----------------------- Page 1----------------------HUMIDITY The term humidity means a quantitative indication of the amount of water vapor r etained by a gas or air

. Humidity Terms: Relative humidity (RH) is the percentage of water vapor by weight pre sent in a given volume of air or gas compared to the weight of water vapor present in the same v olume of air or gas saturated with water vapor, at the same temperature and pressure, i.e ., Specific humidity, humidity ratio, or absolute humidity can be defined as the mass of water vapor in a mixture in grains (where 7000 grains = 1 lb) divided by the mas s of dry air or gas in the mixture in pounds. The measurement units could also be in grams.

Where P (water vapor) is pressure and P (air or gas) is a partial pressure. The conversion factor between mass and pressure is 0.622. Dew point is the temperature at which condensation of the water vapor in a gas will take place as it is cooled at constant pressure, i.e., it is mperature at which the mixture becomes saturated and the mixture can no longer dissolve or hold the water vapor it contains. The water vapor will now start to condense out of the to form dew or a layer of water on the surface of objects present. Humidity measuring devices: Wet and Dry Bulb Psychrometer: Wet and dry bulb psychrometers are the most simple and common way of measuring humidity. This type of hygrometer uses two basic mercury thermometers, one with a wet bulb one with a dry bulb. Evaporation from the water on th e wet bulb causes its temperature reading to drop, causing it to show a lower temperature than the dry bulb. hemakumarb@pec.edu air or the te all of mixture

the two temperatures can be used with a psychrometric chart to obta in the relative humidity.Page 2----------------------- If the temperature of air is measured with a dry bulb thermometer an d a wet bulb thermometer. The constant K is given by . the lower the temperature of the wet bulb To prevent the air surrounding the wet bulb from saturating.Page 3----------------------The equation relating readings can be expressed as relative humidity and the two temperature and Where Psat = saturation partial vapor pressure Pt = total pressure K= a constant The temperatures are expressed in °F. hemakumarb@pec. hence. the more water evaporates and. The wet bulb temperature is taken a s soon as rotation stops before it can change. Water evaporates from the wet bulb trying to saturate the surrounding air. The energy needed for the water to evaporate cools the thermometer.edu ----------------------. and weight of water vapor in the air.----------------------. and then the dry bulb temperature is taken (which does not change). so that the dryer the day. which is a frame holding both the dry and wet thermometers that ca n rotate about a handle. heat content. The thermometers are rotated for 15 to 20 s. water vapor pressure. This can be achieved with a small fan or by using a sling psychrometer. there sh ould be some air movement around the wet bulb.

Moreover. calcium chloride. a number of such sensors are necessary to cover the full range. mak ing them extremely sensitive. or tin tetrachloride. dissociation takes place so the resistance between the two wires changes. a working te mperature range of 0 to 100°C. These sensors are very precise in design and construction. the sensor does not cover the full operating range of relative humidit y. and can be temperature compensated to g ive an accuracy of ±0. The main disadvantage of this sensor is th at error due to temperature is high. Another disadvanta ge is that the wires are prone to contamination.Page 4----------------------Capacitive Hygrometer The dielectric constant of certain thin polymer films changes linearly with humi dity. hemakumarb@pec. which make the m costlier . An AC circuit performs the measurement to avoid polarization. The accuracy of this tra nsducer is about ±1. The variation of resistance due to humidity is between 10 MΩ and 10 KΩ.Electrical Type of Humidity Meters Electrical humidity meters are based on sensors that undergo a variation of some electrical parameters such as resistance. phosphoric acid. conductance. Hence.5% (relative humidity).edu ----------------------. The electrodes are made of gold or gold-plated metals. When the hygroscopic material absorbs moisture from the air. so that the capacitance between two plates using the polymer as the dielectric is directly proportional to humidity. so they should be made of noble metals onl y. a fast response time. Resistive Hygrometer A resistance element type of relative humidity sensor consists of two wires woun d over an insulating former and a coating of hygroscopic materials like lithium chloride. and capacitance.5 percent over the full humidity range. The capacitive device has good longevity. zinc chloride.

As the bobbin heats. Therefore the current responsible for electrolysis becomes proportional to the relative humidity of air. The bobbin is coated with a dilute solution of lith ium chloride. The system reac equilibrium rate of the hygroscopic material when the moisture absorption equals the rate of electrolytic decomposition. and the fact that it provides a fundamental measurement. water evaporates from the salt at a rate which is controlled by the vapour pressure of water in the surrounding air. In addition.than other types. low cost. the resistance of the salt solution increases causing less current to flow through the winding and allowing the bobbin to cool. Its popularity stems from its simplicity.edu ----------------------. hemakumarb@pec. DEW CELL: Saturated Salt Lithium Chloride Sensor The saturated salt lithium chloride sensor has been one of the most widely used dew point sensors. a change in temperature tends to change the c alibration of the device. An alternating current is passed through the winding and the salt solutio n causing resistive heating. the absorbed moisture is electrolyze H2 and and hence a measurable electrolytic current flows. The response of this device is slower than other tw o devices previously mentioned. This heating and cooling of the bob . The test air is then passed through the tube at a rate of about 100 cm3/min.Page 5----------------------The sensor consists of a bobbin covered with an absorbent fabric and a bifilar w inding of inert electrodes. When d to O hes 2 the cell is energized by a DC voltage. As the bobbin begins to dry out. Electrolytic Hygrometer The electrolytic humidity sensor consists of two platinum wires wound over an in sulating tube made of Teflon or Neopherene in duplex helix winding form. durability . The space betwee n the windings is filled up with a hygroscopic compound like phosphorous pen toxide.

which occurs at about % RH. electrolytic.edu ----------------------. a mirror is constructed from a material with go od thermal . or oxide sensors should be considered. it can easily be cle aned and recharged with lithium chloride. At this temperature.bin reaches an equilibrium point where it neither takes on nor gives off wa ter. the mass of water on the surface is ne ither increasing (too cold a surface) nor decreasing (too warm a surface). The sensor cannot be used to measure dew points when the vapour pressu re of water is below the saturation vapour pressure of lithium chloride. The limitations of the technology are a relatively slow r esponse time and a lower limit of the measurement range which is imposed by the nature of the lithium chloride. This value is measured using a platinum resistance th ermometer (PRT) and output directly as a Dew point temperature. If a saturated salt sensor becomes contaminated.Page 6----------------------Commercial type dew point meter: The measurement of the water vapor content of a gas by the dew-point technique i nvolves chilling a surface. This equilibrium temperature is directly proportional to the water vapour pressure or d ew point of the surrounding air. usually a metallic mirror. In the chilled-mirror technique. rugged. condensation-type. hemakumarb@pec. They are typical ly used for the following applications: • • • • • For Refrigeration controls Dryers Dehumidifiers Air line monitoring Pill coaters range applications requiring greater accuracy and/or a wider of measurement. Saturated salt sensors are an attractive proposition when a lo w cost. to the temperature at which water on the mirror surface is in equilibrium with the water vapor pressure in the gas sample above the surface. slow responding and moderately accurate sensor is required.

and properly plated with an in ert metal such as iridium.edu . the photo detector output also decreases.. and the reflected light is scattered. 0o C. This in turn controls the thermoelectric heat pu mp via an analog or digital control system that maintains the mirror temperature at the de w point. rubidium.edu ----------------------. i.e.Page 7----------------------- hemakumarb@pec. If the mirror is controlled to an equilibrium condition above the ice point. As the gas sample flows over the chilled mirror. nickel. or gold to prevent tarnishing and oxidation. A precision miniature platinum resistance thermometer (PRT) properly embedd ed in the mirror monitors the mirror temperature at the established dew point. As the amount of reflected ligh t decreases. the sensor is measuring the dew point. is aimed at the mirror sur face and a photo detector monitors reflected light.conductivity such as silver or copper. dew droplets form on the mirror surface. hemakumarb@pec. ty pically from a solid-state broadband light emitting diode. The mirr or is chilled using a thermoelectric cooler until dew just begins to form. A beam of light.

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