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Advantages of Alcohol sensor | Disadvantages of Alcohol sensor

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Alcohol sensor and its basics. It mentions benefits or advantages of Alcohol sensor and drawbacks or disadvantages of Alcohol sensor.

Introduction: Alcohol is the element usually found in liquor, beer or wine. It is also known as ethanol. When person drinks such liquids, alcohol gets absorbed in the blood. If it is taken in more quantity, person feels intoxicated or drowsiness. Person driving in such condition leads to fatal accidents resulting into death.

What is Alcohol sensor?

The small semiconductor device which detects presence of alcohol gas in the air is known as alcohol sensor or alcohol detector. MQ3 and MQ135 are the common alcohol sensors commonly found for use. MQ-3 is used for various applications such as breath analyzer, portable alcohol detection, background sensing device, gas level over limit alarm, environmental monitoring equipment and so on.

Alcohol Sensor

The figure-1 depicts MQ-3 alcohol sensor. As shown it has four pins viz. AOUT, DOUT, VCC and GND. AOUT stands for Analog Output which has 0 to 5 V range based on intensity of gas. DOUT stands for Digital Output in TTL form to deliver binary 0 and 1 correspond to 0.1 V and 5V respectively. DOUT provides output which is proportional to AOUT. Due to these pins, the sensor can be easily connected with arduino board or microcontroller circuit.

Alcohol Sensor working

MQ-3 sensor uses SnO2 material which offers low conductivity in fresh air. When alcohol gas exists, the conductivity of sensor increases. In other words, resistance of sensor reduced when alcohol concentration increases. It provides analog output based on alcohol concentration in the air. The figure-2 shows lighting of LED when alcohol is brought near to the sensor.

Benefits or advantages of Alcohol sensor

Following are the benefits or advantages of Alcohol sensor:
➨It is available at cheaper price.
➨It has long life cycle.
➨It offers high stability.
➨It has high sensitivity which results into faster response time.
➨It needs simple drive circuit and it is simple to use.
➨It is easy to interface with microcontrollers.
➨Alcohol sensor based car protects you when you are drunk. During such condition, your other family member can drive. Moreover it will protect your car from unauthorized access.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Alcohol sensor

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Alcohol sensor:
➨Breath analyzers using alcohol detection are available at high prices. Moreover they have shorter lifetime.
➨Breath analyzers require continuous re-calibration.

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