Cold storage facilities have always played a crucial role in the food and beverage industry. They enable the storage and distribution of perishable products such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, poultryand seafood products ; flowers, medicines and pharmaceutical products; electronics, and other temperature-sensitive products. According to ISHRAE – Indian Cold Chain Industry Outlook 2024 Report, the Indian cold chain market was worth USD 19.6 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 36 Billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 16%.
However, cold storage facilities face several challenges, one of them is indoor air quality. Let’s understand how poor indoor air quality affects cold storage units:
1. Quality and Freshness of Products
Perishable products need ideal storage conditions to retain their quality and freshness or else their shelf life can be reduced. If air is contaminated, it can further breed airborne bacteria, viruses, mold, and pathogens, leading to the quick degradation of products. By the time the products reach customers; they would have lost their original quality and freshness.
An incorrect moisture level in the air can cause a series of unwanted reactions in perishable products. When the relative humidity level is too low, perishable products can dehydrate and shrink. On the contrary, high humidity levels can also deteriorate products and lead to premature spoilage through bacterial or mold growth.
3. High Energy Costs
Cold storage is an energy-sensitive industry in the supply chain. Let’s say the cold storage unit’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is inefficient. In that situation, it has to work harder, which might significantly raise energy expenditures. The common reasons for the improper working of HVAC systems are neglected faults, damaged parts, dirty coils and drain pans, or inadequate ventilation, leading to lower efficiency and higher operating costs.
An effective UVGI air purification system can maintain the required indoor air quality and prevent spoilage of products in cold storage facilities. Industrial air purifiers using UV lamps can be fitted into the HVAC systems to address this problem. Air purifiers for industrial use coupled with UVGI technology remove dust, debris, smoke, airborne contaminants, and other infectious agents from HVAC systems, thereby improving indoor air quality in cold storage facilities.
Industrial air purifiers with Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation – UVGI system can give even better results in improving heat transfer, enhancing indoor air quality, consuming less energy, and increasing the lifespan of the HVAC units.
UVGI is a proven and effective means of air disinfection. It uses short wavelength UV-C radiation at 254 nm to kill or inactivate airborne microbes by damaging their DNA and RNA. A research article also states that UVGI damages the structure of nucleic acids and proteins in microorganisms at the molecular level, rendering them incapable to replicate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UVGI kills viral, bacterial, and fungal organisms.
A few other benefits of the UVGI system are:
Cost-effective and eco-friendly solution
UVGI industrial air purifiers from Alfaa UV are an ideal investment for air purification in cold storage facilities. Alfaa UV’s UltraCoil and UltraDuct systems disinfect the air by killing microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, yeast, and mold.
UltraDuct systems when installed in HVACs will irradiate the small airborne particles containing microorganisms as the air flows through the ducts The UltraDuct provides assured single–pass disinfection of airborne bacteria and viruses. It is installed in supply or return ducts. It also increases the life of HEPA filters by reducing the load of live organisms.
The UltraCoil with its unique Parabolic Reflector System proactively removes the biofilms (layer of slimy, sticky substance that houses bacteria, viruses, mold, spores, etc.), thus ensuring that the air does not get contaminated around the coil and in the drain pans.
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