Going Beyond IoT: Intelligent Air Solutions
Ludwigsburg / Sprockhövel, October 16, 2018 – Back in the 1980’s, the term “sick building syndrome” was coined to describe ailments caused by improperly ventilated buildings. Over the past 40 years, vast improvements and building standards were initiated to ensure that the indoor air quality is safe to those inside. Today, high-tech sensors accumulate great amounts of data, informing building owners exactly what kind of contaminants are in the air. But often, building operators and facility managers have no idea what to do with the big data collected. The big question… “What does the data collected tell us about the air quality, and what steps can be taken to fix air quality issues?”
Supported by the #Plug and Play environment (https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com), the start-up company qlair offers an Air Quality Analytics Solution that makes use of building and pollution data to optimize Clean Air services and products. It’s not about collecting the data, but making sense of the data received, and developing a solution based on cognitive computing. Through advanced computing and A/I, we are working with new tools for data analytics. It’s the next phase of IoT, taking the complex datasets that the hardware is generating and understanding exactly what to do with that data.”
Problem case commercial buildings
Commercial buildings are one of the most inefficient systems out there. Many HVAC systems are only regulated by temperature and CO2 concentration. As a result, six out of ten buildings are dangerous, as the pollutant load is at least twice as high as in outdoor areas. In particular, the estimated 60% of all companies that have an employee welfare program should pay attention, because clean air is the fourth most important criterion for employee protection.
Today's air quality management is reactive, i.e. it only intervenes when building users complain about stuffy air or odours. However, studies show that labour productivity correlates with air quality. This is another reason why there is a great interest in continuously ensuring healthy air in the workplace. Many building managers place sensors on site to monitor air quality. However, these sensors do not tell you how to solve a problem that has been identified, which is why building managers often do not know what to do.
Fast reacting solutions for better air quality
qlair addresses this problem by paving the way for intelligent ventilation systems. Filtration here means service and knowledge, which enables a self-controlled fine adjustment of the aeration system. Based on the large amounts of data provided by highly developed sensors, measurements are taken and individual recommendations developed to provide the best possible remedy for poor air quality.
This makes it possible to increase ventilation efficiency and thus also the productivity of building users by improving air quality. Ultimately, this can even have a positive effect on the energy balance if ventilation, heating and air conditioning are based on actual demand. qlair recognises patterns of pollution and makes forecasts for up to eight hours. On this basis, air purification systems can actively provide good air..
Intelligent technology can filter out the really useful information from air quality data that is not always directly related to indoor air quality. The system continuously analyses a wide range of data, including the number of people in the room, the building zone and cleaning times. These and other special features can have a significant impact on the quality of the air we breathe.
The next step on the way to intelligent filtration
qlair works closely with building management companies, maintenance companies and manufacturers of HVAC systems and sensors to further develop the system. qlair is currently undergoing pilot tests with building managers.
Study: Allen, Joseph G., Piers MacNaughton, Usha Satish, Suresh Santanam, Jose Vallarino, and John D. Spengler. 2015. “Associations of Cognitive Function Scores with Carbon Dioxide, Ventilation, and Volatile Organic Compound Exposures in Office Workers: A Controlled Exposure Study of Green and Conventional Office Environments.” Environmental Health Perspectives 124 (6): 805-812. doi:10.1289/ehp.1510037. http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1510037.