Why Monitor Air Quality?
With increasing urbanisation comes increasingly poor air quality resulting in greater hospital admissions due to respiratory disease and rising incidance lung diseases such as asthma in children and more severe conditions for older people already affected.
A discussion on the WXforum.net bulliton board about making your own low cost version of the PurpleAir monitor and contribute to the Citizen Project "Luftdaten" led me to adding this page to the Loughlinstown.ie website.
Air Quality Monitoring
The Loughlinstown.ie sensor was constructed using the instructions on the Luftdaten website.
I decided to house my sensor in a Schneider Electric Junction Box from Screwfix after reading online that another person had been building their sensors using these boxes and they look quite neat.
All other parts are available from AliExpress online for around 35 euro in total with the Screwfix junction box another 6.15 euro. There are other kits online availabe too but the Aliexpress route was cheapest and easiest from my perspective. The equivalent sensor from Purpleair runs to $219 plus shipping and EU import taxes so quite a considerable cost difference and I believe, it uses the same or similar hardware inside.
The sensor is mounted outside on a north facing wall directly under the eave so direct sunshine won't lead to overheating issues and as prevailing winds here are westerly, rain ingress should be minimal. The housing has a rating of IP55 so whilst not completely watertight it should be good enough for here. I have put netting over the inlet pipe and the gland (for ventilation) to prevent insects making a home inside the box. Heres how it looks mounted outside, my walls could use a clean!
Luftdaten Network Map
Sensor measurements are uploaded to the Luftdaten network and then updated automatically to the online map.
Below you can see the current Irish stations in and around the local Dublin area. Click on the hexigons for more information. If the hexigon is coloured grey, this means that it is an internal sensor and therefore not necessarily representative of outside air quality conditions.
View Larger Luftdaten Map
Note: During foggy conditions measurements are unreliable as water droplets are measured as pollution due to similar size. The webcam image on the loughlinstown.ie homepage should give an indication if that is the case.