I was given the chance to review an air quality monitor from a European company that is located in one of the most contaminated countries with the highest concentrations of particulate matter − the notorious pollutant which causes premature deaths and many illnesses.
Each year during the cold winter months, Bulgaria has the highest PM2.5 concentrations of all EU-28 member states in urban areas (I have the chance to experience it in person in Sofia). The reason is wood and coal burning. Senstate Technologies SC is a Bulgarian company with experience in the field of environmental issues.
The Senstate Urban Air Quality Station is a versatile and configurable air quality monitor with cutting-edge technologies on board, I will give you more information about it in a hot minute.
- Particulate Matter Sensor
- Temperature Sensor
- Humidity Sensor
- Air Pressure Sensor
- Extension Sensory Pack (CO2, SO2, NO2, CO, O3) UAQS-1200-HYBR
- IP54 (Protected from water spray from any direction)
- Internal Battery
- IEEE 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Optional 3G/4G)
- DC 5V 3.0A
- Compact 220 x 220 x 50mm
Unlike other low-cost air quality monitors out there the Senstate UAQS has an innovative airflow system for air sampling inside the device enclosure which offers a fully controlled environment. I was really impressed to see something like this in this category of AQ station.
The urban AQS comes with an internal battery system in order to ensure that it will work stably for up to six hours in case the grid doesn’t provide electricity.
The AQ station I review doesn’t have any gas sensors only weather sensors and a particulate matter sensor. The compact size stays the same regardless of whether your version (UAQS-0800-HYBR or UAQS-1200-HYBR) has or does not have gas sensors. Each monitor can support up to 4 gas sensors plus the particulate matter sensor which is available across both variations. It weighs approximately 2.9kg/6.39lb. Finally, it has two different mounting systems, a Wall Mount or Pillar Stand.
Once you receive the monitor and set it up you have to create an account and register your device(s) to the cloud dashboard by typing the Assigning Secret code(s) and Assigning Token(s). The dashboard is very easy and intuitive to use.
You can access all your data in real-time. You can view, export, print, and even compare the parameter between them.
Those who want to share the truth about the air quality in their area with the rest of the world (like myself) can easily enable the Open Data and List as a Public Device options. That way anyone can access and see via the URL https://senstate.com/map/ the air quality on the map.
The company also provides Open Data to the OpenAQ platform which is the best place to find official and low-cost AQ data nowadays.
The airflow system makes a difference when it comes to measuring fine particles.
Although the battery system can provide enough energy for 6 hours, it would be cool if it could operate for at least 12 hours because I would have been able to attach a solar panel. Maybe in the future.
I really like the fact that the company allows users easily to make the data public. You would think that this is a common feature but it isn’t. I believe in open air quality data because we all share the same air.
The Senstate Urban Air Quality Station is really compact with a small footprint and very configurable. It supports open air quality data which is a delight from a citizens science perspective but it can also keep data private from an industrial perspective.