In my town Valkenswaard a large infrastructure project is changing the traffic flow. Main goal from the community is to enhance the quality of life for the people living close to the current heavily used national way running through the center of Valkenswaard. At the end of 2021 it is planned to have the new N69 operational. Next to city square and other important road, this should reduce the traffic on the local streets “Europalaan” en “Eindhovenseweg”.
When the traffic flow changes it is assumed that the Air quality will improve. The infrastructure projects mentioned above have this goal as one of their starting points. My idea was: “you will only find out when you measure it”.
That idea raise when reading a local initiative in the city of Zeist, Netherlands. The project “SMAL” has a website live in which they report on the air quality in areas in the city of Zeist. To have a network for reporting the data they also added an Internet-Of-Things network to the project which can be used freely by the people of Zeist. This network, which connects to the global The Things Network is an open network which can be used for building Internet-of-Things applications.
So there were two projects born, one to create my own hub towards the Things Network and this one, to build an Air Quality Sensor.
Building the sensor was not to complicated. On the German site luftdaten.info you will find an instruction to build one. I’m not going to repeat that here since that feels a bit like taking credits for something I did not do. Basically it consist of a small ESP8266 type microprocessor, combined with a Temperature Humidity Pressure Sensor (BME280) and a SDS011 Air Quality Sensor. It lives close to my home at the edge of the street, in reach of my Wifi network. The software for the sensor can be downloaded from the above German website as well which saves a lot of bug fixing time!
Adding the cost for the microprocessor, the two sensors and the “water-pipe-cabinet” together this will add up to about EUR 40.00. The Air Quality Sensor is quite expensive. Don’t fool yourself by buying a cheap clone. This will not be accurate enough and fail soon.
The Air Quality Station will collect temperature, humidity, Air Pressure, Particles-PM10 and Particles-PM2.5 every 10 minutes and store that data on the sites luftdaten.info and samen meten van RIVM. The data is also stored on this site; see the next paragraph for the latest data.