• Air monitoring contracts awarded by UK’s Environment Agency and Environmental Protection Agency of Ireland

Air Monitoring

Air monitoring contracts awarded by UK’s Environment Agency and Environmental Protection Agency of Ireland

Sep 24 2019

The Environment Agency (EA) awarded Air Monitors a contract to supply FIDAS 200 PM monitors for the continuous measurement of particle size for PM10, PM2.5 and as dual instruments which measure both PM10 and PM2.5 size fractions at the same time. The contract with the EA could lead to a potential 70 PM monitors being ordered from Air Monitors over 4 years (2 years plus two 1 year extensions). An alternative type of PM monitor will also be supplied as part of the Environment Agency contract, but in the light of the advantages delivered by the FIDAS 200 Air Monitors believes that the FIDAS 200 is the instrument of choice. As soon as the contract was awarded, orders were placed for multiple FIDAS monitors, valued at over £300k, and many more are anticipated in the coming years.

Following a public consultation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ireland awarded a contract to enhance and expand the existing monitoring network. The successful bid was submitted jointly by EMS Environmental Monitoring Systems Ltd. (Dublin) and Air Monitors Ltd. (UK). The award is a major component of the EPA’s new AAMP which was created under Section 65 of the EPA Act to strengthen the provision of comprehensive, localised air quality information linked to public health advice.

EMS specialises in the supply, service and maintenance of environmental monitoring equipment across the whole of Ireland, and has worked with the EPA over a number of years.

The FIDAS 200 is certified as equivalent to the PM10 and PM2.5 reference methods both by TÜV and to Defra's MCERTS for UK Particulate Matter Standard. In the process of achieving this certification, the FIDAS passed the field tests with the lowest expanded uncertainty for PM10 of any PM monitor approved for use in the UK by Defra and the Environment Agency. In addition to the performance advantages of this technology, the operating costs are also extremely low; the requirement for consumables is almost nil, no filter is necessary for example, and it uses around 80% less electrical power than most other PM monitors.  In addition, calibration can be conducted quickly and easily in the field.

Employing a well-established measurement technology - optical light scattering of single particles – the FIDAS 200 is equipped with a high intensity LED light source, which is extremely stable, delivering a long lifetime, with minimal service requirements. An optical aerosol spectrometer determines the particle size using Lorenz‐Mie scattered light analysis of single particles. These particles move through an optical measurement volume that is homogeneously illuminated with white light, and each particle generates a scattered light impulse that is detected at an angle of 90 degrees. The particle number measurement is based on the number of scattered light impulses, and the level of the scattered light impulse is a measure of the particle diameter. The mass concentration is then derived by a proprietary algorithm from the number and size distribution.

Designed for reliability, the FIDAS 200 operates two sample pumps in parallel, providing redundancy protection, and the instrument continuously monitors status and calibration. As a result, field installations can exhibit data capture rates exceeding 99%.

Operating with a volume flow of approx. 0.3m3/h the FIDAS 200 is equipped with a Sigma‐2 sampling head, which enables representative measurements even under strong wind conditions. The sampling system includes an intelligent air drying system (IADS) which prevents measurement inaccuracies caused by condensation from high humidity. This means that it will continue to function correctly in misty or foggy conditions but without the loss of semi-volatile fractions of the PM. In situations where users require chemical analysis of the aerosol, it is also possible to fit an inline filter which collects the PM after the optical analysis chamber.

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