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Micromachines 2011, 2(4), 385-393; doi:10.3390/mi2040385

Modeling of the Response Time of Thermal Flow Sensors

1,2,* , 1
1 IMSAS (Institute for Microsensors, Actuators and Systems), Microsystems Center Bremen (MCB), University of Bremen, Otto-Hahn-Allee, Bld. NW1, D-28359 Bremen, Germany 2 IGS (International Graduate School for Dynamics in Logistics), University of Bremen, c/o BIBA Hochschulring 20, D-28359 Bremen, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 September 2011 / Revised: 15 October 2011 / Accepted: 15 October 2011 / Published: 21 October 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling, Testing and Reliability Issues in MEMS Engineering 2011)
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This paper introduces a simple theoretical model for the response time of thermal flow sensors. Response time is defined here as the time needed by the sensor output signal to reach 63.2% of amplitude due to a change of fluid flow. This model uses the finite-difference method to solve the heat transfer equations, taking into consideration the transient conduction and convection between the sensor membrane and the surrounding fluid. Program results agree with experimental measurements and explain the response time dependence on the velocity and the sensor geometry. Values of the response time vary from about 5 ms in the case of stagnant flow to 1.5 ms for a flow velocity of 44 m/s.
Keywords: modeling; thermal flow sensor; response time modeling; thermal flow sensor; response time
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Issa, S.; Sturm, H.; Lang, W. Modeling of the Response Time of Thermal Flow Sensors. Micromachines 2011, 2, 385-393.

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