Panasonic's booth (source: Nikkei Technology Online)
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Panasonic Corp introduced three kinds of sensors that it is developing for "hydrogen energy society" in the "World of IoT" area at Semicon Japan 2017, which took place from Dec 13 to 15, 2017, at Tokyo Big Sight.

The three sensors are "ultrasonic gas flow meter," "IoT-compatible hydrogen detection sensor" and "UV light detection hydrogen flame visualization camera." For the ultrasonic gas flow meter, Panasonic applied its semiconductor chips and sensors for gas meters. Panasonic has a large share of the Japanese market for them. It measures gas flow rate by using an ultrasonic sensor and calculates the flow rates of gases including hydrogen by multiplying it by cross-section area.

For the IoT-compatible hydrogen detection sensor, Panasonic applied its ReRAM. It can be operated with a power consumption lower than 1/10,000 that of the power consumption of the company's previous hydrogen sensor. Even if a wireless communication function is added to the sensor, it can be easily powered by a battery. It was awarded with the second prize of a category award of Ceatec Award 2016.

The UV light detection hydrogen flame visualization camera has a peak in the ultraviolet region. In other words, it visualizes hydrogen flames that cannot be seen by humans. It is equipped with a photoelectric converter (optical sensor) using a new material.

"Commercially-available sensors can only determine whether there is a hydrogen flame or not (whether hydrogen is burning), but our sensor can visualize the shape of hydrogen flame," Panasonic said.

Original Japanese article