Smart Indoor Air Quality Monitoring
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, no school’s air quality data was available in Quebec. The province planned to implement a technology solution that could deliver the best possible learning and working environment to students and school staff. Milesight and Assek Technologie worked to create a province-wide IAQ solution leveraging Semtech’s devices.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, no school’s air quality data was available. The province planned to implement a technology solution that could deliver the best possible learning and working environment to students and school staff.
Milesight and Assek Technologie worked to create a IAQ solution leveraging Semtech’s LoRa® devices and the LoRaWAN® standard that is grounded with Assek Technologie, in public schools in Quebec. This turnkey solution includes IAQ sensors, LoRaWAN-enabled Gateways and cloud platform to regularly acquire IAQ data.
For school staff, real-time monitoring allows them to make changes gradually and quickly. For the school boards, they can better identify the trends and target buildings that require broader intervention plans and/or larger-scale corrective work.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 is transmitted predominantly through the air, especially in indoor environments. The pandemic demonstrated the importance of continuously monitoring indoor air quality, especially in schools. In September 2021, the Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec announced that they planned to deploy and install Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to monitor indoor air quality in more than 90,000 classrooms and lots of schools across the province, including famous schools like Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, Massey-Vanier, Notre-Dame-de-la-Défense and Louis-Philippe-Paré.
In order to deliver best learning and working environment to students and school staff, the province decided to implement a technology solution that could deliver the best possible learning and working environment.
“This is a major undertaking. We are talking about 90,000 detectors in 4,000 locations,” said Marc Sirois, Deputy Education Minister. “We wanted to do this quickly, but also to do it well.”
The government of Quebec in Canada deployed an IoT solution that could easily be integrated with heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to automatically ensure good IAQ and help meet the following requirements:
- Reduce maintenance and installation difficulties
- Monitor CO2, humidity and temperature level at five minutes intervals during school hours
- Create an information system without the use of Wi-Fi or cellular internet
The solution Assek Technologie and Milesight provide together meets all these requirements. Milesight’s AM107 sensor leveraging Semtech’s LoRa devices is powered by battery with up to four years life and can be installed within minutes, the sensors can collect and transmit environment data to the cloud platform through Milesight UG65 gateway using LoRaWAN. Assek Technologie developed a web application where all the schools can interact with the data collected and be alerted when airflow needs to be adjusted or classrooms need to be completely aired out. This continuous monitoring also provides analytics for authorities to identify trends and target buildings that require broader intervention plans.
To test the technology, they started with two pilots. In each pilot, Milesight’s solution was installed in approximately 30 classrooms, and Assek’s software presented tools to monitor the air quality in classrooms. During the pilot projects, Semtech provided valuable and helpful suggestions to achieve a better response for the AM107 to LinkADRReq at the MAC layer, which enhanced the compatibility of the sensors in this project. As a result, around 47,000 classrooms were able to be equipped with this IAQ monitoring solution.
For school staff, the real-time monitoring allows them to make changes gradually and quickly in any affected rooms. They can adjust the inflow of outdoor air or completely air out a classroom during a break. For educational institutions, the data and analysis allow authorities to take timely action when the set targets are not reached. For the school boards, they can better identify the trends and target buildings that require broader intervention plans and/or larger-scale corrective work.
- Number of devices deployed: 47,000 units
- Number of gateways deployed: 2,600 units
- Number of messages handled/period: 7,331,376/day (156/day/device)
- ROI data: There was no monitoring at all before. This IAQ project made the environment data under monitoring and control
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