Demand Ventilation Microsystem
Microsystem Technology Results in Smaller and Lower Cost Sensing Solution
|Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
||Gas Burners, Non-Domestic Cooling and Ventilation
Equipment, Ventilation Systems
NuAire Ltd. has specialised in the design, manufacture and
marketing of ventilation systems for the domestic, commercial and industrial
markets for over 25 years. The company manufactures a wide range of ventilation
fans, ducting systems, stand alone air conditioning fans, ventilation
control systems, and complete ventilation system products.
The company's MicroSave Netlink product is the market leader in the Demand
Controlled Ventilation (DCV) systems market. DCV requires the use of various
sensors and control systems to increase the level of human comfort, and
to minimise the energy consumption of the ventilation system, in response
to the pattern of occupation in the individual rooms of a building
Currently, the MicroSave Netlink product uses microcontroller devices
to interface to passive infra red (PIR) detectors and temperature sensors
so as to control the ventilation system. These sensors alone however,
have been demonstrated to be inadequate for conference, meeting and training
rooms because the minimum fresh air replacement rate per person cannot
be automatically controlled. One documented method to overcome this problem
is the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors to control the ventilation
rate, but the current purchased commercial sensor which is used in the
MicroSave Netlink system is too large and expensive to enable its widespread
In addition NuAire's range of stand-alone air-conditioning fans can only
be controlled manually by the user. These products do not have any means
of intelligently controlling the speed of the fan according to the air
quality and without user intervention, thus limiting their potential market
The objective of this AE is to improve the existing MicroSave Netlink
product and the company's range of stand-alone fans by introducing microsystem
technology. The microsystem provides a low cost and small component that:
1. measures air quality,
2. interprets the measurements to derive an appropriate ventilation fan
3. and generate signals to communicate with the MicroSave Netlink product,
or directly control a stand-alone fan.
Air quality will be assessed by the measurement of CO2 level. This will
improve the performance of the MicroSave Netlink demand ventilation system,
and lead to a large increase in sales for the NuAire's stand-alone fan
The application experiment was started on the 28 February 1997 with an
anticipated duration of 12 months. However, as a result of an agreed change
in subcontractor the application experiment was only completed in January
1999, an actual duration of 23 months.
The costs of the microsystem development were 142 KEUR. The expected return
on investment is 280% over the a 4 year period. The payback period is
anticipated to be 18 months.
It addition it has resulted in a sustained technology advance for the
company enabling NuAire to develop increasingly sophisticated products
based on microsystem technology for the detection of other gasses in the
This application experiment will be of interest to many other small to
medium organisations in a wide range of industrial sectors, including
gas burners (Prodcom Code 2921), ventilation systems (2930), instrumentation
(3320) and medical applications (3310), as well as companies generally
interested in the enabling technology of microsystems. The application
experiment provides 'best practice' guidelines for other companies in
the areas of subcontractor and technology selection, workplan planning
and subcontract preparation.
Western Industrial Estate
|You can also benefit from microelectronics
Microsystems technology provided NuAire Ltd with the means of improving
its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant
benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising
it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE
to realise this.
FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.
FUSE provides you with:
- Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
- Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.
Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.
||Guiding Technology Transfer Node
|For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
Univercity of Glamorgan
Pontypridd CF37 1DL