Capacitive Frost or Ice Detection Reference Design, Resolution of <1mm, Temperature Drift <0.25%
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Key Document


Frost and ice buildup on cooling bodies and evaporators can significantly decrease system energy efficiency in many appliance applications such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and freezers. This sensor reference design helps to achieve the more stringent energy efficiency requirements of modern appliances through reducing the number of unnecessary defrost cycles by sensing the amount of ice buildup (resolution of < 1mm) on enclosures and metal surfaces of cooling bodies to trigger defrost cycles only when necessary, versus the traditional defrost trigger method of using a timer or temperature sensor.

  • Resolution of < 1mm, temperature drift < 0.25%
  • Reduce energy by minimizing defrost cycle of melting ice or frost on evaporator coils to eliminate unnecessary defrost cycles
  • Fit for universal application in all types of refrigeration equipment with great sensitivity, high reliability, and low cost
  • Accurately sense thickness of ice or frost accumulated on surface of evaporating coils of refrigeration equipment

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TI Devices (3)

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Part Number Name Product Family Sample & Buy Design Kits & Evaluation Modules
FDC2214  4-Ch, 28-bit, capacitance to digital converter  Specialty sensors  Sample & Buy View Design Kits & Evaluation Modules
LP2985-N  150-mA, 16-V, low-dropout voltage regulator with enable  Power management  Sample & Buy View Design Kits & Evaluation Modules
MSP430F5528  25 MHz MCU with 128KB Flash, 8KB SRAM, 12-bit ADC, comparator, DMA, UART/SPI/I2C, USB, HW multiplier  Microcontrollers (MCUs)  Sample & Buy View Design Kits & Evaluation Modules

CAD/CAE symbols

Part # Package | Pins CAD File (.bxl) STEP Model (.stp)
FDC2214 Download Download
LP2985-N Download Download
MSP430F5528 Download Download
Download -
(ZQE) | 80 Download -

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Technical documentation

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User guide (1)
Title Type Size (KB) Date
PDF 10999 09 Aug 2017
Design files (6)
Title Type Size (KB) Date
ZIP 2141 20 Feb 2019
ZIP 1008 05 Sep 2017
PDF 672 05 Sep 2017
PDF 184 05 Sep 2017
PDF 33 05 Sep 2017
PDF 253 05 Sep 2017
Related Tools & Software

Reference Designs (1)

Hardware development (1)

Name Part Number Tool Type
FDC2214 with Two Capacitive Sensors Evaluation Module  FDC2214EVM  Evaluation board 

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