Oxygen Sensor

Topics: Internal combustion engine, Gasoline, Catalytic converter Pages: 2 (637 words) Published: June 23, 2011

An oxygen sensor, or lambda sensor, is an electronic device that measures the proportion of oxygen (O2) in the gas or liquid being analyzed. It was developed by Robert Bosch GmbH during the late 1960s under supervision by Dr. Günter Bauman. The original sensing element is made with a thimble-shaped zirconia ceramic coated on both the exhaust and reference sides with a thin layer of platinum and comes in both heated and unheated forms. The most common application is to measure the exhaust gas concentration of oxygen for internal combustion engines in automobiles and other vehicles. There are many different ways of measuring oxygen and these include technologies such as zirconia, electrochemical (also known as Galvanic), infrared, ultrasonic and very recently laser. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Automotive applications:

Automotive oxygen sensors, colloquially known as O2 sensors, make modern electronic fuel injection and emission control possible. They help determine, in real time, if the air fuel ratio of a combustion engine is rich or lean. Since oxygen sensors are located in the exhaust stream, they do not directly measure the air or the fuel entering the engine. But when information from oxygen sensors are coupled with information from other sources, they can be used to indirectly determine the air-to-fuel ratio. Modern spark-ignited combustion engines use oxygen sensors and catalytic converters as part of an attempt by governments working with automakers to reduce exhaust emissions. Information on oxygen concentration is sent to the engine management computer or ECU, which adjusts the amount of fuel injected into the engine to compensate for excess air or excess fuel. The ECU attempts to maintain, on average, a certain air-fuel ratio (AFR) by interpreting the information it gains from the oxygen sensor. The primary goal is a compromise between power, fuel economy, and emissions, and in most cases is achieved by...
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