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


Design files


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
??image.gallery.download_en_US?? View video with transcript Video

A fully assembled board has been developed for testing and performance validation only, and is not available for sale.

Design files & products

Design files

Download ready-to-use system files to speed your design process.

TIDUD79.PDF (10999 K)

Reference design overview and verified performance test data


Detailed schematic diagram for design layout and components


Complete listing of design components, reference designators, and manufacturers/part numbers


Detailed overview of design layout for component placement

TIDRSJ2.ZIP (1008 K)

Files used for 3D models or 2D drawings of IC components


Design file that contains information on physical board layer of design PCB


PCB layer plot file used for generating PCB design layout


Includes TI products in the design and potential alternatives.

Linear & low-dropout (LDO) regulators

LP2985-N150-mA, 16-V, low-dropout voltage regulator with enable

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
MSP430 microcontrollers

MSP430F552825 MHz MCU with 128KB Flash, 8KB SRAM, 12-bit ADC, comparator, DMA, UART/SPI/I2C, USB, HW multiplier

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
Signal conditioners

FDC22144-Ch, 28-bit, capacitance to digital converter

Data sheet: PDF | HTML

Technical documentation

= Top documentation selected by TI
No results found. Please clear your search and try again.
View all 2
Type Title Date
* Design guide Capacitive Frost or Ice Detection Reference Design—Resolution of < 1 mm Aug. 09, 2017
Technical article Accurate frost or ice detection based on capacitive sensing PDF | HTML Mar. 01, 2018

Related design resources

Hardware development

FDC2214EVM FDC2214 with Two Capacitive Sensors Evaluation Module

Reference designs

TIDA-00754 Smart lighting & backlight control by ambient light & noise-immune proximity sensor reference design

Support & training

TI E2E™ forums with technical support from TI engineers

View all forum topics

Content is provided "as is" by TI and community contributors and does not constitute TI specifications. See terms of use.

If you have questions about quality, packaging or ordering TI products, see TI support. ​​​​​​​​