Setra Particle Counter Differentiators and User Benefits

August 02, 2022

Setra’s comprehensive range of particle counters and air quality monitors are the most advanced, high-performance instruments available. This industry-leading position has developed from an enduring, intense focus on innovation and original intellectual property creation.

The outcome of these efforts has produced a unique system design approach and set of features and functions with numerous benefits for our customers.

When considering the multiple tasks required of an advanced particle counter, it becomes clear that highest performance requires the use of multiple processors working in parallel. To this end, all Setra particle counters are built upon a common hardware and firmware design approach referred to as the Intelligent Module Architecture.


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Intelligent Module Architecture - Do More, Concurrently

Unseen in the market before the introduction of this patented system design, Intelligent Module Architecture provides many improvements over existing offerings. For example, all the following tasks and more can be performed at the same time in tight synchronization:

  • Particle counter sampling and data recording
  • User instrument configuration
  • Instrument data downloads via USB
  • Providing data to an EMS system such as Setra CEMS Software
  • Generating up to 20 active web browser sessions

Our design also allows for uninterrupted communication with integrated internal smart subsystems such as a pump controller, photo-amplifier board, intelligent battery, environmental sensors, etc. These intelligent modules create an internal network within the instrument which allows for more extensive diagnostics and control. The modules also make it easier to service subsystems by simply swapping intelligent modules or upgrading them with new firmware as new features or capabilities become available. This increases the versatility and life-time value of the instrument.

Accurate Particle Mass Estimation

Particle mass estimation is another highly differentiated ability of Setra’s particle counters. The dedicated fast processing capacity of the particle sensor subsystem allows individual particle sizes within a channel to be estimated in real-time to derive a true average for a given sampling period. This number together with factors such as the index of refractivity and particulate density is used to derive an accurate particle mass estimate. Other systems simply count the number of particles per a particular channel, assume an average size and multiply by a constant to derive an often highly inaccurate particle mass estimate.

This significant advantage supports the use of Setra particle counters outside of cleanroom settings in more industrial applications such as environmental investigations, post remediation clearance testing and industrial health and safety applications for monitoring particulate matter (PM).

Intelligent Peripherals – Straightforward Adaptation and UpgradesScreenshot 2022-07-29 072759

Each subsystem in a Setra particle counter has its own local processing capability. All key functions operate independently and in parallel within the system. The various subsystems process data locally and pass data back to the main controllers for display or logging, providing a significant increase in performance for the system.

Setra architecture allows the swapping of subsystems to create different instruments with different feature sets without requiring extensive firmware or hardware changes to the system itself. For example, a user can replace a standard temperature/humidity sensor with a higher accuracy version of this sensor and the instrument will detect the change and adjust the displays accordingly to reflect the new sensor. Alternatively, the temperature humidity sensor could be replaced with a completely different sensor type (air velocity, differential pressure, CO, CO2, etc.) and the instrument would detect the change and reconfigure itself to display the appropriate sensor data. The user can also swap batteries, substituting the standard sized battery for a larger capacity model and the instrument would detect the change and adjust the char

ging and management accordingly.


Real-Time Meter - Easily Track Particles To Their SourceScreenshot 2022-07-29 072441

The Real-Time Meter provides a visual and auditory means of displaying count data using a histogram with a log scale that gives a relative indication of particulate traffic for each channel. The “Range” slider adjusts the sensitivity of the counters. The slider can be adjusted as the instrument moves nearer or further from the source of contamination to keep the maximum channel near the middle of the indication range. In this way, the Real-Time Meter provides strong visual and auditory feedback of the particulate data in real-time.

The feature can be used to visualize the particle rates of the data arriving at the instrument in real-time. It’s much simpler to visualize than viewing the numerical differential channel figures. The feature might be used by users to simply visualize the ratio of particles per channel arriving at the instrument in order to easily see the distribution of particles by size.

The range slider it is also a powerful tool for tracking particle events to their source. Adjusting the slider as the counts saturate the channel of interest, increases the local sensitivity of the instrument making it very useful for detecting small variations in particle counts for the channel of interest. This allows for ease in distinguishing small variations in counts and thereby more easily track the particles to their source.

Advanced Power Management - Ge

t more Runtime, Lifetime and Information from your Batteries

Setra particle counters incorporate battery technology that provides the longest runtimes available. In addition to advanced battery technology, the instruments also have sophisticated power management capabilities. Instruments can be configured to lower their power profile in various ways when the units are idle. This includes simple things like dimming the screen and putting various subsystems into sleep mode when not in use. The power management sub-system also includes the option of putting the entire instrument to sleep when idle between samples.

When Sleep Mode is configured, the instrument will go to sleep if the delay/hold times between samples are longer than a user-specified period. While asleep, the instrument will consume very little power and will consume a normal amount of power only when the instrument wakes up to sample. This can be done repeatedly to give very low overall power usage. Sleep Mode would typically be used when powered by the battery, with the unit placed in a long-term monitoring or audit situation. If the instrument slept half the time, the user could effectively double the battery life. If the instrument slept 90% of the time, the user could achieve up to 100 hours of battery life on a single charge.

In addition to high-capacity and power-management modes, the batteries have on-board processing that manages the battery’s safety, fuel gauge and cell balancing. These features improve the capacity and longevity of the battery pack by several years. The stored information remains within the battery. If the battery was to be moved from ins

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trument to instrument, the information is contained within the battery.

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Connection to Setra CEMS™ Software

Multiple Setra particle counters can be connected to Setra’s Continuous Environmental Monitoring System. These connections can be wired, wireless or a combination of both. For example, information from a number of fixed location wired particle counters can be easily integrated with information from wireless portable particle counters. Along with data collected from other environmental sensor types, CEMS provides a holistic view of the status or your cleanrooms and other critical spaces and assets.

All of this information can be reported on an automatically scheduled or on demand basis. Alerts and alarms are generated as critical parameters pass user defined thresholds and communicated via email and SMS to appropriate recipients.

Taken together, these features and many others set Setra particle counters far apart in the industry by providing exclusive functionality, enhanced user experience and lifecycle value.

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Topics: Critical Environments, Particle Counting, Cleanroom Monitoring, cleanroom environment, hardware and software cleanroom monitoring systems, cleanroom monitoring systems, particle counter