• Cost-effective CO2 monitoring solutions can help prevent COVID transmission

Air Monitoring

Cost-effective CO2 monitoring solutions can help prevent COVID transmission

Nov 09 2021

Recent academic studies and reports have shown that the risk of COVID transmission in indoor environments can be reduced by as much as 70% with the operation of effective ventilation and by maximising the flow of natural, fresh air. The use of carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring equipment is also recommended to gather data on air quality within specific areas. CO2 levels rise in poorly ventilated areas; the same can be said for virus droplets, so identifying poorly ventilated areas will identify where viruses, such as Covid, are most likely to thrive. Having ascertained the most potentially hazardous areas, improvements can be made to enhance air flow with natural ventilation and mechanical ducts and vents. 

Honeywell have recently launched their highly cost-effective and user-friendly Honeywell Transmission Risk Air Monitor (HTRAM). The HTRAM monitors for specific air quality conditions and alerts operators when current environmental conditions may heighten the danger of exposure to airborne viral transmissions within the instrument’s range. This device is available in the UK through Honeywell’s authorised distributer Shawcity

The portable HTRAM is easy to deploy, accurately measures carbon dioxide and includes an integral risk alerting system triggered on different activity levels within a room. This enables operators to proactively upgrade indoor ventilation systems which, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can alleviate the spread of some diseases and lower the danger of exposure for the building’s occupants. 

Recent research at the University of Colorado indicated that real-time indoor ambient air monitoring can reveal increased risks of airborne viral transmission, by factoring in different risk-based aspects, for example: CO2 concentration levels and human activity in the room. 

Thanks to this guidance and algorithms, Honeywell identified air quality conditions that are affected by common activities and variables such as room size, the amount of people present, breathing rate and duration. The HTRAM includes three pre-programmed indoor activity settings: Low activity is suited to quieter environments such as cinemas, libraries and classrooms, medium activity is ideal for restaurants, offices and small clinics while the high activity setting is for areas such as gyms, indoor arenas and recreation centres. The offers a measurement coverage of coverage of 800-1000 square feet.   

For each setting, The monitor indicates the hazard level by operating a traffic light system of green, yellow, or red lights and a sound alarm so end-users are made aware of conditions that might heighten the hazard of airborne transmission based on CO2 levels and take necessary, such as upgrading ventilation systems. 

The user-friendly HTRAM is a small, portable and lightweight unit that comes with a 1-year limited product warranty. Its cutting-edge non-dispersive infra-red technology (NDIR) ensures a reliable, precise measurement and the HTRAM not only monitors CO2, it also measures temperature and relative humidity. The instrument will emit a single ‘beep’ when there is a medium level alert and 2 ‘beeps’ when the levels are high. While this instrument cannot monitor for any airborne viruses, it is an effective tool for lowering the risk of contamination. HTRAM has been designed specifically to warn operators when CO2 levels, humidity and temperature have made the spread of viruses most likely; it is not used to define conditions in which the CO2 level itself makes and area unsuitable or unsafe for breathing.  

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Asian Environmental Technology 26.4 - November 2022

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