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Automotive

Cabin Air Quality - CO2 Sensors

Because humans exhale carbon dioxide, a cabin full of people can quickly reach a high level of CO2. This can lead to drowsiness that we do not notice until we experience physical symptoms. The same problem occurs in other vehicles, like trains, buses, and aeroplanes. Of course, you could ventilate at full speed all the time, but that is neither comfortable nor an energy efficient option. With CO2 monitoring, you can measure the exact amount of ventilation you need to keep the cabin climate at the optimal level. 

Key Benefits:

  • Healthy cabin air
  • Energy savings
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Reduced risk for driver drowsiness

Forgot someone in the car?

Every year, both children and pets die after being left or forgotten in the car for too long. With a Climate Control System that measures CO2, the car can detect if someone is breathing in the vehicle and thus starts the ventilation/AC. CO2 monitoring is a form of life insurance. If you would like to know more about the subject, please click here to download the brochure.

Why measure CO2 in cabins?

Cars, subway trains, and aeroplane cabins are becoming increasingly well-sealed. The CO2 concentration in a vehicle varies depending on the number of people in it. For example, the concentration in a fully occupied cabin, compared to an empty cabin, can quickly become critical. Therefore, we have to ventilate.

High levels of CO2 can cause tiredness and a lack of concentration, which can be dangerous. In the case of a driver falling asleep, the situation quickly becomes serious. It is also necessary to ventilate to ensure a healthy indoor environment in vehicles. Even small cabins can hold many people per m3. Bad air quality also increases the likelihood of catching viruses, bacteria, and other small particulates.

Freon gas and ammonia are the most frequently used refrigerant systems - particularly in cars. However, CO2 is becoming favoured as it is non-combustible and is much less harmful to the environment. Of course, any gas leak needs to be detected quickly. 

How does it work?

An empty vehicle has a carbon dioxide concentration of about 400 ppm (normal outdoor concentration). The CO2 concentration in the car, aeroplane, subway, or train will increase for each person added. Therefore, using a Demand Controlled Ventilation system is the best choice for high efficiency. Demand Controlled Ventilation means that sensors are measuring the CO2 value constantly and sending a signal to the ventilation system that changes the level of the ventilation to compensate. 

Reduced costs

Thanks to the reduced need for constant ventilation, a Demand Controlled Ventilation system helps vehicle save energy. Engineers calculate fuel savings of up to 10%. This is both a financial and environmental saving.

Demand Controlled Ventilation also saves society money based on not having to send people to hospitals for cases of CO2 poisoning or other air quality-related illnesses. Fewer traffic accidents caused by drowsiness also reduces the damage caused to people, roads, buildings, etc. 

If you wish to read more on the subject, click here for a paper by Indira Gurubhagavatula.