USE CASES


School

Monitoring CO2 against
Covid-19


Background

In school classrooms the air quality is often poor, due to the small size of the rooms, the large number of students and insufficient ventilation. Poor air quality is primarily associated with a high concentration of carbon dioxide, as well as suboptimal humidity and temperature values. Considering that, as reported by the Ministry of Health website, it is estimated that 15% of the population, equal to about 10,000,000 people that study or work every day in about 45,000 public buildings throughout the country, from 4 to 8 hours a day, indoor air quality becomes a determining factor for the health of students and workers and especially for the most vulnerable groups such as children, adolescents and allergic and asthmatic subjects.

Challenge

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an odorless and tasteless gas, perceivable by humans above all for its negative effects: many scientific studies have correlated prolonged stay in environments with a high concentration of carbon dioxide to short-term disturbances (irritation of the eyes , nose, throat, headache, fatigue, malaise, difficulty concentrating) and long-term (respiratory diseases, asthma).
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought another element to attention: it has been shown that poor air quality and high levels of CO2 indoors are linked to a higher rate of virus infection, such as SARS-CoV2. According to scientific research, improving indoor air quality could be as effective in reducing the transmission of the virus via aerosols as vaccinating 50% of the population.

Constantly monitoring carbon dioxide (CO2) in confined spaces is the key to ensuring optimal air quality and minimizing the risk of transmission of the new Sars-CoV2 coronavirus

The confirmation comes from the results of a research conducted in some Apulian school institutes by the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (Sima). The study involved 19 Apulian schools. From the experimentation it emerges that, in cases in which a positive subject has been identified in the classroom (between pupils and teachers), if an optimal level of CO2 has always been maintained in the classrooms, the spread of the infection has not occurred.
Having simple and economically accessible tools, which allow you to keep indoor CO2 levels under control, therefore, allows you to take timely action to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus in the environments, opening windows or activating mechanical ventilation systems controlled.

Solution

For all the reasons listed above, the “F. C. Marmocchi" School, decided to undertake the experimentation for a system for detecting the quality of the air in the cafes.
The experimentation is done by applying the multi-services platform MeshCube created by BlueUp: it is a system based on a mesh network of wireless sensors that measure certain parameters, including CO2, humidity, temperature and atmospheric pressure. All the information from the sensors arrives at a local server, where they are acquired and made available through a dedicated web portal, created by the company B4Next.
In this way, the school staff has access to data updated in real time, useful for implementing actions to improve air quality (ventilation by opening doors or windows, temporary suspension of the lesson). The data acquired by the sensors are also archived and can be used to adopt solutions for improving the climate of the classrooms, and therefore the well-being of students and teachers, but also for energy savings. Indeed, measurement results of the CO2 sensor show when and for how long you have to ventilate. The results so far found would seem to suggest that with 10 minutes of air change the CO2 undergoes a significant reduction, of about 1000 PPM, while the temperature in the classroom decreases by only a few thousandths.
MeshCube, thanks to its wireless (radio communication through the mesh network amnog the sensors) and cable-less (battery-powered sensors with no need for power cables) technology and ease of installation, has proved to be the most suitable solution to be installed in the school building that has architectural and system constraints. In fact, given the context of Italian school buildings, in which the average age of school buildings is 52, with 2 out of 3 schools built before 1976, a solution is needed retrofit , wireless and cableless, easy to install.

Results

Comprensivo 1 in the city of Poggibonsi (Siena, Italy) is one of the first schools to adopt BlueUp solution. Currently the experimentation, for which BlueUp has provided the technology, involves 4 classes, but it is intended to extend it to a greater number of classes as well as to expand its functionality, adding automatic signaling systems in each class.
The goal is not only to equip the school with a useful and innovative technological tool, but also to activate studies and collaborations that may involve other stakeholders, such as the University.
• Read what the newspaper La Nazione says about us in the article "Control units installed at school: the goal is to prevent Covid"