Hot-film and calorimetric thermal air flow sensors realized with printed board technology
This paper addresses the development of flow sensors optimized for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems. The sensors are based on the printed circuit board technology facilitating robust, flexible (in terms of layout), and cost-effective devices. Two approaches for measuring fluid quantities like flow velocity over the whole cross section are investigated in this context. The first one relies on hot-film transduction and stands out for its simplicity, but also shows some severe limitations, which can be circumvented by the second approach based on calorimetric transduction. Supported by extensive numerical simulations, several sensor embodiments were investigated and fabricated. After experimental characterization, measurement and simulation results were compared, which turned out to be in good agreement.