The Technical University (TU) Graz developed and presented a new ventilation system that is intended to curb the spread of corona in Austria’s schools in the future.
Individual parts of the new exhaust air system against Corona could be procured inexpensively in the hardware store – the installation can be carried out by the schools themselves, the TU said on Tuesday.
There is a new ventilation system against Corona for schools
In a pilot test, the exhaust air ventilation system was installed in two school classes at the Sacre Coeur private school in Graz in autumn 2021. In addition, CO2 measuring devices with a traffic light system were installed in the two classrooms to monitor the CO2 content and the aerosol concentration. This can be used to determine when ventilation should take place. The costs for one class are around 500 to 700 euros. The components for the ventilation are available in hardware stores and the installation can be carried out by any school caretaker.
Research team installed the new ventilation system at Sacre Coeur
At Sacre Coeur, the research team led by building physicist Christina Hopfe installed the ventilation system together with the children. In addition to cost savings and uncomplicated installation, the ventilation system has other advantages: there is no need to intervene in the building structure, the noise level is below that of conventional air filter systems and no maintenance is necessary, according to the TU. “With well-planned and installed exhaust air fans, the risk of infection is about eight times lower,” added Hopfe. This facility could also be used for other infectious diseases.
Ventilation against Corona in schools works with tilted windows
The ventilation works with a tilted window that can be sealed in the cold winter months to avoid draughts. Using a fan, pipes on the ceiling and extraction hoods above the seating areas, the used, aerosol-laden air is then extracted and transported outside. At the same time, the system ensures a continuous supply of fresh air through the tilted window. In contrast to conventional air filter systems, this ventilation system removes aerosols immediately – even before they can circulate in the room. The system was designed based on a concept from the German Max Planck Institute. The research team has also created an explanatory video for interested schools – step-by-step instructions are to follow by mid-August.