A miniature microclimate thermal flow sensor for horticultural applications

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Closely packed plant canopies have a negative influence on the uniformity of conditioned air and therefore induce physiological disorders inside plant production systems. Real-time leaf-level flow measurements help to improve the microclimate. This application needs a small and low-cost flow sensor for a flow regime up to 1 m/s . The chip that is presented in this paper consists of five suspended heavily p-doped silicon beams with resistors integrated in the tip. A fluid flow along these tips causes a temperature difference between the resistors by convective heat transfer, enabling calorimetric flow sensing. The 4.4 mm by 3.6 mm sensor is realized in a three-mask versatile fabrication process. The sensor shows a range of 1 m/s to 3 m/s for air with a maximum sensitivity of 1.8 mVs/m and a standard deviation-based accuracy of 3.6 cm/s. The sensor design is easily scalable in theory, hence, a redesign will be made with a slightly lower flow range to fully meet the requirements for the application.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 IEEE Sensors
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781665484640
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-8465-7
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2022
Event2022 IEEE Sensors - Dallas, United States
Duration: 30 Oct 20222 Nov 2022


Conference2022 IEEE Sensors
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Flow sensor
  • Calorimetric
  • Thermal
  • Microfluidics
  • Horticulture
  • Agriculture
  • MEMS
  • Microclimate
  • 22/4 OA procedure


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