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Oerlikon Digital Hub - Innovating Safely with Digital Technologies: CO2 sensors keeping the air clean and our teams safe

We talked in a previous blog post about testing and creating technologies that make our teams’ work life easier and, most importantly, safer (check that story out here). Today we share with you again one of these examples – a small device made in our Digital Hub garage and further developed with the help of our colleagues from Oerlikon AM.

This little black box is actually a CO2 sensor. As we know that during these times it is crucial to ensure high quality of air in a room, the Digital Hub IoT team came up with the idea and developed this little device that measures the temperature in the office, the humidity and CO2 level every 30 seconds. If the values pass a certain threshold, in our case 2000ppm, then an alert message will be shown on the display, prompting the people in the room to ensure access to fresh air. Both the timeline in which these data are measured, and the threshold can be configured.

If we are in a room with several people, the measurement of the CO2 concentration level gives us the knowledge on what percentage of the air that we inhale consists of air that has already been exhaled by other people. The mass balance shows that a measured CO2 concentration of approx. 1200 ppm means that almost 2% of the air in the room has already had lung contact at least once. At this level, every 50th breath that a person takes in this room consists of air that has already been exhaled.

An occupied indoor space with good air exchange has somewhere between 400 – 1000ppm. Over 1000ppm showcases a poor air quality and over 2000ppm has been associated with headaches, sleepiness and stuffy air. Next time you feel your concentration levels drop, your attention going somewhere else, and your heart might be feeling a bit more than active, it’s time to bring some fresh air in.

By measuring the temperature and the CO2 levels, our sensors help to corelate between the two and ensure a safe environment in the office, while respecting the current air quality regulations. If the devices are connected to a WIFI network (this too can be configured), they can send data as/POST request to a remote server (again, configurable). They can also be connected to the cloud and used to gather data to provide a global view of the quality of our environment. This is done anonymously, without storing any other sensitive or confidential data.

This is not only a garage story, but also a collaboration one, as the Digital Hub team worked with the Oerlikon AM team to bring the device to its final form. If you would like to find out more about this device, please feel free to reach out to us. If you have something similar developed in your company, let’s exchange some further ideas. We are always looking for new ways of #innovatingsafely!