Just limiting the number of guests is not enough to prevent COVID-19, so we have mandatory rules of wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing, washing hands, and disinfecting after use.
In addition to these rules, we believe that keeping the air clean is also one of the effective measures to prevent the disease. Researchers say that COVID-19 transmission risk can be reduced if the space is well ventilated .
How do you know if the space is well ventilated? One of the indicators is CO2. CDC recommends that indoor CO2 levels be below 800ppm during pandemic conditions.
There are several ways to keep indoor CO2 levels low, for example, opening doors/windows regularly or keeping ventilation fans on. But they require human intervention and are not energy efficient.
This is where the automatic ventilation system comes in. What it does is to monitor CO2 levels at different spots in the hackerspace, automatically turn on/off a powerful ventilation fan depending on the measured CO2 levels, and keep the air in the space clean therefore lowering COVID-19 risk.
CO2 levels are measured with CO2 monitors at the following 4 locations: the main area, the video studio, the hallway, and the restroom. Each CO2 monitor is made up of the M5Stack Core2 for AWS IoT EduKit reference hardware, an NDIR CO2 sensor, 2 orange mini mini breadboards, and a 3D printed enclosure.
CO2 monitors send measured CO2 levels in ppm to AWS IoT Core every 10 sec. The display color changes from green to red once the CO2 level exceeds the threshold, 600ppm.