Lungs of the City Eindhoven
The city of Eindhoven has a progressive approach towards sustainability and environmental issues. To further improve the city’s living, working, and recreation environment, ‘healthy urbanization’ is an important theme in future city development. Air quality is one of the major themes in this respect; the city strives to implement measures that do not interfere with, but instead improve the city’s livability.
Air purification in car parks
Urban areas are characterized by a high traffic density and associated pollution, amongst which high emissions of (ultra) fine dust and soot. At the same time, these areas generally have a high density of car parks. Based on previous experience, ENS Clean Air and Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) devised a plan in which large-scale air purification in car parks substantially improves the air quality on a city-scale.
Large-scale air purification on an urban level
ENS Clean Air has developed an effective and energy-efficient air purification system for the elimination of fine and ultrafine dust in car parks: the Aufero. This system not only cleans the air inside the car park, but a part of the surrounding city air as well. This air purification system was previously applied successfully in a car park in the city of Cuijk. The air quality inside this car park improved substantially, due to a reduction of the fine dust (PM10) concentration of more than 70%. In the shopping mall above the car park, a PM10 reduction of more than 60% was realized.
Car parks are continuously ventilated with outdoor air, to refresh the air and to remove traffic-derived air pollutants. The polluted car park air is expelled to the urban environment without purification. Implementing ENS technology in car parks allows for the elimination of (ultra) fine dust and soot and therefore the cleaning of city air. Thus, car parks obtain an air cleansing functionality and hence may function as ‘Lungs of the City’.
Lungs of the City Eindhoven
The feasibility of the “Lungs of the City” concept for the city of Eindhoven was investigated by the research group ‘Urban Physics and Wind Engineering’ of the TU/e. The project was financially supported by ‘Smart Energy Regions’ and the municipality of Eindhoven. Under supervision of Professor Bert Blocken (Department of Building Physics) the potential improvement in air quality was examined following the implementation of ENS technology in parking garages.
Figure 1: Air flow simulations in of the city center of Eindhoven. The reduction in fine dust concentration relative to the original (non-treated) situation is illustrated in blue (in terms of percentage).
Air flow simulations indicate that a reduction in particulate matter (PM10 and PM2,5) of approximately 70% can be achieved in the parking garages. Particulate matter concentrations in the city air are reduced up to 50%, locally. This cleaning effect is perceptible up to one kilometer distance. A substantial improvement in air quality is thus achieved throughout the downtown area. Moreover, the cleaned air is transported by the wind and therefore also extends to the surrounding (residential) areas.
The results of this groundbreaking study are published in the scientific Journal of Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics: Reduction of outdoor particulate matter concentrations by local removal in semi-enclosed parking garages: A preliminary case study for Eindhoven city center (26 October 2016).
Figure 2: Left, air pollution at street level without cleaning of the air; right, air pollution at street level upon cleaning of the air: a reduction in fine dust concentration of up to 50% is observed.
Pilot project in the city of Eindhoven
The TU/e study has proven the effectiveness of ‘Lungs of the City’ for a major part of the Eindhoven city center; this is the first time air purification has been studied on such a large scale. Following this successful study, preparations are underway to investigate the effectiveness of the air purification systems in real life, in a garage under the ‘Heuvel Galerie’ shopping center. If the latter test succeeds, this approach will be implemented on a large scale and a large number of car parks in the city of Eindhoven will be equipped with ENS air purification systems. This will result in a substantial improvement of the air quality in city of Eindhoven, which will be an international leader in healthy urbanization.
The application of ENS’s air purification systems is by no means limited to car parks. The systems can also be implemented in tunnels, train and bus stations, viaducts, and busy traffic junctions. In short; the technology is generally applicable in various situations.
Curious about the possibilities? Please feel free to contact us.