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CO2 monitoring in schools

16/01/2024 Yves Vinck

Sentera CO2 meters help to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus in this school in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. Continuously measuring CO2 concentrations in classrooms provides certainty about indoor air quality. Good indoor air quality is essential to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

CO2 monitoring in schools

What is CO2?
CO2 or Carbon Dioxide is a substance that we exhale. The CO2 level can be used in crowded spaces, like classrooms, as an indicator of indoor air quality and as a measure of air exchange. A CO2 meter can therefore also help to detect the risk of spreading the coronavirus COVID-19. If sufficient fresh air is supplied to the classroom, the chance of contamination with the virus via aerosols is significantly lower.

How to know if sufficient fresh air is supplied to the classroom?
In case of insufficient fresh air supply, the CO2 concentration in the classroom will rise quickly. This can easily be measured with a CO2 meter. If the CO2 concentration in the classroom is kept below 1.200 ppm, sufficient fresh air is present and the risk that virus particles will accumulate in the indoor air is minimal. Between 900 and 1.200 ppm, it is recommended that a warning is given so that additional fresh air can be supplied.

What are the best CO2 meters for my school?
It was not easy for the management of the school to find a suitable supplier for CO2 sensors. Many suppliers of CO2 meters on the market offer sensors with low accuracy, making them less reliable. This often means that they have to be calibrated annually, which has an important impact on the operational costs. Given the large number of classrooms, it was a significant purchase for the school and this required thorough consideration. The school management was therefore pleased with the advice and guidance they received from Sentera in determining the right CO2 sensor for their project.

Thanks to the cooperation with Sentera, they can equip their classrooms with professional CO2 sensors that have a high accuracy and automatically recalibrate themselves. Next to the CO2 level, the sensors also measure temperature, relative humidity and ambient light level - the parameters that determine the comfort of the residents. This makes it possible to get a complete image of the indoor air quality and to create the perfect environment for the students and teachers.

How to visualise CO2 level?
In order to be able to measure CO2 in as many classrooms as possible, the standard CO2 sensor was chosen. The CO2 level in each classroom is visualised via a traffic light (green, yellow and red LED). In case of a CO2 alert, an audible alarm can be generated via the integrated buzzer. The sensors are supplied with 230 Volts, which simplifies the installation and the integration in the existing building. There is the possibility to add displays afterwards which visualise the measured values. Another option that can be added afterwards is data logging. The sensors can be interconnected via Modbus RTU communication. By adding an internet gateway, the measured values of all connected sensors can be monitored online via SenteraWeb – the online HVAC portal of Sentera. Via this platform, it is also possible to log data, to adjust settings and to have an overview of the different sensors in the school.

Professional CO2 meters for your project
With over two decades of experience in the HVAC business, Sentera offers a wide range of HVAC sensors. Our product range is modular. The standard CO2 sensors can work stand-alone or they can be interconnected via Modbus RTU communication. An optional display allows you to visualise measured values of the different sensors. Data logging and remote control are available via the optional internet gateway. Contact us for more information.

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