Solar-Powered Outdoor Air Quality Monitor transmits data over LoRaWAN with the help of Seeed Fusion

Did you know that fossil fuel air pollution is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), air pollution is one of the biggest  environmental threats to human health, alongside climate change. Both affect each other, as improving air quality can enhance climate change mitigation efforts, while reducing emissions will in turn improve air quality.

On 22 September 2021, the WHO updated their Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs), adjusting almost all the AQGs levels downwards. “Air pollution is a threat to health in all countries, but it hits people in low- and middle-income countries the hardest,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Gerrit Niezen from the United Kingdom, realized the seriousness of the environmental problem early on and started to take action to make efforts to solve it. He started Embedded Loop, a tiny open-source software and hardware consultancy, just over 6 years ago.  Over the past year or so, Gerrit has started working on more open-source hardware projects, like the OpenAirMonitor.

The Open Air Monitor is a solar-powered, outdoor air quality monitor that transmits data over LoRaWAN networks like The Things Network. It measures particulates (PM1, PM2.5 and PM10) using a PMS7003 sensor, and has a STEMMA QT connector that can be used to connect a humidity & temperature sensor. Open Air Monitor is programmed in JavaScript over Bluetooth LE using Espruino.

Espruino does not have a LoRaWAN library, so Gerrit was looking for Long Range modules with LoRaWAN built-in. Seeed Studio’s Wio-E5 is the one of the first modules that uses the STM32WL, which contains both a microcontroller and Long Range RF in the same chip. It comes preinstalled with a LoRaWAN stack, so it was very easy to integrate into the air quality monitor.

It’s time to redefine what a low-cost air quality monitor looks like! 

Gerrit has created a new open-source hardware project that addresses these limitations with the following features:

–   Battery-powered, charging with a solar panel

–   Long-range wireless communication

–   Sensors that can be used in high-humidity environments

–   Easy to mount on a lamp post or other street furniture

At the same time, Gerrit was also kind enough to share his thoughts after trying the Seeed Fusion PCBA one-stop service.

“In the end I went with Seeed Studio’s Wio-E5 module, as they have a range of different promotions going on at the moment and I intended to make use of their Fusion PCB Assembly Service. I bought my first batch of Wio-E5 modules directly from their web shop, and they arrived relatively quickly.

For my second prototype revision I used Seeed’s Fusion PCB assembly service, as Seeed currently has an offer for two free PCBA boards if it contains a Wio-E5. I thought it was too good to be true, but I literally didn’t have to pay anything to get the two prototype boards, including all the components. 

During the design check Seeed even found a footprint issue that wasn’t discovered by other manufacturers during the first prototype run, and where parts were out of stock Seeed worked with me to find suitable alternatives. Seeed Fusion is such a reliable and convenient one-stop prototype service that I’d love to work with them again”. 

Committed to providing one-stop electronic hardware services for over a decade, Seeed Fusion has the expertise and engineering insight to deliver streamlined PCB assembly at low costs and is equipped with a wide range of value-added services and capabilities. Take advantage of the Free Design for Assembly review and Free functional testing with Seeed Fusion PCBA service now.

4 thoughts on “Solar-Powered Outdoor Air Quality Monitor transmits data over LoRaWAN with the help of Seeed Fusion

  1. Is there a way I can purchase all the parts for this project ? Would be really useful for schools projects

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