Cloud-based Integrated Indoor Air Quality Control System for Public Use Facilities
Cloud-based Integrated Indoor Air Quality Control System for Public Use Facilities
▲ Research Fellow Song Su-won, Indoor Air Quality Organization
Recently, the importance of natural ventilation has gained attention due to public anxiety about the spread of COVID-19 in public use facilities. Interest in ventilation systems installed with high efficiency filter has also increased due to the connection between air pollution, such as particulate matter and other pollutants, and various respiratory and skin diseases. In addition to outdoor air pollution, the period for natural ventilation is becoming shorter and shorter as a result of heat waves and extreme heat due to climate change. Moreover, due to the inadequate operation and maintenance of ventilation systems, there are growing concerns with indoor air quality in public use facilities.
Ventilation systems help improve indoor air quality and reduce pollutants. However, if these systems are not managed properly, they can actually harm people’s health. System characteristics and usage patterns can also widely vary, particularly in the case of public use facilities such as elderly care facilities, daycare centers, and underground complex facilities. Therefore, it is important to set standardized control criteria for indoor air quality by facility type and to establish measures for the efficient operation and management of ventilation systems based on indoor air quality monitoring data.In an effort to promote the comprehensive management and improvement of the indoor air quality of public use facilities, this article introduces and discusses the configuration and related services of the Cloud-based Integrated Indoor Air Quality Control System for Public Use Facilities, developed by the Indoor Air Quality Organization of the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT).
Measures to Control Indoor Air Quality in Public Use Facilities
In South Korea, air quality standards for public use facilities are generally being recommended by type of facility with "Standards for Maintaining Indoor Air Quality" and "Recommended Standards for Indoor Air Quality" in accordance with the Enforcement Regulations of the Indoor Air Quality Control in Public Use Facilities, Etc. (hereinafter "Enforcement Regulations on Indoor Air Quality Control") by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment. However, some local governments have established their own ordinances to measure and control indoor air quality on a regular basis. Table 1 shows standardized pollutant limits for the maintenance of indoor air quality for public use facilities. These standards set limits for a total of 10 substances including particulate matter (PM-10), carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, total floating bacteria, carbon monoxide, ultra fine particulate matter (PM-2.5), nitrogen dioxide, radon, total volatile organic compounds, and mold. The control standards for each pollutant are continuously being strengthened. The indoor air quality in public use facilities varies greatly depending on the type of facility and how well the air quality is controlled. Therefore, in order to systematically and comprehensively control and improve indoor air quality at public use facilities, it is necessary to develop efficient ventilation controls and data-based, integrated control technologies that reflect the characteristics and usage patterns of different facility types. In other words, it is necessary to develop technologies that collect and store information on indoor air pollutants measured in real time through IoT sensors installed indoors and outdoors. It is also necessary to develop technologies that can effectively control and improve various aspects of indoor air quality using sensor-based environmental control algorithms, as well as to develop systems for the active control of heating, cooling, and ventilation and for rapid response to safety accidents. Furthermore, in order to develop efficient technology, it is necessary to implement a cloud-based integrated system to control indoor air quality, and related services requires customization per type and region of public use facility (users, building managers, local governments, etc.).
Cloud-based Integrated Indoor Air Quality Control System
In order to provide active, cloud-based, indoor air quality management and services, the Indoor Air Quality Organization constructed its own cloud server—including a communications server, DB server, processing server, and communication network security equipment—at the KICT. The organization is using this cloud server to conduct empirical research on public use facilities such as elderly care facilities, daycare centers, and underground complexes.
As shown in Figure 1, the cloud server of the Integrated Indoor Air Quality Control System is largely divided into: a data communications, processing, and connection server; a data storage DB server; and a Web/WAS integrated virtualization server. The data communications/processing/connection server collects information on the facility, indoor and outdoor air quality, and the operation of the facility’s control equipment, all of which is transmitted through the cloud network by various indoor air quality (IAQ) and outdoor air quality (OAQ) sensors, ventilation systems (or air purifiers, etc.), and mobile devices. This collected information is transmitted to the data storage DB (Database) server. The integrated Web/WAS virtualization server uses the Integrated Indoor Air Quality Control System to provide IAQ/OAQ monitoring, control, data analysis, and information sharing services for public use facilities.
Integrated Indoor Air Quality Control System Service
As shown in Figure 2, the Integrated Indoor Air Quality Control System consists of an IAQ integrated management and service module, a system control module, an external system interworking module, and a data collection module. The modules are configured in such a way so as to allow data to flow freely throughout the system. The IAQ integrated management and service module integrates and manages facility data collected from each module, data on the status and operation of indoor air quality control devices, such as the ventilation system, air purifiers, air conditioners, etc., and data on indoor and outdoor air quality. This integration of data makes it possible to provide customized services for each type of facility. In addition, since the IAQ integrated control and service module includes the IAQ integrated management, mobile, and connection (additional) services, it is possible to provide various services according to customer type.
government) management services and individual facility (type) management services. For regional (local government) integrated control systems, as shown in Figure 4, the location of the relevant facility and surrounding outdoor air quality sensors are displayed on the map. When a system user clicks on a facility indicated on the map screen, the system displays item-specific indices for real-time measurement of indoor air quality as well as a weighted integrated indoor air quality evaluation index. Also, when the user clicks the relevant shortcut, the system displays an integrated monitoring screen that shows the overall status of indoor and outdoor air quality of the facility. After the user logs in and moves to the control screen of the ventilation system, the indoor air quality improvement devices (ventilation system, air purifier, etc.) can be controlled using manual, automated, or integrated operation methods, allowing for the selective control of various devices according to the real-time status of the facility’s indoor and outdoor air quality. The system can also predict and inform the user of the lifespan of built-in ventilation filters.
Mobile services not only enable users of individual facilities to monitor indoor air quality, but they also allow users to register their indoor air quality improvement devices (IAQ sensors, ventilation systems, air purifiers, etc.) for control and maintenance.
In other words, when a user, such as the building manager of a facility, logs into the system, he or she can view information on the status of the facility and its indoor air quality sensors and can even register the facility’s air improvement devices. Each registered IAQ sensor and indoor air quality improvement device (ventilation system, air purifier, air conditioner, etc.) across all connected facilities automatically transmits data to the cloud server through the network (using API, etc.) so that the facility user can monitor, in real time, the indoor air quality and maintain the facilities and equipment (such as ventilation systems or air purifiers) for the relevant location.
As shown in Figure 6, connection (additional) services primarily include an IAQ improvement and management solution, a linked service, and an IAQ improvement solution. The IAQ improvement and management solution includes IAQ monitoring (sensor), IAQ improvement and management, fire services (prompt response to safety accidents), and standard operating procedures (SOP) for each facility type. Through the linked service, additional services can be linked to the system, such as a 3D/AR/VR system, occupancy detection and prediction system, and an AI-based indoor air quality prediction system. The IAQ improvement solution provides empirical data on and recommends IAQ improvement and management solutions for each type of facility.
In order to substantially improve and control the indoor air quality at public use facilities, it is necessary to implement an active integrated control system service that utilizes sensing data and that can perform efficient ventilation facility control, etc. that is well-suited to the characteristics and usage patterns of different types of facilities. This article introduced the configuration and related services of one such system—the Cloud-based Integrated Indoor Air Quality Control System for Public Use Facilities, developed by the KICT’s Indoor Air Quality Organization. Following the development of its Cloud-based Integrated Indoor Air Quality Control System for Public use Facilities, the Indoor Air Quality Organization continues to conduct empirical research to improve the overall indoor air quality at public use facilities, including daycare centers and underground complex facilities. Through its continuous cooperation with local governments, such as the Seoul, Incheon, Goyang, and Siheung governments, it is anticipated that the organization will be able to provide customized services for public use facilities and regional users (users, building managers, local governments, etc.).