Technical

Spook indoor CO2 and air quality remote monitoring service

Ventilation and air quality monitoring including CO2 for Covid-19 and other aerosol related infections.

Ventilation and air conditioning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Following many months of Coronavirus upheaval, employees are returning to work in ever increasing numbers. This is also the case for schools, colleges and universities as students and staff return for their studies.

Managing the CO2 levels in any enclosed space has become even more important due to the pandemic and employers as well as educational management owe it to their staff and pupils to ensure efficient airflow and monitoring systems are in place to mitigate any CO2 buildup which could be detrimental to health and also affect productivity.

Managing natural air flow in busy rooms is more straight forward during the warmer summer months as windows and doors can be left open. However, natural ventilation is more problematic during the winter.

The HSE (Health & Safety Executive) states that organisations need to ensure that indoor areas that have a high influx of people, such as offices, education establishments and other internal areas must make sure there's an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation).

This can be achieved by natural or mechanical ventilation. This has not changed during the pandemic.

More information relating to HSE ventilation guidance is availablehere.

Natural ventilation

Natural ventilation using windows, doors and vents allows for a room to be supplied fresh air directly from the outside without the need of mechanical equipment.

Mechanical ventilation

A mechanical ventilation system with a fresh air intake ensures that CO2 and other contaminates are removed quickly and replaced with clean air.

Swift identification of poorly ventilated areas

There are many ways to identify poorly ventilated areas however there are three main protagonists that should be easily considered:

1

No natural or mechanical ventilation

If an area where people work or spend extended periods of time have neither natural or mechanical ventilation then there is a risk of contaminated air not being removed and an increase chance of exposing them to airborne pathogens.

2

No outdoor air supply

If a rooms air is supplied by a mechanical ventilation system that either has no outdoor air supply or is set to incorrectly recirculate a large percentage of air, the risk of exposure is similar to a room that doesn't have any ventilation.

3

Stuffy of bad smell

A room that feels stuffy or has a lingering bad smell is a good indication that it lacks adequate ventilation due to the lack of fresh air.

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OmniWatch monitoring

In 2020 Spook was the winner of the 'Specialist Technology Company of the Year' award for its OmniWatch remote monitoring service and is seen as a market leader in bespoke remote environmental and power monitoring solutions.

Monitoring indoor air quality is a natural progression by Spook to extend monitoring to CO2 and other key sensors for monitoring internal areas.

OmniWatch CO2 monitoring

OmniWatch provides accurate real time measurements of indoor CO2 concentration levels and other key metrics such as temperature, humidity, light level and PIR motion detection.

Readings are collected at set levels throughout the day and sent to Spook's secure, remote servers, hosted by AWS.

Access to OmniWatch's bespoke secure digital dashboards is easily available to authorised users on any internet enabled device.

Designed to be the central repository for all things monitored, the dashboards are bespoke to each customer and come pre-configured for easy navigation, reporting and alerting.

A study by Harvard showed that being exposed to CO2 levels of 950ppm for more than 20 minutes can cause a drop in concentration of up to 15% and up to 50% in areas of 1400ppm.

Building A Floor 1

Room 101

Room 102

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Room 105

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Room 109

Room 110

Building A Floor 2

Room 201

Room 202

Room 203

Room 204

Room 205

Room 206

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Room 209

Room 210

New to monitoring

Spook supplied CO2 and air quality sensors all arrive preconfigured and calibrated so they are ready to go out of the box.

Each sensor comes with a variety of mounting options ranging from nonintrusive mobile devices up to securely attaching the units using secure mounting plates for static and permanent installations.

Batteries are included and are monitored by Spook for easy battery replacement management.

Out of the box

Preconfigured

Calibrated

Batteries included

Spook recommended sensors

The HSE recommends the use of non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) CO2 sensors and Spook is happy to advise on the various types available.

CO2 monitoring

  • CO2 (NDIR)
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • PIR/motion detection
  • Light
  • Traffic light system

Air quality monitoring

  • CO2 (NDIR)
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • PIR/motion detection
  • Light
  • TVOC
  • Barometric pressure
  • E-ink display
  • Local alarm display

How to install a CO2 sensor

Sensors should be mounted within the breathing zone which is 4-6ft above the floor on an internal wall.

For industrial CO2 sensors should be mounted in the floor zone which is 6 inches above the floor.

If possible position the sensor near the center of the room being monitored using a pillar or other permanent structure.

Sensors should be positioned away from sources of ventilation (natural and mechanical) as well as heating equipment to stop false values being recorded.

Sensors should not be located within 50cm of where people sit or work as this can also cause artificially inflated readings to be produced.

Existing monitoring

Sensor technology

OmniWatch is designed to work with any type of network attached CO2 sensor, however, LoRaWAN technology is the most common standard in current use.

Spook is also happy to monitor sensors already installed by customers as OmniWatch is designed to be manufacturer and protocol independent.

Additional sensors to suppliment CO2 monitoring

Additional sensor types can be used to support CO2 or air quality monitoring to increase insight into the monitored areas.

O3 sensor

NO sensor

NO2 sensor

SO2 sensor

CO sensor

Window sensor

Door sensor

Activity detection

PM2.5 detection

TVOC sensor

CO2 and air quality monitoring made easy

Monitoring CO2 and air quality using hand held meters is a time consuming activity that requires labour, time and resource to complete.

The problem is amplified the larger an area is that requires monitoring as more sampling is required to take into account the areas increase in mass.

Automated monitoring

The HSE recommends that measurements are taken at key times through the working day for at least a full day to attempt to represent CO2 levels during normal use and occupancy.

With Spook's CO2 monitoring solution sensors are placed throughout the building in key areas and sensor readings are automatically collected every 10 minutes.

This creates a more accurate picture of ventilation efficiency and can be left in situ to capture data for rooms that have fluctuating occupancy levels.

Data collected typically includes the CO2 concentration (ppm), temperature, humidity, occupancy and light level along with the time and date.

Enterprise centric

At its core OmniWatch centralises data collection from multiple sources and presents access securely via any internet enabled device 24/7.

Digital dashboards are designed to display all important information quickly and easily; sensors can be grouped by geographical location for instant insight into a buildings air quality or extrapolated to understand the minutiae of air quality down to room level.

Critical alerting

Sensors for CO2 monitoring come in all shapes and sizes and all have differing levels of monitoring capabilities. However, Spook recommended sensors include local alerting capabilities such as traffic light systems or buzzers to inform people locally within the area if the levels get too high.

Additionally Spook sensors can be updated centrally for onboard sensor management and remotely updated to reflect changes in requirements for monitoring. This is ideal for users with lots of CO2 sensors and saves valuable time and resource in the event changes need to be applied.

Alongside this users are easily able to set alarm trip values on sensors within OmniWatch in order to receive alerts for areas of concern by email, SMS and UK call centre.

More about alerting

Historical data

OmniWatch has been designed to store all data in perpetuity unlike conventional data loggers that overwrite old readings with new ones after a period of time.

With full access to all historical data users can audit changes in air quality during different times of the year taking into account seasonal changes and during poor weather when the use of natural ventilation can be limited.

Measuring sensors over a long time frame enables a more thorough understanding of indoor air quality and its associated impact to people and their welfare.

More about reporting

Get in touch with Spook

For more information on how Spook can help monitor your CO2 levels please get in touch.

Contact us