Drivers and passengers of billions of cars already on the roads today, may soon be breathing healthier air than ever before, thanks to Nordzone™ System, a new smart and connected aftermarket solution from the Swedish company CabinAir. The solutions will be launched at Automechanika Shanghai 2020 December 2–5.
The upgrade for vehicles’ HVAC systems fits into the filter compartment and is powered via a connection to the car’s fuse box. It is based on technology pioneered by Blueair and proven for decades in homes and commercial spaces. CabinAir has already adapted technology for the factory-installed Advanced Air Cleaner (AAC) system in new vehicles made by Volvo Cars.
“We are so proud that Volvo Cars, one of the world’s most health- and safety-oriented car manufacturers, chose our technology for healthy in-cabin air,” says Daniel Hagström, CabinAir’s CEO. “But we wanted to bring healthy air to all of you stuck in traffic every day, so we needed to solve the problem of healthy air for the billions of existing cars. And now we have.”
Slashes levels of particulates, viruses and bacterias
Indeed, on-road tests in cooperation with Tsinghua University in Bejing show that more than 50% of outdoor PM2.5 air pollution enters vehicle cabins equipped with standard air filters, while cars with the Nordzone™ System installed only let in 2–4%*.
Additional tests conducted by the independent Guangzhou Institute of Microbiology also show that in addition to effective particle filtration, the technology in CabinAir’s Nordzone™ System removes 99.97%* of airborne viruses and bacteria.
Flushes out volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and odors, and prevents carbon dioxide (CO2) build-up
“Healthy in-cabin air also means handling odors and VOCs, which can be released via off-gassing from materials inside the car, and to keep an eye on CO2 levels, which can cause drowsiness and severely effect the driver’s reaction times if they increase,” Hagström says.
He explains that traditional climate systems need to recirculate the air in the car to reach acceptably low levels of particulates. This over time increases CO2 levels, which can cause drowsiness and longer reaction times. But in CabinAir’s systems, you can allow a constant flow of fresh and clean air to flush out VOCs and prevent CO2 build up.
“Our particle charging technology combined with an optimized filter is a solution that really works – not only in the lab but in real driving environment on the roads,” says Daniel Hagström, CabinAir’s CEO. “While our built-in from factory solution is the most premium implementation, since it can be 100% optimized for that specific vehicle platform, our Nordzone™ System comes close in performance.”
Nordzone™ Air quality monitor and app
To help drivers optimize in-cabin air quality in all driving situations, Nordzone™ System can, together with the Nordzone™ Air quality monitor be connected to the Nordzone™ app. The monitor continuously measures PM2.5, VOCs and CO2, pollutants that can strongly impact health and wellbeing of drivers and passengers. The monitor’s at-a-glance interface allows the driver to keep track on in-cabin air quality without taking focus from driving.
It is powered via the car’s USB port. The app reads the sensor data from the monitor and compares real-time in-cabin air quality data with outdoors.
The simplicity of the readout – just two different rows of LEDs – is designed to make it easy for the driver to see the in-cabin air quality, while staying focused on driving.
“With the connection to our cloud database and AI system we can offer tips on how to improve air quality in all situations – a guide to healthier ride. Even if our system only lets in maybe 3-4% of the pollutants, levels inside the cabin can still be unhealthy if the level of pollutants outside is extremely high, if the ventilations system is not optimized or if in-cabin pollutants are high,” Hagström explains.
“For example, if the monitor shows pollutant levels have increased when driving through a tunnel or following closely behind a truck or a bus, the system will advise the driver to switch to recirculation mode temporarily. Or if CO2 levels increase while in recirculation mode, the system will advise the driver to open the window to get fresh air if outside air quality allows it, or by increasing the HVAC fan speed and turn off recirculation”
*On-road tests with different vehicles conducted in collaboration between CabinAir and Tsinghua University May- July 2020. After 30 min in 3m3 test chamber, airflow rate of 300 m3/h, test procedure according to GB 21551.3-2010 by Guangzhou Institute of Microbiology