Air quality has been steadily climbing the UK legislative agenda, with many eyes on the Environment Bill currently going through parliament. The Bill sets a mandate for two air quality targets: a concentration target for PM2.5 and a long-term population exposure reduction target, which recognises there is no safe level or standard for PM2.5.
With increasing scrutiny on air quality projects in the corporate and local government sectors has come a proliferation in new air quality monitoring (AQM) technologies. Yet, very few AQM equipment manufacturers are seeking independent certification or validation, leaving Local Authorities with few choices that will satisfy their procurement procedures.
Think outside the (monitoring) box
It’s easy to buy an air quality monitor, but choosing the right solution for your air quality project is about more than ticking off a list of individual features. It’s also about having confidence in technology and the expertise required to achieve your outcomes and mitigate the inevitable risks.
Risks commonly occur in the form of hidden infrastructure costs; deployment plans that are not truly ‘field-ready’ or a lack of transparency in data quality standards.
Data quality can be a contentious issue and project leads need to know their air quality data is accurate There are few ways to validate a manufacturer’s claims for independent certification: in the UK the MCERTS programme is considered the PM certification standard.
New technology for ambient monitoring
The new Praxis/OPCube from South Coast Science is designed for cost-effective precision environmental monitoring.
- Robust – designed for long-term outdoor deployments
- Compact: 154x154x130mm, 2kg
- Equipped with gas sensor (selectable) + particulate sensor + T + rH
- 4G and ethernet as standard
- Battery back-up in the event of power loss
- Same open-source design and Cloud-based data dashboard as Praxis/Urban
- MCERTS certification in progress
Stemming from partnerships in academia and research, South Coast Science adopts an open and pragmatic approach to design and manufacturing, which also turns out to be cost efficient in the long term. This has led to break-through technology for data openness and accuracy.
The Praxis/OPCube is a compact, robust device that measures both gas and particulate matter (PM1, PM2.5, PM10). It is an effective monitoring tool for low-cost screening and local authority investigations.
The device uses the same data infrastructure as it’s bigger brother, the Praxis/Urban, which has been available since 2017, and is now in use across all seven continents.
South Coast Science is pursuing MCERTS certification for both the Praxis/Urban and Praxis/OPCube, and therefore will have independent validation and assurance of PM2.5 and PM10 data quality.
Photo supplied by South Coast Science