For public spaces like theaters, cinemas, and concert halls, poor indoor air quality can lead to many problems, including fewer visitors and a fall in turnover. Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, air quality monitoring and effective indoor ventilation have become even more important. This time, for safety reasons.

COVID-19 is an airborne virus that is primarily transmitted via aerosols when an infected person sneezes, coughs, talks, or even simply exhales. According to the latest research, well-ventilated rooms significantly lower the risk of infection.

“Tracking CO2 levels indoors is, without doubt, the easiest, fastest, and most inexpensive way to monitor whether there’s sufficient air exchange in the room and, that way, determine the risk of people getting infected with COVID-19.” 

Ivars Vanadzins, Director of Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Riga Stradins University   

 

If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it

In June 2021, the Ministry of Culture of Latvia launched a pilot project to find ways of organizing epidemiologically safe cultural events during the pandemic. For theaters across the country, making their environment safer is the only way to keep their doors open to their audiences if another pandemic wave strikes.

Valmiera Drama Theater, the region’s leading theater and center of culture, became one of the first participants in this pilot project. Its new and modern theater building was put into operation in 2004, yet its ventilation system turned out to be its Achilles heel.

”I knew the ventilation in our auditoriums wasn’t up to par, but I had no idea how bad it was until we began using Aranet4 PRO sensors,” says Janis Kreklis, Technical Director of Valmiera Drama Theater. ”Even with the auditorium half empty and our ventilation system turned on at full capacity, CO2 levels quickly exceeded therecommended 1000ppm. That was shocking.”

High CO2 levels reduce the audience’s ability to focus and enjoy the play, as well as increase the risk of getting COVID-19.

As the scientists Jose-Luis Jimenez and Zhe Peng point out in their research: ”In any given indoor environment, when excess CO2 levels double, the risk of [COVID-19] transmission also roughly doubles.”

 

 

Setting up an Aranet ecosystem takes just over an hour

Prior to testing Aranet4 PRO sensors, Janis tried a different sensor, but he admits that there were several issues with it.

First of all, it required an electricity supply, which isn’t that easy to access in auditoriums. Second, there was only one sensor in the corner of a 350sqm-large auditorium with a 6-meter ceiling. That made Janis question the accuracy of the sensor’s measurements.

That’s when Valmiera Drama Theater approached Prof. Vanadzins for advice on more reliable ways to measure the efficiency of their air ventilation system. They were recommended to try Aranet sensors. Following Aranet guidelines on sensor placement, they installed 6 sensors in the main theater auditorium – one CO2 sensor for every 50sqm, approximately at the height of the respiratory area (1.5m).

The full set up was simple. The sensors sent measurements to the Aranet PRO base station that collected and stored all the data. The base station was further connected to Aranet Cloud enabling centralized data monitoring and analysis. When CO2 levels increased, the system sent warnings that the ventilation should be turned up.

The entire process of setting up 6 sensors and 1 base station took Janis and his colleague just over an hour.

”Because Aranet4 PRO sensors are wireless, their installation is quick and easy. The sensors’ signal reception area is up to 3km from the base  station, which allowed us to move them around to other areas and use them when and where they were necessary. For example, when we didn’t monitor air quality in the main auditorium, we could use the sensors in other theater rooms, like the office, dressing rooms, etc.”

Janis Kreklis, Technical Director of Valmiera Drama Theater.

 

Air ventilation – a clear priority from now on

Valmieras Drama Theater tested the Aranet4 monitoring solution for a month during which they held 6 plays and welcomed 710 visitors. This was enough to realize: the theater’s ventilation system fails to maintain a pleasant and safe microclimate when the auditorium is at full capacity.

”When the theater was built nearly 20 years ago, no one paid attention to CO2 levels and how elevated levels can impact the well-being of our visitors. Now, due to COVID-19, CO2 monitoring has helped us realize the importance of effective ventilation and good indoor air quality. Improvements to our ventilation system are definitely one of our top priorities in our upcoming reconstruction project,” Janis reveals.

He recommends other theaters to try Aranet4 PRO sensors, too. They allow theater staff to monitor CO2 levels and receive timely warnings when ventilation must be turned up before the air quality becomes unhealthy. And if the ventilation is not up to its task, the CO2 sensors allow you to identify the problem, which is the first step to improving it.

”If you have poor ventilation and everyone falls asleep after the first act, then what are we even talking about? I’m surprised that, so far, theaters haven’t measured CO2 levels in their auditoriums.”

Ivars Vanadziņš, Director of Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Riga Stradins University.

 

 

For more information, contact us at info@aranet.com.

Check out our latest video on how Aranet4 PRO helped to prevent COVID-19 spread in kindergartens and schools in Ventspils!    

Benefits of monitoring CO2 and ensuring proper ventilation:      

✅        Reduces risk of COVID-19 spread    

✅        Increases focus and concentration    

✅        Improves wellbeing  

 

Watch the video here: 

If you have any questions or feedback, contact us at info@aranet.com.

 

Having fresh air indoors has always been a challenge but now with COVID-19 this task has become more critical than ever. Thanks to Prof. Jose-Luis Jimenez and other prominent scientists we now know that COVID-19 is an airborne virus and it can remain in the air for several hours unless we ensure proper ventilation.

Schools, kindergartens and universities are especially difficult to tackle as you have a closed room with multiple people talking thus releasing plenty of aerosols right into the air. If any of the students or the teacher has COVID-19, these aerosols become a highly probable vector transmitting the virus.

The single most effective means to decrease this risk is proper ventilation. How to do that? While your average school might not have enough funds to invest in a high-quality ventilation system, procuring cost effective CO2 meters indicating when to open a window could prove to be a life saver!

A good example is Ventspils, a city on the western coast of Latvia. Its city council wanted to protect their children’s health and decided to install a networked CO2 meter solution in 19 of its schools and kindergartens. The project was carried out by Aranet in collaboration with its local partner Aspired.

 

 

Each of 19 schools and kindergartens had an Aranet4 PRO base station that collected data from all the  Aranet4 PRO sensors placed in the classrooms. This data was then sent to Aranet Cloud allowing a centralized view of all kindergartens and schools via integration with Aspired software. Altogether we installed 475 Aranet4 PRO sensors and 20 Aranet PRO base stations.

Aspired not only installed the equipment, but also integrated the Aranet Cloud data stream into their own system. They built a centralized view of all the schools and their maps as well as put up screens with animations in the classrooms alerting teachers when they need to open a window. In addition, they coached the school and kindergarten staff by sharing materials on the importance of indoor air quality and how to use the CO2 meters to ensure timely ventilation.

 

 

“The installation process was easy and straight forward. You don’t need to be an IT expert to install Aranet4 devices,” – says Davids Egle, CEO of Aspired. “API allowed us to access data from Aranet Cloud and ensured easy integration with our software.”

The impact of our project was immediate. After seeing Aranet4 PRO device indicator turning red (i.e. CO2 concentration exceeded 1400ppm), the staff were able to quickly react and open the windows thus bringing the CO2 levels back to normal and ensuring a healthy environment for the children. Shockingly, on one of the days a kindergartens’ sleeping area recorded a staggering 4000ppm which is something that no one would ever even think about unless they had measured it with a CO2 meter!

Reflecting upon the project, Diana, one of the pre-school teachers, remarked that “when air quality decreases indoors, we can clearly see that children become sleepier and more apathetic. I think that air quality control devices give the opportunity for children to live in a better and cleaner environment, and we have to do all what is in our capabilities to provide that”.

 

 

Aranet4 devices been on the front line fighting airborne COVID-19 in many schools around the world by alerting teachers and keeping classrooms safe. It is trusted by prominent institutions such as Harvard, Caltech and smaller local communities just like Ventspils. Whatever your size or needs, we can offer a solution that’s right for you.

If you want to learn more about how to protect your kindergartens, schools and universities from airborne COVID-19, please visit CO2 Monitoring in the Classroom or drop us a line on info@aranet.com and we will be happy to help!

One of the key elements in providing a safe return to the school is a good air quality. As one of the main transmission routes of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is via airborne aerosols, it is necessary to ensure good ventilation of indoor spaces. In rooms without air exchange the virus can linger in the air and remain infectious for several hours, so by ensuring sufficient air exchange this contagion risk can be greatly reduced.

See what ISTITUTO IMMACOLATA CONCEZIONE (ISTITUTO IC), a primary school in Milan, did to ensure good air quality. Download the full case study HERE

The Institute of Solid-State Physics, University of Latvia (ISSP UL) is an internationally recognized leader in the materials sciences and cross-disciplinary topics in the Baltic States. And now they are using the Aranet IoT solution to monitor their cleanroom environment to ensure that pressure differences are maintained, the temperature is stable, and the microclimate is appropriate for both people and equipment.  

Read the full case study HERE 

We are starting new video case study series with a true success story from Getlini Eko – one of the most modern greenhouses in the world.

 

Based on the research done at the Warsaw University, the Latvian company Getlini started to perform tests with LED lights and cucumbers, looking for ways to increase the yield per square meter. In 2017 Getlini built the world’s first full-LED greenhouse. Every degree and gram matters when it comes to optimizing the growth of cucumbers, and this is where reliable environmental monitoring comes in. Getlini implemented Aranet solution in their cucumber greenhouse after seeing that the yield increase with LED lights alone did not meet the expectations. Currently Getlini are using all of the Aranet sensors designed for plant monitoring.

 

Getlini EKO improved their yearly yield by 20% using the Aranet wireless sensors.

Watch the video to learn how your horticulture business can benefit from implementing a wireless sensor ecosystem to optimize growth!

 

 

Find out how Aranet solutions can help your business grow – contact us at info@aranet.com.

Pig farming is one of the largest sources of ammonia gas (NH₃). It represents a quarter of all livestock NH₃ emissions in Europe. Increased levels of ammonia pose many health risks to both the farmers and the animals themselves. 

Research has shown that prolonged exposure to unhealthy levels of ammonia (> 40 ppm) can result in a 7 % reduction in daily weight gain of pigs and 9 % reduction in feed conversion ratio.

See how Aranet can be a solution to this problem. Read the full case study HERE