Posted in: Sensor

WHAT IS OXYGEN SENSOR?

MEANING OF OXYGEN SENSOR

An oxygen sensor (or lambda sensor, where lambda refers to air–fuel equivalence ratio, usually denoted by λ) is an electronic device that measures the proportion of oxygen (O2) in the gas or liquid being analyzed.

It was developed by Robert Bosch GmbH during the late 1960s under the supervision of Dr. Günter Bauman. The original sensing element is made with a thimble-shaped zirconia ceramic coated on both the exhaust and reference sides with a thin layer of platinum and comes in both heated and unheated forms. The planar-style sensor entered the market in 1990 and significantly reduced the mass of the ceramic sensing element, as well as incorporating the heater within the ceramic structure. This resulted in a sensor that started sooner and responded faster.

The most common application is to measure the exhaust-gas concentration of oxygen for internal combustion engines in automobiles and other vehicles in order to calculate and, if required, dynamically adjust the air-fuel ratio so that catalytic converters can work optimally, and also determine whether the converter is performing properly or not. An oxygen sensor will typically generate up to about 0.9 volt when the fuel mixture is rich and there is little unburned oxygen in the exhaust.

TYPES OF OXYGEN SENSOR

Before delving into the types of oxygen sensors it’s important to know what an oxygen sensor does which gives us a better understanding of our car oxygen sensor.

The primary objective of car oxygen sensors is to regulate the air to fuel ratio, i.e. to determine if the car exhaust has little oxygen or a lot of oxygen to adjust the amount of fuel used in the engine. This ensures the engine runs at its maximum efficiency.

The ideal ratio of air to fuel (i.e. oxygen and gasoline) that burns all fuel without air excess is around 14.7:1. Properly working oxygen sensors are crucial for cars. Without them, the system won’t calibrate the engine with an ideal air to fuel ratio. As a result, the engine is forced to make an assumption on petrol usage, and ends up emitting more gas and polluting the environment.

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There are 3 major types of Oxygen sensor for cars;

1. TITANIA OXYGEN SENSOR 2. WIDE BAND OXYGEN SENSOR  3.  ZIRCONA OXYGEN SENSOR

In our next blog post we will explain each type of oxygen sensor and its disadvantages

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