What Is CarbonBat?
CarbonBat is an Arduino compatible Carbon Dioxide (CO2) chemical gas sensor shield which is specially designed for measuring the particles of CO2 in the air in an easy, less costly, and convenient way. It also measures and tells temperature as a relevant sensor is embedded on this PCB shield.
We use BAT as an icon of this shield as high CO2 air is always found in bat caves. As bats can survive well in high CO2 air, but a human being cannot, let this bat, CarbonBat, do the CO2 test and measure for us.
CarbonBat is highly and selectively sensitive to CO2 in the air. It has low humidity and temperature dependency and therefore provides reliable data of CO2 indoor and outdoor. Its applications include:
- Air Quality Control
- CO2 Concentration Detection in Room Temperature
- Temperature Measurement of Weather
- Ferment Process Control
How Does It Work in Measuring CO2?
With the sensing filter which is exposed to the air in test, the sensor will provide a voltage inversely proportional to the concentration of the carbon dioxide. By using the built-in ADC of the Arduino to measure the voltage, the CO2 ppm (parts per million) reading is displayed on the OLED screen.
As outdoor fresh air usually contains CO2 levels between 350-450 ppm and indoor CO2 levels usually vary between 400-1,200 ppm, a benchmark of 400 ppm is preset on CarbonBat for telling any CO2 levels over 400 ppm (or 0.04% of air).The maximum level that it can tell is up to 10,000 ppm.
By just plugging in CarbonBat on your Arduino, the CO2 ppm level will be displayed on its OLED.
How Is CO2 Level Now?
According to the information provided by Earth’s CO2, the monthly average atmospheric CO2 for January 2015 was 399.85 while this figure stepped up from 394.28, 396.81, to 398.78 in Decembers of 2012, 2013, and 2014 correspondingly. This up moving trend is hitting the figure of our benchmark 400 ppm – the highest general level of CO2 concentration found on earth in millions of years. The world is quickening the rate of accumulation of CO2 and has no signs of slowing this down.
Below 350 ppm is usually be regarded the safe level of CO2, but the only way to get there is to immediately transit the global economy away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy.
The general CO2 level of bat caves varies up to 2,000 ppm and can even reach 3,000 ppm.
What Impacts Of CO2 On Our Bodies?
The effects of increased CO2 levels on adults at good health can be summarized:
- normal outdoor level: 350 - 450 ppm
- acceptable levels: < 600 ppm
- complaints of stiffness and odors: 600 - 1000 ppm
- general drowsiness: 1000 - 2500 ppm
- adverse health effects expected: 2500 - 5000 ppm
- maximum allowed concentration within a 8 hour working period: 5000 ppm
How Others Have Used Our Tech?
Other than monitoring and detecting CO2 concentration around us for better living environment, CarbonBat can be used for:
Food Ferment Process Control in Beer Brewing and Bakery
CarbonBat can check the sufficiency of CO2 in brewing and the safety of CO2 level. CO2 is wanted in brewing delicious beer and CarbonBat can provide CO2 and temperature data for a better analysis of fermentation process. And more, CO2 leakage even just in home brewing can be dangerous, especially when there is a presence of CO2 tank. The current CO2 monitors for brewing usually reach 5,000 ppm and cost over USD400 while CarbonBat is much less costly.
Increasing CO2 levels in greenhouses is proved to improve plant growth dramatically, especially when temperatures are also elevated. Science researchers found that lentils and other legumes grown in hothouses with 700 ppm CO2 improved their total biomass by 91%, their edible parts yield by 150% and their fodder yield by 67%, compared to similar crops grown at 370 ppm CO2. Similar results concluded in growing other testing plants such as sugarcane, rice, pines, and more. (Refer article “CO2:The Gas of Life”, Paul Driessen, Aug 15,2013) Just place a CarbonBat in your green houses and let it tell you the next step. Below is a green house with its plants 'fed' by CO2 supplemented by dry ice.
Indoor Air Control For Elders, Babies, and Patients
Elders, babies, and patients are generally not sensitive to detect changes of temperature and they always stay indoor with limited ventilation to avoid getting cold. Some of them may be unable to move around to check and escape. Heaters and tight window closure may encourage undetected high concentration of CO2. CarbonBat then helps to disclose the CO2 and temperature levels to ensure they have safe air indoor.
Education of CO2 and Arduino
To invite intimacy of children who are generally cold to electronics, a vivid lovely red bear version named CarbonBear is specially shaped for their choice. Teachers and parents can trigger children's interest in environment protection, electronic world, the concept of Arduino, and their interaction with electronics. Their passion on electronics is easily kickstarted accidentally by just a blow of air to the sensor part on CarbonBear to check the CO2 level of their breathe.
Other than CarbonBat and CarbonBear, BabyBat and BabyBear are also family members in this project. We designed BabyBat after CarbonBat when we imagine a dark bat cave that needs light. Later we develop CarbonBear and BabyBear.
BabyBat and BabyBear are mini LED USB Light specially designed for night study in daily leisure uses and business travel. The LED light beads which covered with phosphor material, light up directly on a thin and tiny printed circuit board that mechanically supports relevant electronic components using conductive tracks and pads.
These 2 babies have numerous advantages in uses:
- Environmental Friendly --manufacturing of LED on is much eco-friendly when comparing with traditional light bulbs in the impacts of world resources, air, soil, and water. It produces much less hazardous waste landfill, human toxicity, freshwater aquatic ecotoxicity, terrestrial ecotoxicity, and earth warming.
- Save Energy and Money -- LED is famous in saving 80-95% of power and electricity cost used by a traditional incandescent light (those with a wire filament in a glass bulb).
- Latest Hi-Tech ~ Built-in Fingerprint-Touch Switch --A built-in golden touch panel on the back of BabyBat and BabyBear allows operation of the LED by just a finger-tip touch. Easy, modern, and hi-tech.
- Long Lifespan -- The general lifespan of LEDs is 50,000 hours which is at least 40 times of that of a traditional light bulb.
- Dimmable -- The brightness of the LED beads on BabyBat and BabyBear can be adjusted by 'touching long' on the golden touch panel. So touching short determines on and off. Touching long determines its brightness.
- Safe and Kid-Friendly -- Unlike the traditional light bulb that burns skin while lighting, LED does not radiate heat produced from the power as LED draws away most of the power. This keeps BabyBat and BabyBear from overheating and burning out. Such a thermal advantage protects children from skin burning.
- Educational -- The exposed LED beads and electronic parts on these babies invites the curiosity of kids in learning more of new electronic technology and light science. The funny animal shapes draw the kids closer to it.
- Light, Thin, and Mini -- BabyBear and BabyBat are within 5g in weight individually. All the components are built on a circuit board with 1.5 mm in thickness. Their circuit board dimensions are within 5 x 4 cm.
We are pleased to tell that BabyBat and BabyBear are both invited to participate in Hong Kong Smart Gifts Awards 2015 with the judging criteria on Eco-Friendliness, Function, Product Aesthetic, Uniqueness, and Marketability. Let us have best wishes to them and wish they stand out internationally.
CarbonBat and CarbonBear--
CO2 Sensor Part
CO2 Sensitivity: 350 – 10,000 ppm CO2
Operating Temperature: -20 to +50C
Heating Power: @1200mW
Temperature Sensor Part
Temperature Measurement: -55 to +125C
Thermometer Error: +/- 0.5C when -10C to +85C
Active Current: 1.5mA (max) when Vdd = 5V
BabyBat and BabyBear--
Light Color: White
Number of LED: 3
Supplied Voltage: 5.0V
Color Temperature: 5000-6500k
Powered By: USB
Each BabyBat and BabyBear is accompanied by a fitted flexible USB metal hose ('snake hose') for a more flexible usage of light (as shown in picture below). Use it alone or on a snake hose is up to your choice of usage.
Snapshots in Design Process
Dr. Neville Ng – Electronics Designer, Doctor of Engineering (Electronic) (left top)
Michael Yung – Product R&D Engineer, Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) (left bottom)
Yvonne Yung – Project Manager, MBA (right)
Our projects never end on wire, wireless, and IOT. We are now developing Sensor Doggie, a Self-Following Sensor Drone. Back us here and let us tell you the good news in near future.
Risks and challenges
As with any other hardware project, our delivery dates can be adversely affected by component inventory. To avoid such surprises during a mass production run, only factories and distributors with healthy stock estimates were selected during the design phase of all the 4 products ~ CarbonBat, CarbonBear, BabyBat and BabyBear.
We only select PCB manufacturers that has experience with prototype and mass production runs for boards that are similar to ours. By using the same manufacturer all the way through, we have the best ability to correct and avoid issues that would affect mass production run early on.
Our delivery dates are based on worst case scenario lead times with additional headroom for error for all our parts. Although we won't go as far as promising earlier delivery dates, there exists a good chance of it happening.
To further ensure the quality of shipped all the 4 product types, we will run an extensive physical and electrical tests to verify each device.
The color and parts of all the above 4 designs and the USB metal hose for BabyBat and BabyBear may have mild variation from the pictures shown as there can be uncertainties such as stock of parts shortage in manufacturing. We try our best to keep everything close to appearance presented and we are certain to keep the featured functions present on our every single piece of product. Please allow us to have a flexibility to handle problems. For example, the white color of the hose may turn to black as the white ones can be short in supply.
Thanks for your kind consideration.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)