Low Cost IR CO2 Sensors

Non-dispersive infrared carbon dioxide sensors have been around for decades, but because of complex manufacturing they have always been more expensive than electrochemical CO2 sensors. That’s why we were excited to discover a line of sensors made by Cubic Optoelectronics, a pioneer in developing low-cost IR CO2 sensors for the world market.

After extensive testing, our engineering team was impressed with the build quality, overall design and competitive feature set of these sensors. We decided to offer these sensors on our website.

Several models are available that we believe combine the long-life and accuracy of NDIR technology with a new low-price point that will make them attractive to OEMs, researchers and engineers alike.

CU-1106 Single Beam CO2 Sensors

co2 sensor

The CU-1106 series of single-beam NDIR CO2 sensor modules is designed to monitor and detect carbon dioxide levels up to 5,000ppm (parts per million) for indoor air quality and HVAC applications. Connect it to 3.5-5.5 VDC power, attach a UART signal reader like Termite, and you can instantly begin to monitor CO2 levels from your PC.

All CU-1106 sensors have a 3 second electrical response time with T90 < 85 seconds for full measurement range. Signal output options include TTL serial UART, PWM linear output and I2C. Because these sensors use NDIR technology, they have a predicted lifespan of over 10 years.

These sensors feature auto-calibration, useful for indoor air quality applications. This means the sensor module will correct for any drift using built-in self-correcting logic. After the sensor is powered on for 15 days continuously it record the lowest CO2 concentration measurement value during the 15 days. It will then auto calibrate to the lowest level, assuming it is outdoor fresh air with a CO2 concentration of 400ppm.

For applications like indoor greenhouses that use CO2 enrichment, auto-calibration can be turned off in the sensor and it can be manually calibrated in fresh air.

There are 4 sensors in the CU-1106 line: 

  • CU-1106-C CO2 Sensor Module is designed to monitor from 0-5,000ppm carbon dioxide levels using single light source NDIR technology.
  • CU-1106LS is a low power version of CM1106-C. It measures 400-5,000ppm CO2 with an accuracy of ±50ppm+5% of reading.
  • CU-1106SL-N is an ultra-low power version designed for battery operated devices. It measures from 0-5,000ppm CO2 with an accuracy of ±100ppm+5% of reading. While it has an electrical response time of < 3 seconds, T90 is increased to 105 seconds on average. This sensor is footprint compatible with the SenseAir S11 CO2 sensor.
  • CU-1106H-NS is an extended range 0-10,000ppm CO2 sensor with an accuracy of ± 30ppm+3% of reading. It is footprint compatible with SenseAir S8 CO2 sensor.

Click here to learn more about the CU-1106 sensors.

CU-1107-N Dual-Beam CO2 Sensor

co2 sensor

This CO2 sensor module is designed to monitor 0-5,000ppm carbon dioxide levels using a dual beam light source and NDIR sensing technologies. By using the dual-infrared source principle, the CU-1107 sensor compensates for long-term drifts by design. Dual beam detection allows for superior stability and better accuracy over the predicted 10 year lifespan of the sensor. It can achieve equivalent performance to a conventional dual-channel CO2 sensor, but at a much lower cost.

Because of its dual-beam operation, the CU-1107-N is a few millimeters taller and wider than the CU-1106 series as well as requiring 5VDC power. Time to first reading is slower at < 120 seconds. Accuracy is rated at ± 50ppm+3% of reading. Signal output options including TTL serial UART, PWM linear output and I2C.

Like the CU-1106 line, the CU-1107 offers automatic calibration by default. However the CU-1107 records the lowest CO2 level over 7 days (can be set from 1-30 days) and uses this as a baseline to recalibrate the sensor to 400ppm fresh air. If the sensor will not be exposed to fresh air auto calibration can be disabled and manual calibration can be used.

Click here to learn more about the CU-0017 CO2 sensor.

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