Faculty of Electrical Engineering participates in the development of new hazardous gas detectors

SmartCAMPUS Cooperation Science

The integration of sensors into the Internet of Things will create a useful tool that can be used in the Smart City concept as well as in Industry 4.0. Experts from FEE are collaborating on the project with colleagues from Tesla Blatná, the Centre for Organic Chemistry, and the J.Heyrovský Institut.

Early detection of life-threatening gases will be even more reliable. In fact, the use of advanced nanotechnology has enabled the development of complex hybrid structures that are used in new sensors to detect carbon monoxide, ammonia, and hydrocarbon gases. Using LoRa, SigFox, or IQRF wireless networks, it is thus possible to easily monitor and secure outdoor and indoor areas and prevent property damage or health complications. Connecting to the Internet of Things (IoT) will thus create another helpful tool for residents within the Smart City concept as well as for use in Industry 4.0.

Experts from Tesla Blatná, the Centre for Organic Chemistry, the J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry of the CAS, and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of West Bohemia are collaborating on this progressive project. The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR) supports their efforts with CZK 18.1 million from the EPSILON Programme.

"The main target group for the use of the results of this project are households or businesses, where it will be possible to continuously and long-term monitor the level of concentration of these hazardous gases using new sensors. Early detection of exceeding the concentration levels can save many lives," said Petr Konvalinka, Chairman of TA ČR.

There is a significant demand in the global market for IoT-connected gas sensors that will significantly reduce the risk of injury or property damage. For the project investigators, this offers, among other things, a great chance for a successful commercial application. "We expect to complete the research by the end of this year. Its result could theoretically appear on the market by the middle of next year," said Pavol Ozaňák, marketing director of Tesla Blatná, a.s.

The importance of the project lies in the new technology for the treatment and preparation of carbon nanostructures. The chemical modification of carbon structures will also be used in other areas of R&D, such as electricity generation and storage or nanomaterials for electronics. The use of sensors for wireless IoT networks - see, e.g., IQRF - is also essential, i.e., very easy to install.

"The Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of West Bohemia is involved in the project in the field of characterization of sensitive materials, i.e., in the measurement of their electrical parameters depending on the effect of the mentioned hazardous gases. However, the main task of our department is the design, implementation, and testing of evaluation electronic circuits for individual sensors that can be easily implemented in IoT communication networks. The solution also includes developing control software, processing and visualization of measured data, i.e., determining and displaying the concentration of individual monitored gases," said Tomáš Blecha on behalf of the FEE team.

The newly acquired know-how and prestige will enable the expansion of international cooperation with leading research organizations and industrial enterprises in the areas mentioned above and the subsequent acquisition of new international projects (e.g., H2020). For Tesla Blatná, a.s. this means the production of new types of sensors and progress in the production of new electronic products (circuits for evaluating signals from new sensors, control units of various types according to their application focus). The newly developed technologies can be used in other products that are not the subject of this project.

Faculty of Electrical Engineering

tisková zpráva TAČR, Pavel Korelus

19. 04. 2022