Air Quality Monitors Being Trialled in Isle of Man Educational and Political Environments

09 September 2021

Digital Isle of Man has installed a number of indoor air quality monitors in the Island’s schools and the Tynwald chambers as part of its Internet of Things (IoT) Accelerator Program.

The indoor air quality monitoring project is the first IoT trial chosen by Digital Isle of Man due to its use of relatively low cost devices that capture lots of data, its benefits to health, and its credentials as a practical and inspiring example to use in educational and political settings.   

Sarah Ennett, IoT Manager at Digital Isle of Man, commented:

‘We are very proud to tell you about one of our first IoT trials on the Island; one that is so important to protect the health, and support the development of, our Island’s young residents.

‘The pilot started at Scoill Phurt le Moirrey. We began planning back in spring and the devices have been collecting data since the beginning of June.  The results are really encouraging and we’ve learned a lot about how to talk to teachers and students about the devices, as well as how to calibrate and install the units themselves. We are now working closely with the Department of Education, Sport and Culture to install them in all of our Island’s schools.’

Joel Smith, Learning Transformation Lead at the Department of Education, Sport and Culture, commented:

‘Research has shown that monitoring levels of CO2, heat, humidity and light in school environments can have a significant impact on pupils’ ability to learn effectively. Both in terms of academic progress and health and well-being, this initiative will provide vital data, enabling us to effectively review existing environments within schools and inform the planning stages of any education infrastructure in the future.’

Sarah Ennett, IoT Manager at Digital Isle of Man, continued:

‘We spend up to 90% of our time indoors, and poor quality air has a measurable impact on cognitive performance as well as being harmful to health.  A healthy indoor environment means that there is adequate ventilation to introduce and distribute clean air, that contaminants are controlled, and that the temperature and humidity level are comfortable.

‘Importantly at this time, non-ventilated indoor spaces can increase the likelihood of aerosol transmission of COVID-19 and CO2 levels can be monitored as a proxy for possible transmissibility.

The small devices measure several parameters in a room; Carbon Dioxide (CO2) concentration, total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), temperature, humidity level, light levels, barometric pressure and activity levels.  These are all factors that are important to be aware of for optimal comfort, health and cognition. The levels of CO2 exhaled can become more concentrated with low ventilation, causing potential disruption to concentration and effective learning.’

These initial trials form part of a wider project portfolio aimed at supporting the social and economic development of the Island across all areas of our working and home lives. This supports Digital Isle of Man’s long term objective of showcasing that the Isle of Man is an ideal location for innovative technology trials.