A carbon dioxide (CO2) sensor is a device used to measure the concentration of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere.
It is measured using “parts per million” (ppm) and typically has a presence of around 400 ppm.
Carbon Dioxide is an odorless and colorless gas, and it has long been identified as one of the key “greenhouse” gases that affect the earth’s atmosphere. The gas, alongside Methane, Nitrous Oxide, and Fluorinated Gases, creates a barrier in the upper atmosphere that causes heat to be retained. This results in increased temperatures, rising sea levels, and changes to land usage.
CO2 is created during respiration, combustion, and organic decomposition, and is also found indoors. This is a result of both external atmospheric CO2 and internal production from the presence of people.
CO2 can be detected and measured through different technologies, including
NDIR CO2 sensors have performance advantages over other detection technologies due to long-term stability, accuracy, and low power consumption for CO2 measurement.
High concentration levels in a confined or poorly ventilated environment can cause harmful reactions in people.
A recent study, as reported in Nature, has identified the following characteristics related to increased CO2 concentrations:
CO2 concentration in atmosphere (parts per million)
Duration of exposure
Adverse health outcomes associated with acute CO2 exposure
Adverse health outcomes associated with chronic CO2 exposure
Chronic, low-grade systemic inflammation
Bone demineralization and kidney calcification
Behavioural changes and physiological stress
13 – 15 days
Additionally, other research shows the positive health and productivity benefits of controlling indoor CO2 levels in office environments. Some studies even show that working in an office with optimized CO2 levels, managed through intelligent ventilation, can increase productivity by 60%.
Finally, and more relevant recently, as a result of extensive research into the transmission of COVID-19, it has been shown that there is a correlation between the concentration of CO2 and aerosols, one of main the transmission pathways of viruses such as COVID-19 or influenza. By controlling the CO2 level indoors it is possible to manage the risk of virus transmission.
Clearly, these recent studies show that both short-term and long-term exposure to CO2 is extremely bad for health. Detection and reduction of this harmful gas are therefore critical for any healthy working environment.
Disruptive Technologies Wireless CO2 Sensors make use of NDIR technology. The sensor can measure CO2 concentrations between 1 and 5000 ppm with an accuracy of ± 45 ppm.
In addition, the sensor has been combined with temperature, relative humidity, and barometric pressure sensors to offer a single form factor device that can monitor the status of typical environmental measures in an office.
The wireless CO2 sensor builds on DTs core market-leading sensor features, including
By collecting and analyzing the monitored data from the CO2 sensors companies can quickly and efficiently identify the potential build-up of CO2 in their offices and indoor spaces.
Combining the sensors with Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV), a company will be able to automatically regulate airflow within the office to respond to CO2 concentrations at any given time. This both provides a better work environment but also saves energy as the ventilation systems will only be operating when needed.
The three key benefits of measuring CO2 levels with sensors and ventilating accordingly are:
1) a healthy and safe working environment with CO2 levels managed to be within the accepted and healthy range of less than 1000ppm
2) improved productivity as the proven impact on cognitive skills from elevated CO2 concentration is alleviated
3) energy-savings through optimized use of ventilation systems
Carbon Dioxide is a potentially harmful gas when present in elevated concentrations. Its detection and dispersal are essential to stop a number of unhealthy and productivity-reducing conditions for employees.
The early detection of rising CO2 levels, using IoT-based wireless CO2 sensors, allows an organization to respond quickly and to take preventative measures long before harmful levels affect employee health and wellbeing.