Introduction: How to Monitor Air Quality Using Industrial Internet of Things Devices for Example Applications and Use Cases Remotely Monitoring Air Quality Sensors Like VOCs, PM2.5, Ozone, & Nitrous Oxide

Picture of How to Monitor Air Quality Using Industrial Internet of Things Devices for Example Applications and Use Cases Remotely Monitoring Air Quality Sensors Like VOCs, PM2.5, Ozone, & Nitrous Oxide

Do you or your organization need to monitor air quality?

You’ll learn in this Instructable in just a few minutes how to measure air quality factors with sensors that detect harmful stuff that might be in your air, like:

  • Ozone a.k.a. O3
  • Nitrogen Dioxide a.k.a. NO2
  • Particulate Matter, Dust, Soot, PM1, PM2.5, PM10
  • Volatile Organic Compounds a.k.a. VOCs

You’ll see air quality monitoring boxes demo’d and broken down in the video.

Step 1: Watch the Video!

You’ll get a fun tour of Valarm air quality monitoring boxes in this video. These units monitor nasty and gnarly stuff that you, your family and friends shouldn’t be breathing. Gross things that get into your lungs. And never leave.

Poor air quality causes lung disease, cancer, heart failure, asthma, and more.

You probably already know that bad air quality is responsible for over 7 million deaths every year. So your bottom line is that air quality is an issue that will become more important every day for you and everyone around you.

These Industrial Internet of Things Devices use the Tools.Valarm.net IoT gateway and sensors to measure VOCs, a.k.a Volatile Organic Compounds, Ozone / O3, and Nitrogen Dioxide / Nitrous Oxides / NOx / NO2.

Step 2: Why These Air Quality Sensors?

Picture of Why These Air Quality Sensors?

Why these exact air quality sensors?

Excellent question. We work with the California government entity South Coast Air Quality Management District, AQMD, that responsible for air quality compliance and monitoring in Southern California. So we trust that what AQMD needs to monitor is important for your health. And the flexibility of Tools.Valarm.net makes it super easy if you need to add or remove any sensors at any time.

Note that Tools.Valarm.net is an open platform so you can use sensors made by any sensor manufacturer. Our customers use air quality sensors manufactured by Alphasense (example here), Dylos (example here), Yoctopuce (example here), AirBeam (example here), and other sensor hardware companies.

Step 3: Where’s the Air Quality Sensor Information Go?

Picture of Where’s the Air Quality Sensor Information Go?

Where’s the air quality sensor information go?

Tools.Valarm.net receives all of this air quality sensor information in real-time. The Valarm Tools Cloud gateway software lets you map, graph, analyze, receive alerts, and do just about anything with your air quality information.

Inside of each of these boxes you’ll see the 3 gas sensors at the bottoms of the boxes. They’re Alphasense air quality sensors that are in custom sensor housing enclosures that Lorenzo designed and printed with our MakerGear 3D Printer. There are specific gas sensors for:

  • Ozone / O3
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / NO2
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / VOCs PID

The Alphasense raw gas sensors connect to 0-10V sensor adapters from Shop.Valarm.net. The raw air quality sensor data is sent to Tools.Valarm.net with each 3G GSM sensor hub in the middle of each air quality monitoring box.

At the top of each box there’s an Alphasense OPC-N2 optical particle counter. The OPC-N2 air quality sensors measures particulates in the air, like dust, soot, PM1, PM2.5, and PM10. Gross stuff that gets into your lungs and never leaves.

Each Alphasense OPC-N2 connects to a SPI serial sensor adapter and a GSM sensor hub. All of these Industrial Internet of Things devices are available at Shop.Valarm.net.

On Tools.Valarm.net all of the air quality information is converted to real world values you and your organizations need, like PM2.5 and parts per million, ppm, of ozone, VOCs, and NO2 gases.

Step 4: Tour of Industrial Internet of Things Use Cases, Devices, Sensors, Example Hardware

Picture of Tour of Industrial Internet of Things Use Cases, Devices, Sensors, Example Hardware

Other Industrial Internet of Things Devices and Example Hardware

The rest of the hardware you see in the box are various electronics that monitor battery and solar panel health, since this unit is solar powered and runs all on its own. The cable gland or stress relief connector at the bottom is where the solar panel connects to the Morningstar SunSaver-6 solar charge controller at the top that handles power management between the big lead acid battery and all of the Internet of Things Devices.

You’ll also see voltage converters and a voltage divider. Fans are there to keep fresh air moving and regulate the temperature so it doesn’t get too hot or cold inside the box. And there’s a meteo sensor that monitors ambient humidity, pressure, and temperature that can be used to fine-tune air quality sensor calibration routines.

That’s the quick and easy overview of air quality monitoring. Are you ready to do air quality monitoring now? Do you feel a deep hunger and desire to measure air pollution? You’re probably already ready to deploy these environmental monitoring boxes in the field. You and your organization can get these boxes at Shop.Valarm.net .

Or, if you need something kinda like this but a little different, maybe an additional H2S or SO2 air quality sensor, or WiFi connectivity instead of GSM, or anything else – then please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll help you find a solution for your specific monitoring needs!

Questions?

Send me a message at Info@Valarm.net.

And as always, thank you for watching and helping everyone remotely monitor anything, anywhere. :)

Comments

jamie.moriarty16 (author)2016-12-30

What was the total cost for the parts - sensors, board, wiring etc.?

Howdy Jamie! Thank you for reaching out. These are quality, industrial grade hardware used by governments and private organizations so it's not cheap. Please don't hesitate to send me an email at Info@Valarm.net to figure out exactly what you need for your air quality monitoring needs! You can also see something like this box and the other components available on http://Shop.Valarm.net - http://shop.valarm.net/collections/kits/products/a...

Cheers,

Edward

About This Instructable

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Bio: I love remotely monitoring Industrial IoT / IIoT sensors. My favorite things is water monitoring systems, water levels / well telemetry, and flood warning systems. Questions? Please ... More »
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