Smart door seal keeps conference rooms from getting stuffy


June 11, 2013

The “intelligent door seal system” automatically lets fresh air into a crowded room when carbon dioxide levels get too high (Photo: Shutterstock)

The “intelligent door seal system” automatically lets fresh air into a crowded room when carbon dioxide levels get too high (Photo: Shutterstock)

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If you’re in a confidential meeting with the boardroom door closed, the air can get stale pretty fast. Should it be too cold outside to crack any windows, or if the room simply has no windows, then opening those isn’t a choice. That’s why Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems has teamed up with the Athmer Company to create an “intelligent door seal system.”

The seal itself is an electronically-controlled strip fastened to the bottom edge of the door, bridging the gap between the door and the floor/carpet. As long as the carbon dioxide levels in the meeting room stay within a comfortable range, that seal stays down, helping to maintain the room’s temperature by keeping the cold hallway air out.

A demo setup of Fraunhofer's door seal system

When an integrated sensor detects that CO2 levels in the room are getting too high, however, the system activates a tiny motor that allows the seal to temporarily spring open – letting fresh air in. At the same time, the system also communicates with the building’s ventilation system, causing it to draw the stale air out of the room.

Fraunhofer is now testing the system in one of its buildings, and claims that it could also be adapted to maintain humidity levels within a given indoor area.

Source: Fraunhofer

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

How badly designed is the building environmental system?


Most building HVAC systems nowadays have fresh air makeup units. Maybe this is for older structures, but I can't help but wonder where this seal system will get fresh air to push into the room.

Bruce H. Anderson

Maybe a similar system can also circulate outside air when "poisonous gasses" are detected in the room

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