What is a Particulate Matter Sensor and How Does it Work?

There are many methods of detecting air quality within a room and in outdoor environments. One of these methods is to measure particulates. Particulate matter can vary in size, and particles 10 micrometers and below are inhalable. (epa.gov) Inhaling particulates like dust, pollen, and smoke can have serious short and long-term impacts on health.

A particulate matter sensor uses laser scattering technology to measure particulates in the air. A beam of light inside the sensor is passed through a sample of air within the sensor. The particles in the sample cause the light beam to scatter, and this scattered light is measured and used to calculate the concentration of particles in the air. (EPA Victoria)

The monitoring of particulate matter is a simple, low cost solution to monitoring indoor air quality. Knowing when particles are present and above safe levels will assist in knowing when additional filtration and/or more fresh air is needed in the occupied space.

Common indoor particulates include: 

  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Smoke
  • Pet dander
Particulate Matter Transmitter, Series PMI

The Series PMI particulate matter transmitter is designed to measure air quality by detecting particulate matter in an indoor environment or HVAC duct. The Series PMI can measure particles as small as 0.3 μm, making it an essential component of any indoor air quality monitoring system. The optional relay combined with the settable alarm and control parameters allow the Series PMI to be a stand-alone controller. 

For more information on the Series PMI particulate matter transmitter, or any other Dwyer products, the Dwyer Applications Engineers are available to assist by phone at (219) 879-8868 x6402, or by email at tech@dwyermail.com.