Garage & Tunnels

The modern range of vehicle engines emit many harmful substances, including carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrocarbons, and some 20 others. It is known that all engines produce CO, particularly at cold start. To protect ourselves from this toxic gas, vehicles are equipped with catalytic converters. Therefore, a warm running modern engine with a catalyst generates 140 times more CO than CO.

Why measure CO2 in garages and tunnels?

Older, pre-catalyst, vehicles generate most of the carbon monoxide pollution. To solve this, modern vehicles are installed with catalytic converters. Catalytic converters are not very efficient during cold start, but once warm they convert CO to CO very effectively. 

This means that modern engines emit much higher quantities of CO than CO. It is a well-known fact that CO is extremely toxic, however, high levels of CO is also a health hazard. To ensure healthy air quality, it is important to provide exceptional ventilation. However, running a ventilation system constantly is inefficient, especially when only a few cars are running at a time. 

In garages and tunnels, vehicles might be operating in warm or cold conditions. Therefore, it is important to measure both COand CO to ensure a safe breathing environment. Current laws regarding CO state that the maximum allowed value is 35 ppm. There are currently no rules on measuring CO, but it is equally important. 

How does it work?

A meter can control, alarm locally, and be part of a larger complete system. This application follows the same principle as required ventilation in classrooms for example. 

Instead of the number of students in a classroom, the ventilation required depends on the number of cars running in a garage or tunnel. The sensors that are normally used to measure COand CO in public garages and tunnels can cover an area of around 250 m2. 


Reduced costs

In a study done in a garage containing 77 parking spaces, and covering an area of 1,445 m2, results showed that using sensors to control the ventilation reduced the fan operating time by 90% compared to constant running. The electricity cost was about 0.09 €/kWh (including energy tax and VAT) and the fan used 1.5 kWh in operation. This meant that the demand-controlled solution produced an energy saving of 970 kWh, and a resulting reduction in running costs of approximately 85 €/month. 

If all residential garages were equipped this way, the sum of energy saved would generate a considerable benefit to society and the environment. A larger garage would save even more money with the controlled ventilation system.

Another benefit is fewer people suffering from CO or COpoisoning being admitted to hospitals, which would reduce the costs of health care for the government. 


Key Benefits:

  • Public safety
  • Energy savings
  • Reduced costs
  • Environmental savings