As the Covid-19 pandemic to date grapples the world, prevention practices like social distancing, donning a mask, and religiously sanitizing high-touch surfaces and oneself when outdoors have only helped. Moreover, the purview of systemic cleaning of in-door ventilation systems, which was erstwhile shied away, has become a central concern in the wake of the spread of the contagion through the air. In view to integrally address the current needs and the challenges of capital and labor-intensive traditional maintenance practices of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, UltraCoil and UltraDuct UVGI air disinfection modules by Alfaa UV – a market-leading UV solutions provider with 20 years of experience, have witnessed a spike in both the interest and demand from HVAC professionals.
WHO earlier in July published an update that the Covid-19 virus can remain suspended in the air in crowded indoor spaces, where “short-range aerosol transmission… cannot be ruled out”, and have maintained the need for optimum indoor air quality, through well-maintained clean and hygienic HVAC equipment especially in closed-environment and high-risk structures like centrally air-conditioned hospitals, malls, and hotels. While conventional and periodic cleaning drives do offer some respite to maintain the equipment, these processes have their own drawbacks, due to which businesses for quite some time now, have been turning towards UV-based cleaning of HVAC systems – given its advantages – no-chemical residue, no need for periodic cleaning, 99% reduction in the growth of biofilm, and cost-efficiency, among others.
In an HVAC system, the AHU cooling coils and the air conveying ducts are most susceptible to becoming grounds for mold, pathogens, and fungi to settle on. These micro-organisms, in turn, form a biofilm on these surfaces, hence leading to the system’s energy-inefficient output and, in extreme cases, breakdown. A poorly maintained HVAC system subsequently keeps the occupants’ respiratory health at large risk, hence prompting their periodic cleaning drives.
Applying the cleaner and cost-efficient Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) technique, each Alfaa UV UltraCoil and UltraDuct UVGI air disinfection module comes equipped with high-efficiency UltraCoil UV lamps (from the USA); well-engineered UV UltraCoil parabolic reflector technology – to arrest wastage of the UV light; UL-approved UltraCoil ballasts – to ensure high lamp performance rate and longevity, and a NIST-calibrated UV Irradiance sensor and monitor to check UV irradiance output from the lamp. With an array of the features above, the modules ensure fool-proof efficient cleansing of the target surface without harming the UV-sensitive material like cables, gaskets, rubber material, on the HVAC system. Furthermore, the UltraCoil and UltraDuct UVGI air disinfection module also exhibit an integrated lamp, reflector, ballast design, hence ticking the box of coherent space management.
The use of UVGI in the maintenance apparatus has its benefits as it attacks the root cause of the problem by destroying the existing biofilm and prevents further growth. It also stops the growth of bacteria, viruses, molds, and mildew on the AHU coils, hence reinstating the coil’s original operating efficiency. And, importantly, drives out the need for timely manual cleaning. It helps save energy on three fronts – fan energy savings, cooling energy savings, and maintenance costs. UVGI also significantly increases the lifetime of the coil. Studies show that UVGI results in net savings/ efficiency improvement between 10-15% of the HVAC energy costs. Typically, one can garner Return on Investment within 1.5 years of installation of a UVGI setup.
Ankur Parikh, chief executive officer of Alfaa UV, “The world has woken up to the realization that the spread of Covid-19 can be arrested with the proper disinfection of air-conditioned spaces as the novel coronavirus is now linked to air in the new research. With two decades of expertise in UV technology, we at Alfaa UV welcome this opportunity to offer our UVGI systems for HVAC applications in a bid to fight this dreaded pandemic.”
Many notable projects and reputed brands have already installed Alfaa UV’s UltraCoil and UltraDuct UVGI air disinfection modules.