Fresh air vs COVID-19

According to REHVA’s recommendations, ventilation measures (and fresh air flowrate in particular) are the most important engineering controls in the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in indoor spaces. However, an additional supply of fresh air without precaution can lead to significant overconsumption of energy in buildings (up to more than 50% of overconsumption in heat in some cases). It is therefore necessary to provide a sufficient quantity of fresh air to guarantee optimal sanitary conditions while limiting energy losses.

One solution is to measure the indoor concentration of CO2 and control the flow of fresh air accordingly. The outdoor concentration of CO2 in the air is of the order of 400 ppm (parts per million). Human respiration produces CO2 and increases this concentration in interior spaces. Indoor air quality is considered to be good below the 600 ppm level. Between 600 ppm and 800 pmm, it is considered acceptable. Above 800 ppm it is advisable to ventilate and a concentration above 1000 ppm indicates poor air quality. Conversely, when some rooms are not occupied, and the CO2 is less than 600 ppm, the ventilation rate can be reduced and thus avoid unnecessary energy consumption.

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SENSOREA has recently installed in the hospitality and wellness sectors nearly 200 ELSYS wireless CO2 sensors interconnected to a monitoring system or to its customers’ BMS. The system makes it possible to measure the concentrations, to alert the customer in the event of a threshold being exceeded and to automate the quantity of fresh air supplied by the ventilation groups using frequency variators. This results in optimal air quality that does not penalize the building’s energy consumption.

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