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05 August 2021 - Innovation

Ventilation as 4th basic rule. This is how it works at KPN.

CO₂ sensors on LoRa in KPN office buildings

The cabinet recently announced that ventilation is to be added as the fourth anti-COVID measure alongside 1.5-meter social distancing, hand washing, and testing/remaining at home if symptoms occur. It was also stressed that ventilation should be left to the professionals and that fresh air is very important in schools, businesses and the hospitality sector.

But how does a company or school know for certain that the indoor climate is safe? As an employer of more than 10,000, KPN will need to provide a safe workspace when it's possible to work in the office once again. Lisette Oosterbroek, head of the KPN Corona Crisis Team, explains the steps that are now being taken. “We are presently installing around 500 CO₂ sensors in the meeting rooms in our office buildings. Once we are able to work in the office again, we want to be sure that areas such as meeting rooms are safe to work in. We want our colleagues to feel relaxed and confident when they come to the office again.”

How does it work?
The device in question is a smart sensor, a box the size of a power socket that can be installed easily in an indoor area. Without a plug and without WiFi. The sensor measures the level of CO₂ in a room. Based on that value the ventilation can be adjusted to ensure a healthy learning or work environment. If the CO₂ level becomes too high, a window needs to be opened or people will have to leave the room for a while to take a short walk. As well as CO₂, the sensor measures other values that are displayed on a dashboard. With additional benefits. “The sensor data enables you to gauge whether any people have actually been in a particular area,” says Lisette. “By employing ‘smart cleaning’ we use our rooms and our cleaning even more effectively.”

Internet of Things
The CO₂ sensors are connected to the Internet of Things and linked to the KPN LoRa network. LoRa stands for Long Range, Low Power and is a nationwide network specially developed to exchange small amounts of information between objects and systems. A LoRa module can send data for multiple years on just two batteries.

In November of last year, KPN introduced the IoT service that helps schools, nursing homes and companies create a healthy indoor climate. At the CVO group of schools in Rotterdam the sensors have been installed in 670 classrooms to provide individual ventilation. The sensors measure humidity and temperature in addition to CO₂.

Want to know more? 
Go to the special CO₂ monitoring page.

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