing.
KEMET’s portfolio of sensors relays reliable information on ambient temperature, device current, physical proximity, vibration readings, and other environmental data in a wide range of industries and applications. They can be easily interfaced and are highly reliable with minimal failure points due to their simple design and construction.
KEMET’s thermal sensors utilize Thermorite®, a temperature-sensing magnetic material with a precisely adjustable switch point (or Curie point). Once the Thermorite® reaches its designated temperature, a switch is triggered that either closes or opens the circuit. These features enable our temperature sensors to be easy to design in and they can be used independently from a microcontroller or processor for a variety of applications.
- Offered in a variety of form factors, voltage ratings, and temperature trip points
- Available with either Normally Open (NO) or Normally Closed (NC) contacts
- KEMET’s Thermal Guard Series (OHD) is designed to detect overheating conditions and quickly respond. They can switch low power signals (0.1 W) up to higher powered circuits (6 W,) and are dust, corrosion, and explosion proof
- KEMET’s Thermal Reed Series (TRS) is designed to be highly reliable for a long lifetime. They have a wide temperature trip point range (-10°C to 130°C) and a precise trip point setting (±2.5°C)
Current sensors provide critical information for many different applications. They can enable essential energy savings or provide basic information needed for safe operation in any number of products. Like many of KEMET’s sensors, they are very simple to interface, requiring only one resistor to monitor the proportional measured current coming out of the current transformer. Current sensors can be used to monitor motor drive lines, smart meters, and uninterruptible power supplies.
Proximity sensors are tuned to detect infrared changes in the environment typically caused by the human body. They can be used through certain materials without having the sensor exposed to the outside world. Typical applications include contactless switching or fast detection of humans in the vicinity.
- Plug and play module or standalone part available for purchase
- Plug and play module outputs a 3.0 V digital detection signal and is easy to implement in many designs
- Stand-alone part requires extra filtering and signal amplification
- Compatible to work through a wide variety of material types and thicknesses
- Low 800 μA consumption current makes it very suitable for battery operated devices
Based on the piezoelectric effect, KEMET’s vibration sensors can detect a wide range and magnitude of vibrations in a single solution. These sensors are capable of detecting from tens of Hz to tens of kHz and vibration intensity from sub-1 g to tens of g’s. Their MEM-based counterparts have a narrower range of operation and, being an active element, consume more power during operation and in a quiescent state. Sensors such as these are used in industrial applications where continuous monitoring of systems is needed to assess their health. Elevated vibration levels, gone unchecked, can result in unexpected breakdown of systems and cause costly downtimes. Other common applications include:
- Machine tools
- Production equipment
- Wind power turbines
- Gears and bearings
- Test and instrumentation
The new lineup of environmental sensors detect the condition of the environment and can be used to alert safety monitoring systems of changes in conditions. These sensors are based on the pyroelectric effect that make them lower in power consumption than traditional silicon-based sensors. Similar to how the piezoelectric effect converts mechanical energy to electrical energy when a crystalline lattice is disturbed, the pyroelectric is a crystalline lattice that converts blackbody thermal energy to electrical energy. The pyroelectric-effect-based sensors are used in industrial situations such as:
- Motion detection – These motion sensors are power-optimized to enable use in mobile devices and minimize quiescent current drain.
- Flame detection – Detecting the presence of flame is critical to the safety of industrial environments and the very low noise equivalent power (NEP) allows for the detection of minimal flame intensities.
- Gas detection – When the concentration of certain gasses such as carbon dioxide reaches high concentration levels, the conditions of the environment may no longer be safe for human presence. KEMET’s gas sensors can be used the monitor the concentration of gasses and alert safety systems.
- Food detection – It is not about detecting the presence of food but rather detecting the status of food. The sensors are built on a similar principle as gas sensors. As foods reach spoiled states they emit gasses that may be undetectable by the human olfactory sense but might still appear to be edible. To prevent the consumption of unsafe foods, sensors such as KEMET’s can be used.
These sensors are available in both digital and analog interfaces.