Fuel quality control

Headlight control

Optical photodiodes, arrays and light sources from the near to mid infrared range are used for fuel quality sensors.

Since the 1st of September 2015, all new passenger vehicles from the EU Member States are subject to the standard exhaust gas regulation Euro 6. Other worldwide governmental regulations including EPA ‘2010 /‘2013 (Japan/USA), NS4 and the upcoming NS5 (China) force the development of environmental sensors.

A great variety of fuels are available worldwide, as well as different refining processes, depending on the region. Also, an increasing number of alternative fuels are appearing, as the goal is to use less fossil resources and to fulfill the global CO2 targets, avoiding the greenhouse effect and embracing the COP21 ambitions.

This development leads to a disparity in fuel quality by nature, which has to be monitored in order to achieve optimal engine management. A Fuel Quality Sensor (FQS) is required not only to ensure good engine operation, but it also contributes to lower fuel consumption and less emissions. Such fuel quality sensors are necessary to give feedback data to the catalytic converter or engine control, to ensure that the mandatory control limits are continuously maintained.

One optical measuring method is to analyze the fuel quality using near infrared or infrared spectroscopy. Knowing the spectral signature means knowing the absorption profile of the fuel, allowing the exact identification of each contained substance and thus allowing to adjust the engine via ECU accordingly. The near infrared (NIR) range (800nm-1,1µm) can be met by our infrared enhanced Silicon components such as Silicon Photodiodes or CMOS Image Sensors. For the shortwave infrared (SWIR) spectral range, InGaAs Photodiodes and arrays (up to 2.5µm) are available.

For alternative fuel such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), whose combustion produces fewer undesirable gases, mid infrared components such as InAsSb photodiodes, associated LEDs in the range of 3 to 5µm and Thermopile sensors are available from our semiconductor portfolio.

To realize fuel quality measurement, a broadband light source such as an LED array can be used in conjunction with a diffractive element on the sensor. This divides the light into its wavelengths and distributes them onto different pixels. The other possibility is to use a dedicated tunable filter or several small bandpass filters on the sensor array (non-dispersive method). This method is also suitable to detect other liquids on board.

To detect one specific chemical substance, it is possible to use a narrow-band light source such as pulsed laser diodes for the desired absorption line. In this case, a single element detector, Silicon or InGaAs Photodiode or Thermopile, is sufficient to determine the amount of light absorption and therefore the concentration of the substance.

Operating Temperature In special SMD package -40°C to + 125°C
Special plastic mold devices -40°C to +105°C
Customization possible, please contact us for further information
Scroll to Top