The thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality of indoor spaces are critical for infection control, wellness, and productivity and are enabled by heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. These systems consume more energy than any other appliance in a building and, of course, contribute to the emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide. Air distribution systems are often expensive, time-consuming to operate and maintain, and often have failures that are difficult to predict and prevent. If they can be equipped with accurate & comprehensive real-time measurements and optimization, a huge proportion of energy use and operational costs could be reduced.
Natalia Mykhaylova, a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and the CEO of WeavAir, based in Singapore, Canada, and South Korea, devised a method to solve this problem by employing Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things innovation in the building sector, transportation, and logistics. Their solution involves advanced sensor technologies, algorithms, and real-time analytics but is simple to use and operate. By measuring the cooling, ventilation and air conditioning system performance, monitoring the air quality, tracking occupancy, and even the COVID risks, the data collected and analyzed can save 20-60% of the energy cost of the building air systems, while improving property value. Repair and maintenance costs can also be substantially reduced while improving the air quality, wellness, and productivity of people. This proven and scalable technology addresses a fundamental need of many organizations that is growing especially fast right now as the society aims to control and prevent current and future pandemics, and has applications in commercial, industrial, logistics, transportation and tourism industries.
The idea of harnessing data science and the Internet of Things to improve air quality dates back to 11 years ago, when during her Ph.D., Natalia deployed a wireless network of portable, low-cost air quality monitoring devices to give critical information to residents and the government in order to enhance public health and empower the public to make better decisions. She designed and produced sensor devices, as well as enhanced the data analysis pipelines for monitoring air pollution, improving the accuracy of data analysis, and reducing analysis time by 70%. The technology has been scaled up and is currently being used to monitor air quality in regions across Asia and Europe.
Beyond air quality monitoring, Natalia co-founded another company that provides unique technology to protect the health of young children from air pollution, as well as a social enterprise that uses a combination of predictive models, and commute metrics to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in cities.