Xiamen, China, June 23, 2022 – Milesight, a global AIoT solutions provider, announced that a province-wide LoRaWAN indoor air quality (IAQ) solution has grounded with Assek Technologie, Canada’s leader in non-demolition building dewatering, in public schools in Quebec, Canada. Measuring indoor carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, relative humidity and temperature is part of Québec government strategy developed to ensure that the best possible learning and working environment is provided at all times for students and school staff. With actionable indoor air data, well ventilated classrooms are achievable and secured.
Province-wide LoRaWAN IAQ Solution Deployment
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of continuously monitoring indoor air quality, especially in schools. The Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec has announced in September 2021 the deployment and installation of air quality and comfort parameters sensors in more than 47,000 classrooms across the province.
In fact, 2 pilots were implemented before the client started the project. In each pilot, Milesight’s AM107 indoor air quality sensors were installed very quickly in approximately 30 classrooms, and Assek’s software presented great tools to easily monitor the air quality in classrooms. The success of the 2 pilots proved LoRaWAN was the right technology for Milesight’s IAQ sensors, and the client believed it was possible to adopt this solution in thousands of schools across Quebec very easily and quickly.
During the pilot projects, Semtech provided valuable and helpful suggestions to achieve a better response for the AM107 to LinkADRReq at the MAC layer, which enhanced the compatibility of the sensors in this project.
The solution is meant to help the authorities to obtain an overview of the IAQ situation of all schools. This information, unknown prior to this project, can now be used to ensure the healthiness of the learning and working environment. It allows the client to prioritize and implement corrective actions, and all users to be notified when and where fresh air is needed. In addition, the solution could soon be integrated with HVAC systems to automatically ensure good IAQ.
Technical Challenges and Solutions
Real-time data collection and reporting are critical for effective IAQ monitoring. However, in many cases, this will drain the battery fairly quickly. To tackle this dilemma, Milesight engineered automatic mode switch in the LoRaWAN AM107 IAQ sensor. In practice, the AM107 can automatically switch between different operating modes during the day and night. It responds to classroom air quality conditions as quickly as possible during the day, while saving as much energy as possible on the device’s battery in unoccupied classroom environments at night. Combined with the adaptive data rate (ADR) mode, it enables the device to achieve more than four years of battery life, even with a data collection frequency of one minute and a reporting interval of five minutes.
Considering that there are time zone and Daylight Saving Time differences in various regions, the time on AM107 may not be accurate if it is not adjusted accordingly. To make it correct and convenient, our AM107 is designed to automatically synchronize its time with gateway packet forwarding on a long-term basis.
For IoT security, the more complex and unique the password, the more secure the device will be. In our case, each device and password correspond to one another. The password for each sensor is randomly generated and is in the form of a long string.
Safer and Easier LoRaWAN IAQ Protection in Public Schools
LoRaWAN devices met all requirements, including the visualized data, multiple environment data monitoring, long battery life, the fast transmission and high reliability of messages and the ease of deployment. The solution was supplied to the customer very quickly and ready to operate. Devices were bundled and shipped directly to the different locations already associated and identified to the different classrooms. The customers would then perform the easy installation themselves.
Using LoRaWAN, Milesight and Assek Technologie were able to create a highly effective solution specially made for this project. Milesight’s hardware expertise and Assek’s software development capabilities led to a very complete and unique solution. This partnership allowed both companies to take part in one of the first LoRaWAN mass deployment projects in Canada and will be an example for education systems within North America and worldwide.
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