2022 has seen AQMesh taken up as a proven and flexible air quality monitoring system by more users, including several in mining and construction. New users include mining operators in the Middle East and Africa, and construction companies in Italy, UK and Canada. As well as supporting hundreds of existing users with thousands of pods – some of which have been active for over 10 years – AQMesh users also include government agencies and consultancies.
Mining and construction customers comment on how easy AQMesh is to use, from quick installation to the low maintenance requirements and ease – and reliability – of data access. Remote diagnostics allow AQMesh pods to be monitored in the harsh environments typical of these applications and proactive action taken if necessary. The pods use the mobile phone network to send data, and can use solar or battery power, so no infrastructure is required.
AQMesh distributor, S I Analytics, has supplied 65 AQMesh pods into Southern Africa since 2016, many of which are used in mining applications, including copper, phosphate platinum and coal extraction and handling. Typically the mining client will set up a network of pods to monitor in key locations around the perimeter of the facility, potentially including nearby sensitive zones, such as schools. Monitoring of wind speed and direction (an AQMesh sensor option or public data can be used) allows the source of any pollution to be identified by distance and direction. In several cases the AQMesh pods have been introduced and are managed by environmental consultants and the pattern of use is very similar, although consultancies may be in a position to overlay additional modelling and other analysis.
As well as various sites in the Republic of South Africa, AQMesh pods have been used in Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Mark Rowand, Managing Director of S I Analytics commented: “So far, from a mining perspective, the application for the AQMesh pods has been immense. We have used them for pre-mine feasibility studies by providing baseline data for the necessary legal Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), all the way through to existing mines which require site and fence line or community monitoring. In addition, having been in the monitoring industry for over 15 years, the turnaround time and pre- and post-sales support provided by AQMesh has been exceptional, demonstrated recently by the supply of 17 units to the middle of Africa within two weeks over the December period!”
As a modular and flexible platform, new sensor options can be added, with the latest being a solar radiation sensor for a construction customer in Italy. This adds to the existing suite of measurements: NO, NO2, O3, CO, SO2, CO2, H2S, TVOC, PM1, PM2.5, PM4, PM10, TPC, temperature, atmospheric pressure, RH%, wind speed and wind direction, with more in development. All measurements are provided as channels either through secure login to AQMeshData.net or by API connection, set up to automatically feed into a client database. Exceedance alerts can be set up directly from the AQMeshData.net server or from the client’s server. With readings updated as quickly as every five minutes, this local real-time pollution monitoring can provide vital input to site management.