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How UVGI Air Disinfection Systems Can Help Fight COVID-19

Posted on June 15, 2020 How UVGI Air Disinfection Systems Can Help Fight COVID-19

Bacteria, mould, spores, fungus, and viruses like the novel Coronavirus grow rapidly inside the Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and get distributed all over the premise through the air-conditioning ducts. This makes the environment infectious, unhealthy, and unsafe, without us realizing it.

Research has shown that places like shopping malls, hospitals, commercial spaces, IT Parks, and schools are exposed to similar unhealthy environments, and that can heighten health issues including congestion, headaches, upper respiratory ailments, flu and the novel coronavirus which is responsible for the COVID -19 pandemic.

A] What Are UVGI Air Disinfection Systems?

Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) is electromagnetic radiation which is used to disinfect (kill) microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, yeast, mould, and fungi. It is a non-chemical technology with no residual by-products. The use of short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) light to kill or inactivate microorganism has been one of the most accepted air disinfection methods since the middle of the 20th century.

Thus, UV lamps for air disinfection (UVGI) have found a huge scope of applications in air purification with rapidly increasing industry acceptance in HVAC applications. In fact, since the advent of COVID -19, UV has become a highly searched word, and the world has suddenly woken up to its high disinfection capability.

#UV Disinfection of Air: A Closer Look at the UV Bands

A Closer Look at the UV bands

B] How Does UV-C  Destroy Pathogens?

The high energy radiated through the short-wavelength UVC light is absorbed in the cellular RNA and DNA, damaging nucleic acids and preventing microorganisms from reproducing and infecting. The radiation is strongly absorbed by the RNA and DNA bases, leading to molecular structural damage, resulting in the inactivation of viruses like Coronavirus, such that they are no longer able to replicate. The level of inactivation is directly proportional to the UV-C radiation – the basis being dosage, intensity, and duration of exposure.

C] Advantages of UVGI  in HVAC System

  • UVGI in HVAC system can help eliminate up to 99.9% of viruses and kills up to 90% of certain airborne bacteria passing through the air system.
  • Air disinfection with UVC helps maintain system efficiency and airflow, which eventually saves money and time by not having to clean your system coils often.
  • UV air disinfection systems increase productivity by helping reduce absenteeism due to illness. Read here to know more.
  • Highly recommended for killing microbes and improving indoor air quality, by many credible organizations in the pharmaceutical industry, educational institutes, and shopping malls.

D] Application of UVGI in the HVAC Industry

The UVGI system can be implemented mainly into 2 core areas when it comes to the HVAC industry.

  1. Application in Air Handling Units
  2. Application in Ducting System

Application of UVGI in Air Handling Units (AHU)

The cooling coils present in the AHU are generally the heat exchangers where heat and mass transfer take place. To increase the heat transfer, cooling coils are constructed of closely spaced aluminum fins, which are attached to rows of copper tubes, thus increasing the airside surface area.

This phenomenon along with humidity and moisture being constantly present promotes microbial growth and leads to the formation of Biofilms. The combination of biofilms and closely spaced fins makes cooling coils very susceptible to airside fouling. The blowoff from this biofilm into the airstream is a leading cause of deteriorated and harmful Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in all buildings.

These situations lead to chillers operating under non-optimum conditions while using more energy than usual.

The Solution – UltraCOIL

The Solution - UltraCOIL

Alfaa UVs ULTRACOIL ensures deep cleaning of coils in the safest and most eco-friendly way. There is no worry about the damaging of coils, which is highly likely with conventional chemical and scrubbing methods. The Ultracoil with its unique Parabolic Reflector System proactively removes the bio-films (layer of slimy, sticky substance that houses the bacteria, viruses, mould, etc.), thus ensuring that the air does not get contaminated through the coil and drain pans.

Read more: UVGI For HVAC – A Powerful Step to Fight COVID-19 In Air Conditioned Spaces

Installing a proper UVGI air disinfection system in front of the coil kills such microorganisms and viruses (Coronaviruses as well), hence disallowing the formation of a biofilm. A clean coil decreases the pressure drop across itself, which results in the following;

  • Increase in the thermal efficiency (sensible loads) of the cooling coil.
  • Decrease in the load on the chiller – hence saving energy on chiller by 10-15%.
  • Reduction in microbial counts >15 %.
  • Increasing the life of a coil by avoiding manual cleaning.
  • Earning IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) points.

Application of UVGI in Ducting System

Airborne contamination comes from a variety of sources and circulates majorly through the HVAC system. In-duct ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems treat moving airstreams in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems by inactivating airborne microorganisms found within. Airborne transmission of diseases through HVAC systems is much more prevalent nowadays than previously encountered.

Hospital-acquired infections are costing healthcare providers huge sums of money per annum, and while robust cleaning regimes have been adopted, the spread of Coronaviruses, Tuberculosis, Meningitis, MRSA, Clostridium difficile, Chickenpox, and Influenza (H1N1 and avian), alongside Aspergillus and Pseudomonas continue to grow. These infections affect between 10 and 20% of patients and are even fatal in some cases.

The Solution – UltraDUCT

The Solution - UltraDUCT

Alfaa UV’s ULTRADUCT solution provides assured single pass disinfection of airborne bacteria and viruses. It is installed in supply or return ducts. The Ultraduct also increases the life of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) by reducing the load of live organisms. There are various benefits of installing ULTRADUCT in HVAC systems, some of which are listed below:

  • It helps with air disinfection in hospitals and Improves air quality.
  • Helps in eliminating Sick Building Syndrome. Read this blog to know why working professionals should care about indoor air quality.
  • Increases the life of HEPA.
  • Helps in eliminating cross-contamination.
  • Scientifically designed systems are sized using our proprietary sizing tools based on extensive research.
  • Computational flow dynamics (CFD) and UV radiation profile modelling data.
  • Scientifically engineered positioning of UV lamps for air disinfection to ensure delivery of optimum UV dosage and maximum efficiency in killing microorganisms.
  • Can target specific bacteria as per requirement.

E] FAQs – UV Air Disinfection Systems

1. Why UV Light Air Disinfection is a must for your hospital?

The spread of communicable diseases is faster in a hospital as it is visited by numerous patients throughout the day. The air that gets circulated in the hospital building can be a major source via which diseases (including COVID) can spread through sneezing, coughing etc. This can put the people present in the hospital premises at risk, including the doctors, nursing staff as well as visitors who can breathe in the same infected, pathogen-laden air.

Thus, to prevent this, it is essential to make use of UV technology in air disinfection systems, which eliminates up to 99.9% of viruses and kills up to 90% of certain airborne bacteria passing through the air system. By making use of UVGI air disinfection for Air Handling Units (AHU), hospitals can purify the circulating air, as these advanced technology UV air disinfection systems can kill pathogens, bacteria, viruses (even Coronavirus) and other contaminants. This can help to prevent the spread of diseases, thereby ensuring that everyone on the premises enjoys good health.

2. Do hospitals need to use UV light to sanitize the indoor air?

Yes, they do! Since hospitals are visited by sick and infected people on a day-to-day basis, proper precautions in terms of air sanitization are important. When hospitals use UV-C air disinfection systems to improve the indoor air quality, they are undertaking preventive measures to ensure that the people present on their premises are not at risk of getting infected by breathing in the same air. The application of UV lamps in air disinfection systems also has a huge scope primarily because it is a non-chemical technology that leaves no residual by-products behind. This ensures that disinfected air is circulated throughout the hospital building without causing any side-effects for people on the premises.

3. How do hospitals use UV light?

UV light air disinfection in hospitals help to purify the air. Alfaa UV’s UltraCoil and UltraDuct systems, in particular, helps disinfect the air by killing (disinfecting) microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, yeast, and mold. It helps prevent nosocomial infections and purifies the circulating air, thereby safeguarding the health of all – the medical staff, patients as well as other people present in the hospital.

You may contact us or call us at 9833516650 / 8879336026. We will be happy to assist you with any queries.

Read More: How to cut HVAC electricity bill

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