UK – Argentina: Cost effective Air Quality Monitoring in South America
How much of a threat is indoor air quality?
At South Coast Science we manufacture devices that solve your problems elegantly.
Many new air quality devices come to market stating (as a USP), that they can be configured to suit any application. To meet this need, these devices are equipped with software or hardware that is rarely required and this additional complexity results in a higher maintenance budget.
Our philosophy is to design and develop products around needs found in different market sectors, such as:
- Ambient air quality
- Dust monitoring
- Smart City
- Indoor air quality
- Odour monitoring
All products use the same sensor technology from Alphasense and the same data dashboard. In this way, each product is optimised for use in its intended application, so our customers do not pay for redundant functionality or infrastructure.
Ambient Air Quality Monitoring
EMSOL’s mission is to help their customers reduce transport pollution, with an online platform that enables companies to proactively take air quality action. The system provides the evidence needed to reduce pollution by delivering pollution breach data with attribution to specific vehicles.
This has been achieved through using our Praxis/Urban product and EMSOL now boast many applications around the City of London. According to EMSOL Operations Manager Ben Marston-Rydings, “the Praxis/Urban was chosen because of the ability to configure the unit to their customers’ requirements, as well as the comprehensive UK-based support offered. For our portfolio of geographically distributed sites, it is essential to use technology which is quick to deploy, robust and reliable for the duration of the project”.
Read more about monitoring of air pollution and construction site emissions here
Other examples of ambient monitoring:
Construction, for example, is one industry where this has created new compliance policy and monitoring is now an operational planning condition for construction sites in London and some City Councils. This is likely to become standard practice in other urban areas across the UK.
Fence-line monitoring for dust at construction sites provides an excellent example of an air quality monitoring application that has become common in recent years. The Praxis/Cube has been developed for monitoring dust (at three sizes pm1, pm2.5 & pm10) in a variety of industries including:
- Construction & demolition
- Mining & quarrying
- Cement & grain
The question of what is a ‘Smart City’ is not a new one and South Coast Science doesn’t believe a convincing answer has been widely agreed. ‘Smart’ can mean anything from ‘connected to the internet’ to ‘an improvement on what went before’. Our answer comes in the form of the new Praxis/Cube, which is a product destined for use in a smart environment, that is about pragmatic data gathering.
The Praxis/Cube has been developed for environmental health applications. Any product destined to be deployed at scale around a city for an extended period must be equipped with power, data and mechanical design specifications suitable for the environment in which it is to be used.
In essence this should include:
- Very robust housing
- Small format & easily mountable
- 4G comms
- Equipped with sensors for gas + pm + T + rH
- Local data storage
- Battery in the event of power loss
- Can accommodate wide T & rH conditions
Whilst multi-gas devices (like our Praxis/Urban) have their place, if investigations are required for perimeter monitoring of construction sites or simply to identify pollution hotspots, then bigger, more analytical devices may not be necessary. If roadside monitoring, or merely conducting a study to identify road boundaries for a low emission zone, this device is perfect.
Indoor Air Quality (in development)
Serviced office managers are, rightly, more concerned about indoor air quality than they’ve ever been. The need to control the spread of airborne pathogens, as well as a growing realisation that air quality can affect tenants’ productivity, are fuelling investment in indoor air quality management. South Coast Science has been contacted by many organisations who are keen to understand the complexities of internal air quality monitoring.
Customers may want to understand:
- Attribution – is pollution coming from outside, or being generated within the building?
- HVAC maintenance – are filters being replaced frequently enough, leading to lower air quality, or too frequently, leading to an opportunity for cost savings?
- Adaptive HVAC control – are there times when we do not need to filter the incoming air, or should not be drawing air into the building at all?
Accurate answers to the above questions rely on monitoring both outdoor (specifically at the building’s air intakes) and indoor air quality.
The Praxis/IAQ device for Indoor Air Quality monitoring is part of the South Coast Science technology roadmap and will be developed in accordance with the WELL building standard. This can be used together with either the Praxis/Urban or Praxis/Cube, so that both indoor and outdoor air can be comprehensively monitored and therefore managed.
For an overview of the growing body of best practice, see also the Opensensors/South Coast Science webinar, ‘how to use indoor air quality data to minimise the outbreak of COVID19’ here
Provisional specification follows.
The most accurate and flexible internal air quality monitoring device for real-time reporting.
- Up to four gases in any combination of CO, CO2, H2S, NO, NO2, O3, SO2 and undifferentiated VOCs.
- PM1, PM2.5 and PM10.
- Variable sampling rates with a frequency up to every five seconds.
- 4G mobile or ethernet comms for real-time data delivery to the cloud.
- Wide DC power input from 7 to 24 Volts, rechargeable battery sufficient to report loss of input power.
The exact specifications of the Praxis/IAQ are being refined in discussion with customers. South Coast Science invites further input.
Personal Exposure Monitoring
To monitor an individual’s exposure to pollution over the course of 24 hours, any monitoring device must be highly portable as it will travel with a person indoors and out, almost certainly via many modes of transport. The nature of personal exposure within urban environments dictate pollution targets and this is very commonly NOx and O3, plus particulates (pm1, pm2.5 and pm10).
A device such as this might be ‘on the move’ for several hours before being returned to base, therefore it should be capable of storing large amounts of data until it reconnects with a wi-fi network, at which time it automatically uploads the stored data. Alternatively, the user can opt to upload to the cloud in real time via a mobile phone hotspot.