AQMesh solar unit gives flexible air quality monitoring
January, for many of us, is a strange time to focus on solar energy but a new solar power unit designed specifically to power the AQMesh air quality monitoring system can power a full-specification pod throughout any western European winter.
Lithium batteries established AQMesh as the first reliable ‘small sensor’ air quality monitoring device that is completely independent of power supply, as well as communications infrastructure – but even the best batteries need to be replaced eventually. The solar power unit includes a back-up battery and requires just a single connection to a matching lead on the pod. The unit is also very simple to mount on a post, wall or fence as required, and includes a compass for alignment and the facility to tilt the panel to achieve maximum solar energy.
“We designed this power unit specifically for AQMesh. AQMesh is low-power so we used the smallest possible solar panel necessary to measure all parameters at all reading and transmission frequencies”, comments AQMesh Technical Director, Steve Earp. “We know that users are concerned about large or heavy objects on posts but the combined package of an AQMesh pod on a post with this solar power unit has a very low impact.”
Stephen Hoskin, Sales Manager at Air Monitors Ltd, has installed and supported hundreds of AQMesh pods in the UK in a variety of environments. He says “For longer monitoring projects involving the measurement of particles, the AQMesh solar power unit provides a convenient, cost efficient and unobtrusive way of keeping the pod running continuously without having to change the battery. The solar power unit is very easy to install, featuring a push fit connector for the cable from the pod and contains a small back up battery to power the pod even on long dark winter days.”
AQMesh can measure NO, NO2, O3, CO, SO2, PM1, PM2.5, PM10, noise, pod temperature, atmospheric pressure and relative humidity from a single pod – and can now be powered by a DC connection to a solar power unit measuring 445 x 250 x 290mm and weighing 5.5kg. AQMesh has been installed in a range of applications including pollution hotspot identification, and performance has been routinely demonstrated and proven in a series of global co-location comparison trials.