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An Air Filter Sensor For Heating And Air Conditioning Units

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Mechanical ET Design & Capstone

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.179.1 - 8.179.9



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Paper Authors

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Alok Verma

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



Cheng Y. Lin, Gary R. Crossman, Alok K. Verma Department of Engineering Technology Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia


This paper presents a successful senior project of instrumentation developed in a Mechanical Engineering Technology senior capstone course. Students were encouraged to approach the problem of designing an air-filter sensor and to propose an optimum and practical solution for the problem. Work includes conceptual design and analysis, implementation, tests and modifications.

When an air filter is used in a home air conditioner, inhabitants often forget when to replace it until the cooling or heating capacity is obviously reduced. If the filter remains in service, the efficiency of the cooling/heating system will continue decreasing while the electricity bill will significantly increase. In some worst cases, the air quality will also be affected. This paper presents an idea of designing and fabricating an air-filter sensor to alleviate this problem. The sensor will send a warning signal when the filter collects a specific amount of dust in the air filter. It can be easily installed and only consumes a negligible amount of electricity. A photo sensor with an infrared LED emitter and receiver is used in this design. As the infrared LED can transmit through most of the home-used air filter to its receiver, a signal will be sent out when a specified amount of dust is collected in the filter and the light is blocked from the emitter to the receiver. The emitter and receiver are mounted on a simple fixture and can be easily fitted on an air filter. In addition, cost analysis of using the sensor show that it can save a significant amount on an electricity bill, when filters are replaced properly.

I. Introduction

A vital part of engineering technology education is the use of senior design (capstone) projects to provide students with the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in other courses to solve a design problem. Mechanical engineering technology students at Old Dominion University usually take such a course in their last semester of study. Small groups of students (usually two) work on projects identified from one of several sources. A primary source of projects is local industry, usually small in size. Many of these companies do not have the engineering staff to investigate new products or make major improvement in their manufacturing processes. Contacts with these companies may be initiated by

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education1

Verma, A. (2003, June), An Air Filter Sensor For Heating And Air Conditioning Units Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11982

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