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Applications of hall-effect rotary-position sensors

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Hall-effect? rotary-position? sensors? foot pedal position sensing? HVAC system?

7. Is your sensor manufacturer reliable? It is important to consider whether your supplier can provide the engineering, testing, quality and customisation expertise you need for your products. Additionally, it can be beneficial if the supplier knows and understands international standards, as well as manufacturing/shipping processes and policies.

Foot pedal position sensing
In heavy-duty vehicle equipment and other vehicles, Hall-effect rotary-position sensors may be used to replace the mechanical cable connection between the foot pedal and the engine. A mechanical cable can stretch or rust, potentially requiring regular maintenance and recalibration. Eliminating the mechanical cable can improve the engine control system response, benefitting the vehicles emission, improving reliability and reducing excess weight. This type of drive-by-wire system can be both safer and less expensive than cable-connected systems.

For example, a rotary-position sensor may be mounted adjacent to the pedal to measure how far down the pedal is pressed. The harder the operator presses, the deeper the pedal is depressed, allowing more fuel and air to be delivered to the engine so the vehicle moves faster. When the operator removes their foot from the pedal, the Hall-effect rotary-position sensor senses the change in position and sends a signal to the engine to reduce the flow of fuel and air across the throttle plate. The vehicle responds to this signal by slowing down.

Honeywells RTY Series Hall-effect Rotary Position Sensors are designed to provide a minimum 35 million cycle product life due to its well-engineered bearing design and the related ICs.

Suspension/kneeling position sensing in buses and trucks
Hall-effect rotary-position sensors can be used in buses and heavy-duty ride-height systems to sense travel of the suspension system. Buses utilise kneeling to lower their height so that passengers can board easily. The Hall-effect rotary-position sensor can be used on both ends of this application: one position sensor monitors the position of the control lever, and a second position sensor is deployed on a suspension arm or a linkage to monitor ride height.

Accurate position sensing validates that the vehicle is at the correct height for the application systems requirement, improving vehicle ingress/egress. Large trailer trucks may also use Hall-effect rotary-position sensors to monitor trailer heights to improve warehouse docking efficiency.

Tilt/trim position sensing for speed boats
Hall-effect rotary-position sensors can be used to monitor tilt/trim position for speedboats. The sensor accurately reports the angle position of the propeller, which can help the operator avoid damage and maintain optimum performance.

Agriculture and irrigation pivot control
An interesting application for Hall-effect rotary-position sensors is irrigation sprinkler systems used by large farms. The sensor can monitor the angle range at which the sprinklers are irrigating. Is the irrigation system watering the section of the field intended, or is the system watering 360 degrees? This knowledge can help the farmer reduce water consumption and increase crop yield.

Industrial applications and valve position sensing
The control of process valves is vital in a wide range of industrial applications. Oil fields, nuclear power plants, food processing plants and beverage manufacturers require that valves accurately monitor positions. Hall-effect rotary-position sensors are used to monitor position in large and small valves to help ensure that the valve is closed or if its open, how open.

HVAC damper control
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems use rotary position sensors for damper control. On a cold day, an open damper may feed cold air into a room, causing the HVAC system to engage heat. An open damper may feed air into a room that has open windows, reducing the systems efficiency and increasing heating and cooling costs. Effective use of Hall-effect rotary-position sensors, in conjunction with temperature sensors, allows the building manager to better control the HVAC system and reduce operating costs.

About the author
James McKenna is Product Director, Honeywell Sensing and Control EMEA.

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