Dynniq, a leading supplier of integrated transport systems both in the UK and internationally, showcased its virtual emissions monitor (VEM) platform at the Traffex show in Birmingham yesterday (April 5), with a presentation on how the technology can address air quality management.
Dynniq’s account director, Andrew Gibson, commercial product manager, Alex Verploegh, and senior consultant, Sam Brierly, will be presenting, ‘Reducing emissions through innovation’, which will look at how harnessing its VEM technology can improve, safety, reliability and sustainability on road networks. European directives on ambient air quality stipulate limits for the concentration levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO?) within road networks in the UK to protect public health. The limits are 40?g m-3 (hourly average) and 200?g m-3 (not to be exceeded more than 18 times in a calendar year). The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) forecasts that by 2020 (the target date for compliance), the majority of air quality reporting zones in the UK will still be non-compliant for NO?. In the UK, the principal NO? concentration in urban environments is due to primary NO? emissions from road transport. For this reason, the appropriate management of transport has a big role to play in meeting the government’s objectives on the environment and public health.
Dynniq’s VEM platform is a new data-driven approach to calculating localized emissions from road transport in real time, without the need for expensive on-street air quality monitors. Instantaneously it combines published data on vehicle emissions factors, real-time reported traffic speed and flow measurements, to calculate total NO? emitted, accurate to the lane in which the vehicle was traveling. For many years air quality monitors have been the ‘go-to’ tool for determining air quality in and around highway networks. Whether they are diffusion tubes or automatic analyzers, their accuracy is dependent on regular calibration and can be compromised by wind direction. They are ideal for understanding long-term trends across an area such as a town or city, but are limited to being able to report the concentration of a substance at the point of analysis.
However, Dynniq’s VEM assigns emissions to many points across much more widely implemented infrastructure, such as traffic detection loops. By relating emissions to the 8,000 Highways England MIDAS (Motorway Incident Detection and Automatic Signaling) detection points on the motorways, air quality (NO? and CO? concentrations) along corridors and at junctions can be analyzed to see when (minute by minute), where (lane by lane detection sites), and with what, traffic mix issues arise. Many variable factors can impact air quality in a given area, making the association between cause and effect difficult and unreliable. By segregating the variables, the VEM allows authorities to quickly identify increased emissions, make informed operational decisions, and measure the impact. This provides the confidence that a measured reduction in emissions will result in an improvement in air quality. The VEM provides a platform to accurately determine the contribution of traffic on air quality, enabling operators to intervene, and policy makers to justify change.