New Air Monitoring for Tracking Health and Energy Benefits: free webinar, June 27

A useful learning and networking opportunity for anyone interested in energy: The New Air Monitoring for Tracking Health and Energy Benefits free webinar on June 27.

Toronto MIT Club member Karen Donoghue, SM, MIT Media Lab, and Craig Newell have been part of this democratization of air quality monitoring for the last 5 years with their work on the iPhone app, LocalHaze. The app makes local data accessible to the public and citizen scientists. They will discuss the challenges in designing a data gathering app that can easily display good, local, real time data from worldwide monitoring networks.

Many Americans spend a majority of time inside, and a new and affordable monitoring technology has been developed by PieraSystems to measure indoor air quality, which is affected by building characteristics and energy efficiency improvements.

Vin Ratford, CEO, will speak about how his company’s Canāree monitoring system measures particulate size and count, from 0.1 – 10 microns, based on optical principles. It then applies AI model data analysis to report Effective Air Changes per hour in accordance with the new Indoor Air Quality Standard.  The system also classifies sources of pollution, including cigarette smoke and vaping fumes, improving indoor air quality while reducing energy consumption.

Karthik Kuppu MCP ’19, another Toronto MIT Club member, is another MIT alum involved in work that will help evaluate the air quality and health impact co-benefits from reducing transportation and other energy emissions.

Air monitoring advances are important because the first networks miss a lot of location-specific “hot spot” information, They were designed to provide high quality, background concentration data and report health-harming concentrations and air quality index values. These government networks still report 24-hour average, particulate data that can show, for example, whether the smoke and haze from forest fires is arriving in distant locations. They are costly – the budget required for the Massachusetts network of 40 monitors and 20 staff was more than $6 million in 1988. Today, staff are busy evaluating the ability of the community monitors to produce accurate and precise, local particulate data so data from several of the community monitors can be considered and included in network results.

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