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Performance advantage and application field analysis of photoelectric sensor

Author: Apogeeweb
Date: 19 Dec 2017


The photoelectric sensor is the sensor which USES the photoelectric element as the detecting element. It first converts the measured changes into light signals, and then USES the photoelectric element to further convert the light signals into electrical signals.In this article,we will introduce what is a photoelectric; including photoelectric performance advantage and application field analysis of photoelectric sensor and etc in great detail.



I What is a photoelectric

II Advantages of Photoelectric Sensor

III Photoelectric Sensor Application

IV Rain Wise photoelectric sensor Example

  4.1 Rain Wise photoelectric sensor - ms-802,ms-802f

  4.2 The Rain Wise photosensor silicon sensor - ML - 01

V Photoelectric Sensor Types and Its Basic Operating Modes

  5.1 The laser beam sensor

  5.2 Reflection sensor

  5.3 Diffuse sensor

VI Application status and development trend of sensor technology in automobiles

  6.1 Application of sensor application technology in automobile

  6.2 Air intake sensor

VII Conclusion



I What is a photoelectric

The photoelectric sensor is generally composed of two parts, the optical pathway and the photoelectric processing element. The basic principle is based on the photoelectric effect, converting the measured changes into optical signal changes, and then using the photoelectric element to further convert non-electrical signals into electrical signals. The photoelectric effect is to illuminate an object with light, it can be regarded as a series of a certain energy photon bombardment on the object, the photon energy is passed to the electronics, and total energy of a photon is one-time absorption by an electron. When the electron gets the energy transferred by the photon, the state will change, so that the object that is exposed to the light produces the corresponding electric effect.


II Advantages of Photoelectric Sensor

The performance advantages of the photoelectric sensor are following:

  • 1.Long detection distance. Other detection methods can be realized by retaining the detection distance of more than 10m in the projective type.

  • 2.Less restrictions on object detection caused by to detect objects shading and reflection to detect the original, so unlike proximity sensors will detect objects such as specified in the metal, it can be to glass. Plastics. Timber. Almost all of the objects, such as liquid for testing.

  • 3.Short response time. Light is high speed, and the sensor circuit is made up of electronic parts, so it does not include mechanical working time.

  • 4.High resolution. High resolution can be achieved through advanced design techniques in light beam sets in small points of light, or through the formation of special optical optics system. It can also be used for detection of small objects and high accuracy of position detection.

  • 5.Non-contact detection can be achieved. The detection of objects can be detected without mechanical contact, so there is no damage to the detection of objects and sensors. So sensors can be used for a long time.

  • 6.It can realize color discrimination By detecting objects formed by light of firing rate and absorption rate according to be cast light wavelength of light and color combinations and different test objects Use of this nature, can detect the color of the object for testing.

  • 7.Easy to adjust. In the type of projection light, the beam of light is visible to the eye, making it easier to adjust the position of the object.


III Photoelectric Sensor Application

The application field of photoelectric sensor is as follows:

  • Barcode scanning pencil

When scanning written on the bar code mobile, if meet with black lines, led light will be absorbed by the black line, the phototransistor can’t receives reflected light and is high impedance and is in the cut-off state. When the white space is encountered, the light emitted by the light-emitting diode is reflected to the base of the photosensitive triode, which produces a photocurrent and leads to the optical current. After the barcode is scanned, light activated triode will barcode deformation electrical pulse signal, the signal after amplification, plastic forming pulse train, then through computer processing, complete the recognition of bar code information.

  • Smoke turbidity monitor

Preventing industrial dust pollution is one of the important environmental tasks. In order to eliminate industrial smoke and dust pollution, the first thing to know is soot emission. Therefore, the smoke source must be monitored, automatically displayed and exceeded. The smoke turbidity in the flue is detected by the amount of light in the flue. If the flue turbidity increases light source the light is absorbed by dust particles and refraction increased, arrived in the light of the optical detector to reduce, thus the strength of the optical detector output signal can reflect the change of the flue turbidity.

  • Photoelectric smoke detector

When there is no smoke, the light emitted by the light-emitting diode is transmitted straight and the photoelectric triode does not receive the signal. When there is no output, when there is smoke, the light emitted by the light-emitting diode is refracted by the smoke particles, so that the transistor receives the light, has the signal output and sends the alarm.

  • Measured Speed

On the axis of rotation of motor with black and white two colors, turns, the reflected light alternates with the unreflected light, photoelectric sensor correspondingly discontinuous receiving light reflection signal, and output of electrical signals, then through the amplifier amplification plastic and plastic circuit output pulse signal, and finally by the electronic digital display the output of the motor speed. Finally work collects small make up to introduce the most advanced, is also sell like hot cakes in the two model of photoelectric sensor, imported from the United States over the top of photoelectric sensor, quality and performance is absolutely high quality.


IV Rain Wise photoelectric sensor Example

4.1 Rain Wise photoelectric sensor - ms-802,ms-802f

Rain Wise photoelectric sensor - ms-802,ms-802f

Ms - 802 standard pyran meter is to measure the ultimate reference of global solar sensors, with the highest accuracy of irradiance, its solid brass mechanical structure, make it a durable sensor suitable for use in harsh environment, Ms-802 is used as a standard for PV research and climate research, Ogy's research around the world, combined with the sun tracker (STR series) or manual shading ring (rsr-01), is the global normal incidence (GNI) and diffuse (DHI) irradiance can be measured. Ms-802f is the ms-802 integrated ventilator unit to improve the performance of various environmental conditions (to prevent or reduce the effects of dew, rain, snow, ice and dust). Features of Rain Wise photoelectric sensor ms-802 and ms-802f:

  • Secondary standard daily ejection intensity meter.

  • Quick response time (95% is less than 5S)

  • Temperature compensation

  • Wide Temperature Range

  • High quality optical glass dome

  • Appropriate cosine response

  • Ms-802f is ms-802 and has 110 vacuum cleaners / 12 VDC ventilation systems

  • Prevent any possible effects, frost, snow and dust


Rain Wise photoelectric sensor ms-802 and ms-802f parameters:



ISO 9060 classification

secondary standard

response time(sec)95%


Zero error thermal radiation(200w/m^2)


Zero point error temperature change(5k/hr)






orientation response(in 1000w/m^2)


spectral selectivity(0.35—1.5μm)


Provisional Response(50个c band)


tilt response( in 1000w/m^2)



about 7


about 500


-40 to +80

UV Temp(W/m2)

0 – 4000 w^2

cable length


wavelength coverage

285 to 3000 nm

4.2 The Rain Wise photosensor silicon sensor - ML - 01

The Rain Wise photosensor silicon sensor - ML - 01

The ML-01 silicon sensor is a link to the reference unit and the broadband thermoelectric pyrometer. Compared with the reference sensor, it has the proper cosine value and is relatively compact, but there are several sides that are identical to the photovoltaic module (response time, spectrum, and temperature response). The ml-01 is an industrial-grade solar sensor designed for performance ratio measurement and used as irradiance measurement for meteorological, agricultural and environmental studies. The compact size of the sensor body makes it easy to integrate with any application or without a panel.


For global horizontal measurement applications, sensors can install horizontal and standard detachable mounting boards and mental and horizontal feet. A single silicon detector with ultraviolet radiation is also given a cosine in response to the Angle at low solar elevation. Because of the effect of the cone, the minimum geometry of the deposition or water deposition on the diffusion surface. Ml - 01 according to applicable to international calibration method of the PV calibration reference cells (25 ° C / AM1.5G 1000 w/m2 AAA solar simulator (IEC 60904-3).


All EKO trade radiation sensors can be traced to the world radiation reference (WRR). The sensor's low output voltage can be easily converted to 4-20ma current or higher voltage ms-4.. 20ma converter. The mV/mA converter can be programmed and optimized in the program to be compatible with universal measuring devices. Rain Wise photoelectric sensor Silicon sensor ML-01 characteristics is as following:

  • 1.Quick response time (10ms)

  • 2.CIE ADAPTS to light

  • 3.Glass dome plus discouraging optics

  • 4.Low temperature dependence

Rain Wise photoelectric sensor silicon sensor l-01 parame



ISO 9060 classification


response time(sec)95%

<1 ms

Zero error thermal radiation

0 W/m^2

Zero point error temperature change

0 W/m^2





orientation response(0  80°)


spectral selectivity(0.351.5μm)Si

Si-The light sensitive pole response

Provisional Response(50个c band


tilt response in 1000w/m^2)






UV Temp(℃)

-30 + 70

cable length


wavelength coverage

400  1100(monocrystal)



Finally, let’s look at a video to understand what is the photoelectric sensor.


V Photoelectric Sensor Types and Its Basic Operating Modes

There are three kinds of photoelectric sensors are used in industry, namely, laser beam sensor, reflection sensor and diffuse sensor. The basic function of all kinds of sensors is to detect objects, or measure the distance between objects. In manufacturing, they provide real-time information that can be fed back to the CPU to help keep the process running smoothly. The photoelectric sensor can be widely used in automation industry with other proximity sensors (such as sensor sensors, capacitive sensors and ultrasonic sensors). Its non-contact object detection function makes it an ideal choice for the current process leading industry, which is applicable to all kinds of shell sensors, such as cylinder, block and cube, and has various sizes. Engineers can match the individual parts of the process with the best ones.

5.1 The laser beam sensor

Correlation beam sensors is considered the most reliable forms of light sensor, the principle is based on two separate enclosure, one for the transmitter, the other one for the receiver, transmitter provides continuous beam to the receiver. Each time an object passes through a beam of light, it interrupts the path between the transmitter and the receiver, prompting the receiver send an electrical signal to the output terminal. Whatever the color or Angle movement, the projective beam sensor can detect almost any object and is suitable for long distance sensing.

Note: For the laser beam sensor, the optical calibration of the transmitter and receiver is critical before starting to operate. The transmitter and receiver require two reverse mounting points, which must be carefully calibrated for longer distances.


5.2 Reflection sensor

Compared with the laser beam sensor, the installation of the reflection sensor is simple and time-consuming, so the reflection sensor is more widely used in the industry. The transmitter and receiver are mounted in the same enclosure and require the reflector to be placed across the sensor. The principle is similar to a shooting beam, which begins when a beam of light between the transmitter and receiver is interrupted.


When there is an object, the reflector reflects the beam back to the sensor, the beam is interrupted, and the sensor sends an electrical signal to the output

Note: Highly reflective objects (such as aluminum cans) require a polarized light filter. Many sensors are usually equipped with polarizing filters, but check them out. For these sensors, the aluminum can reflect light different from the reflected light of the reflector. Because the filter in the receiver does not recognize the light emitted by aluminum cans, the sensors can detect aluminum cans. When using a polarizing filter, make sure the reflector is also a polarizing type. There are also reflective sensors for special transparent objects.


5.3 Diffuse sensor

The diffuse sensor only needs to install a device, so it is easy to install. This is because the transmitter and receiver are inside the same enclosure. Unlike the reflection sensor, the diffuse sensor does not require the reflector to operate. In a predetermined sensing range, the diffuse sensor uses the object's reflection.

Diffuse sound transmitter beam, hitting the target, the beam will be diffused in all directions, some part of the beam is reflected back, and identified by receiver, and receiver to electrical signals sent to the output.

Note: Background modulated sensors are range from adjustable sensing, particularly useful for industry because they can ignore reflective background objects to ensure that only objects within the sensing range are detected.


Industry relies heavily on sensors to monitor all aspects of the industrial process. For example, Japan Omron, France Schneider, Pepperl+Fuchs, SICK in Germany, BAUMER, TURCK and Bonner companies in the United States, and many other top brands, the ongoing development of sensors, to meet the increasing industrial demand.

The smaller shell and the faster response frequency and the improved function continuously improve the application capacity, thus more effectively realizing the automation process.

The sensors are at the forefront of automation and will continue to be seen as an important part of the industrial process by the control engineers.



VI Application status and development trend of sensor technology in automobiles

6.1 Application of sensor application technology in automobile

Nowadays, an important technical feature of automobile development is the increasing use of electronic control system in the parts of cars. But as long as it is something that USES electronic control systems, the presence of sensors is essential, such as GPS navigation, automatic transmissions, engines and so on. Car use sensors to the pressure, the volume of car system, acceleration, position, vibration, rotation speed, temperature and other useful information to accurately, real-time control and measurement, also can greatly increases the comfort of the car, it plays a key role in the safety of the car.


In the course of driving, many parts of the car are under pressure at work. Pressure sensor is the main function of testing within the oil pressure, cylinder pressure, and turbine engine booster than, atmospheric pressure and negative pressure cylinder, etc., to detect the main purpose is to guarantee the safety of the car, the normal driving. Pressure sensors can transform the pressure of a liquid or gas into an electrical signal, transmitting it to the ECU for easy control and monitoring.


In the automotive electronic control system, there are two kinds of pressure sensors - pressure resistance - resistance strain gauge pressure sensor and semiconductor pressure resistance effect type pressure sensor. When the pressure is higher, usually using resistance strain gauge pressure sensors, in contrast, at the time of low pressure, usually is the use of semiconductor piezoresistive effect type pressure sensor.


In addition to these two, the automobile also has SAW (surface elastic wave), LVDT (differential transformer type) and capacitor type when using the pressure sensor. SAW the characteristics of the pressure sensor is a digital output, high resolution, high sensitivity, high reliability, low power consumption, lightweight, small size, it is able to work under the condition of high temperature stability, the suction valve of the pressure, that can detect automobile pressure sensor is a kind of ideal. The characteristics of LVDT pressure sensors are easy to digital output, large output, and poor anti-interference. The capacitance type of his force transducer is characterized by good environmental adaptability, good dynamic response and high input energy. It can detect pressure, hydraulic pressure and negative pressure, and the range of measurement is 20-100kpa.


6.2 Air intake sensor

On the vehicle electronic control system, the air inlet sensor is used to detect the amount of air the engine can absorb. The main parameters determined by the basic ignition timing and basic fuel amount are the engine speed and air intake. The air intake will have a great impact on the engine's work. When the vehicle USES the air intake sensor, it has the Carmen vortex type, hot-wire type, thermal film type, blade type and so on. The air inlet sensor is usually installed between the throttle body and the air filter.


The method that the engine detects air intake can be used in the method of velocity density, mass flow and so on. In the present commonly used method is quality method, the principle of this method is to measure the amount of air inhaled directly using the air flow meter, the standard is calculated by measuring the air flow rate ratio on engine speed ratio. Here we need to talk something about Revolution speed transducer.


The most representative of the sensor is the speed sensor, which can detect the speed of the wheel and the crankshaft speed of the engine, which can deduce the speed of the car's operation. The main parameters determined by the basic ignition timing and basic fuel amount are the engine speed and air intake. Speed will have a great effect on the work of the engine. At present, the automobile has semiconductor magnetic transistor type, optical type, reed switch, hall effect type, magnetic resistance type and alternator type. There are many kinds of speed sensors, which have sensitive power transmission shafts, which have the sensitive differential rotation of the moving shaft and the rotation of the sensitive wheels. When the speed is more than 100 km/h, the general method will have a lot of error, it need to adopt at this moment is contact photoelectric speed sensor, the precision of the sensors is big, small error.



VII Conclusion

A core part of the study of the automotive electronic control system is the sensor application technology, and constantly toward intelligent, multi-functional, the direction of miniaturization, integration, automobile sensor has great market prospect.



1. Where are photoelectric sensors used?

Checking objects on production lines or conveyors: photoelectric sensors can detect items' sizes to spot any errors, or simply spot their absence, as well as picking up problems like misaligned caps on bottles. They are widely used in the food and pharmaceutical industries, and in packaging plants.


2. What are the advantages of the photoelectric sensor?

It has longer life. It has a long sensing range and very reliable. It has a very fast response time. It is less costly.


3. How do photoelectric sensors detect the presence of objects?

A Photoelectric Sensor consists primarily of an Emitter for emitting light and a Receiver for receiving light. When emitted light is interrupted or reflected by the sensing object, it changes the amount of light that arrives at the Receiver. The Receiver detects this change and converts it to an electrical output.


4. How are photoelectric sensors used?

A photoelectric sensor emits a light beam (visible or infrared) from its light-emitting element. A reflective-type photoelectric sensor is used to detect the light beam reflected from the target. A thru beam-type sensor is used to measure the change in light quantity caused by the target crossing the optical axis.


5. What are the three types of photoelectric devices?

There are three major types of photoelectric sensors: thru-beam, retroreflective, and diffused.


6. What are the two basic components of a photoelectric sensor?

Basically, there are two major components in the photoelectric sensor. They are a transmitter (light source) and receiver (sensor).


7. What are the three basic parts of the photoelectric sensor?

A photoelectric sensor is constructed of a light source, light receiver, the main circuit, and an output circuit, and the parts have the following functions respectively. The photodiodes and phototransistors of the light receiver receive the light emitted from the light source and convert it to an electrical signal.


8. How do you test a photoelectric sensor?

The easiest way to determine how your photocell works is to connect a multimeter in resistance-measurement mode to the two leads and see how the resistance changes when shading the sensor with your hand, turning off lights, etc. Because the resistance changes a lot, an auto-ranging meter works well here.


9. What are the disadvantages of the photoelectric effect?

It doesn't apply to all elements. It is limited to a certain temperature range. It doesn't take into account energy lost.


10. What are the applications of the photoelectric effect?

Applications of the photoelectric effect brought us 'electric eye' door openers, light meters used in photography, solar panels and photostatic copying.



Book Recommendation

  • Photoelectric Sensors and Controls: Selection and Application, First Edition (Mechanical Engineering) 

--Scott Juds (Author)

  • The 2018-2023 World Outlook for Photoelectric Sensors

This study covers the world outlook for photoelectric sensors across more than 190 countries. For each year reported, estimates are given for the latent demand, or potential industry earnings (P.I.E.), for the country in question (in millions of U.S. dollars), the percent share the country is of the region, and of the globe. These comparative benchmarks allow the reader to quickly gauge a country vis-à-vis others. Using econometric models which project fundamental economic dynamics within each country and across countries, latent demand estimates are created. This report does not discuss the specific players in the market serving the latent demand, nor specific details at the product level.


--Icon Group International (Author)

  • Photoelectric sensors and application technology(Chinese Edition)

Pub Date: 2015-01-01 Pages: 300 Language: Chinese Publisher: Electronic Industry Press book editor for many years engaged in research and photoelectric sensing technology and its applications is based on the latest research editor in the field of optical sensing technology results. with reference to the latest developments in recent years. photoelectric sensing technology. focuses on the basic theory of optical sensing systems involved light (radiation) source. photoconductive devices. junction photovoltaic devices. optical emission devices. optical imaging devices. Typical applications for the flat panel display and a variety of optoelectronic devices. The book is rich in content. clear concept will lead readers to correctly grasp the basic principles of photoelectric sensors. the use of design ideas and methods and techniques and photovoltaic testing system. 

--HAO XIAO JIAN (Author)



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