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Volvo IAQS ensures clean cabin air

22 April 2004

The air in a car must be perceived to be clean by the occupants, including hypersensitive people. This often requires the ambient air to be cleaned or prevented from entering the car through the ventilation system.

Volvo Cars has designed IAQS (Interior Air Quality System) as a complement to the climate control system to automatically close the air intake as required.

IAQS consists of a filter and a sensor. Consisting of an element impregnated with activated carbon, the filter (also known as a combined filter) removes particles and pollen in the incoming air. The activated carbon absorbs gases and unpleasant odours. The sensor detects the presence of substances such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons – the main constituents of diesel and petrol exhaust gases – in the ambient air.

"One significant advantage of IAQS is that the system also reacts to carbon monoxide, a substance that an activated carbon filter does not trap," comments Anders Löfvendahl, a Volvo Cars product developer.

If the level of contamination become too high, the air intake is closed automatically and the interior air is recirculated, preventing contamination from entering the passenger compartment. The system thus ensures that the air in the cabin is cleaner, reducing the risk to asthmatics, allergy suffers and other hypersensitive individuals.

"To verify that our system is as effective as possible, we tested it under real-life conditions with the aim of achieving the air quality targets recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO)," says Anders Löfvendahl. "Volvo cars comply with the recommendations by a comfortable margin – a major advance in terms of a healthier cabin environment."

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