Sustainable HVAC Solutions

The Pros and Cons of Mobile UVC Disinfection Units

american ultraviolet mobile uvc unit
If you’re responsible for maintaining a business or commercial building, this can be a very uncertain time. COVID-19 has changed the way all of us operate. Your building may either be closed, reopening, or overrun with people. Regardless, there is one thing that’s top of mind: the health of everyone who uses your building.

Germicidal ultraviolet (UVC) products can kill up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria on surfaces without the use of harsh chemicals.

These disinfecting products are not just for hospitals. Any commercial building or mode of transportation like airplanes, trains, subways, and buses can benefit from germicidal UVC.

There are multiple ways you can use the disinfecting power of UVC. One of those options is a mobile UVC unit. Before you get started with any new system, we recommend you consider the following factors:

  • Disinfection Time – How quickly do you need the product to work? If you’re thinking of using a mobile disinfection in a hospital, you may have less cleaning time available than if you’re using it in a hotel.
  • Labour – Do you have the staff available to move UVC disinfection products to different areas or rooms? Even if they are robotic, mobile UVC disinfection units require someone to operate them.
  • Space – How big is the space you need to disinfect? Do you need more than one disinfecting unit to operate efficiently? How much area do UVC products cover? Your space will determine the best option for you.

It’s important to note these products contain germicidal UVC, which can be harmful to humans. If used incorrectly, UVC radiation can penetrate the skin and eyes. The Illuminating Engineering Society recently released a report with safety guidelines that should be followed along with manufacturer guidelines.

Pros of mobile UVC disinfection units

  • Mobility – The biggest perk of mobile UVC disinfection is the fact that you can move them to the threat, or the area you want to disinfect. All you have to do is plug the unit in one room, allow it to run its cycle, then unplug and move it to another area. If you have multiple rooms to disinfect at different times of the day, moving the UVC disinfection unit between spaces is easy.
  • Operate On Any Schedule – Instead of using ceiling or wall mounted UVC disinfecting products that operate on a schedule, mobile UVC units can be used when it’s convenient for you. This is especially beneficial in areas that are used frequently, like hospital rooms, hotel rooms, or airplanes. When you know the room is empty, you can run the germicidal UVC unit.
  • Adjustable Equipment – There are several different variations of mobile UVC disinfection units. Some are robotic, some are pushcarts, and some are built on stands like the products mentioned below. Most involve adjustable equipment to make sure you are hitting the areas you want to hit with germicidal UVC light. That leaves little room for hiding spots for germs.
  • Easy To Use – With proper training, it’s easy to operate mobile UVC units. Most also come with occupancy sensors that will shut off if motion is detected.

Cons of mobile UVC disinfection units

  • Move Room to Room – Mobility may be a big advantage for mobile UVC disinfection units, but it can also be a con. If you have multiple rooms you want cleaned at the same time, it might be financially better to buy germicidal UVC products that are either wall mounted or ceiling mounted and can run on a timer. Plus, if you have an extremely large building, relying on one mobile UVC disinfection unit may not be a reality to clean all of the areas you need. Some customers have ordered multiple units to give them more flexibility.
  • Labour Requirement – This is linked to the con listed above. Someone has to man the system, and move it from room to room. You should think about your staffing and whether or not this is a reality for your current cleaning crew.
  • Time Constraints – While some mobile UVC disinfection products operate on a timer, you may want to use your unit in an area that’s frequently occupied.
    The room should be empty while the system is running to limit exposure.
  • Multiple Cycles – UVC rays disinfect by line of sight, meaning any area that UVC energy does not hit will not be disinfect. Also, UVC does not penetrate through furniture or other objects. You will probably need to run multiple cycles in a room to make sure all areas are disinfected. Finding the right dose is also key in this process.

How to tell if mobile units are working

Since you may have to run mobile UVC units in multiple cycles in a single space, you might be wondering how to know if they’re hitting the surfaces you need with the right dosage.

You can place the dosimeter on different surfaces before you run a cycle. The yellow spot in the middle will change colors based on the UVC dose the surface received.

The card is measured based on MRSA and C-diff, bacteria that are especially hard to kill.

If the yellow spot changes to orange, a dose strong enough to kill MRSA hit the surface. That’s equivalent to a dose of 50 mJ/cm2.

If the yellow spot changes to pink, a dose strong enough to kill C-diff hit the surface. That’s equivalent to a dose of 100 mJ/cm2.

The dosimeter provides a good benchmark to follow and will help you decide the best placement of mobile UVC units. Following this standard can help decrease exposure time while increasing disinfection rate.


american ultraviolet dosimeter card

Buy UVC Dosimeter Cards

Where to use mobile UVC disinfection units

The first place you probably thinking of using mobile UVC disinfection units is a hospital. Yes, they can help fight against healthcare-associated infections and protect patients. Hospitals have used mobile UVC units for many years.

But mobile UVC disinfection units can also work for other commercial buildings.

Right now, businesses are trying to reassure employees and customers that their buildings are safe and as clean as possible. As our economy returns to normal, using a mobile UVC disinfection unit can let your customers and employees know their health is your highest priority.

Here are some suggested application:

  • Airports – You can plug in multiple UVC disinfection units, line them in the aisle of an airplane, and disinfect the plane in minutes. Germicidal UVC is also a good option for airport bathrooms, but you will have to temporarily close the bathroom to make sure no one is in there at the time.
  • Restaurants – Germs can easily spread from the bathroom to the kitchen in restaurants. Some mobile UVC disinfection products (like the ones listed below) are FDA approved and safe to use around food. Using germicidal UVC in the kitchen and bathrooms can protect both customers and workers.
  • Grocery stores – Grocery stores generally have very large open spaces, but mobile UVC disinfection units can work in areas where germs originate, like bathrooms and back-of-house areas.
  • Banks – Think about how many people touch ATMs or bank counters throughout the day. Using a mobile UVC disinfection unit at the end of the day or first thing in the morning can protect your customers and your employees.
  • Hotels – You can plug in a mobile UVC disinfection unit in one room while the cleaning crew focuses on changing sheets in the next room. Disinfecting hotel rooms is a great way to protect your guests and keep them coming back to your hotel.
  • Primary Care Centers – A lot of people are currently visiting their doctors office with COVID-19 symptoms, potentially exposing other patients. Protecting primary care centers with germicidal UVC can help stop the spread of viruses and bacteria.
  • Assisted living – Caring for the at-risk is a high priority with COVID-19, and as a result, assisted living facilities and other senior care centers can benefit greatly from the added layer of protection that germicidal UVC light offers. Mobile units give the greatest flexibility in these environments, but taking the step to install permanent fixtures may become the new norm.
  • Commercial Offices – A lot of your employees may be working remote right now, but they will come back into commercial office buildings eventually. Using germicidal UVC is a great way to ensure they are safe at work.

Mobile UVC disinfection units for sale

When it comes to selecting the mobile UVC disinfection unit that’s right for you, there are several factors to consider.

How much power do you need? What average cleaning cycle time is ideal? Are you going to use the mobile UVC disinfection unit in smaller rooms or larger spaces?

There are a variety of options available, from large pushcarts to smaller units with wheels.

We have three mobile products available from American Ultraviolet®, a company that started making UVC products in 1960.

american ultraviolet artz 2 american ultraviolet mrs45-12 american ultraviolet mrs33-8
Artz 2.0 MRS45-12 MRS33-8

All of these mobile units can achieve the same level of disinfection. The difference is in the intensity and the amount of exposure time. Here’s a comparison of each of these products:

ARTZ 2.0 – This is a healthcare-grade product made specifically for hospitals. It’s powerful, gives 360-degrees of coverage, and can disinfect frequently touched surfaces within minutes.
MRS45-12 – Slightly slimmer than the ARTZ 2.0, the MRS45-12 uses 12 UVC lamps to provide 360-degree coverage. The MRS45-12 is ideal for senior living centers.
MRS33-8 – The MRS33-8 is the smallest mobile unit made by American Ultraviolet®, but can still provide UVC power for cleaning crews in commercial offices, restaurants, or hotels.

American Ultraviolet Handheld UVC – The Blade

Another portable option to consider is American Ultraviolet®’s handheld unit called the Blade. Watch the video below to see how it works.

This is a great solution for areas that are otherwise hard to reach, like keyboards and office equipment, elevator buttons, and other high-touch surfaces.

The Blade emits UVC rays, so safety guidelines need to be followed. Safety glasses are included, but long sleeves and lint-free gloves are also recommended while operating.

Using a dosimeter is a great way to test how long you need to hold the Blade over a surface for full disinfection.

If you are curious about the best ways to use mobile UVC disinfection units in your commercial building, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would love to find a solution that best fits your needs.

Improve Air Quality in Schools and Universities with Displacement Ventilation

Leveraging Displacement Ventilation & Displacement Chilled Beams

There is a growing demand in schools and universities for their building’s to perform more efficiently within shrinking budgets, while simultaneously accommodating the introduction of new technologies into the classroom and operating for 50-70 years in an ever-changing environment.

elementary school classroom

As markets continue to adopt evolving standards and building codes that demand lower energy consumption, new solutions will keep gaining traction in school and university design.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines a “High Performance School” as “energy and resource efficient.” At Price Industries, they combine years of occupant comfort design experience with sustainable HVAC technology to assist in achieving High Performance School and University design goals, reducing operating costs, maintenance and energy usage while improving the learning environment.

Benefits of High Performance Air Distribution in Schools and Universities

Displacement Ventilation (DV) is an energy efficient method of air delivery that supplies air directly into the occupied portion of the space at low air speeds. DV improves air quality and occupant satisfaction due to the manner in which the air distributes throughout the space (see Figure 1). Displacement Chilled Beams (DCB) allow engineers to combine the benefits of both chilled beam and displacement technologies into a unified system (see Figure 2).

displacement ventilation example

Figure 1: Displacement Ventilation (DV) supplies air directly into the occupied portion of the space at low air speed

displacement chilled beams example

Figure 2: Displacement Chilled Beams (DCB) combine the benefits of both chilled beam and displacement technologies

These systems benefit school and university systems in particular due to their unique design and operation requirements.

  1. Low Maintenance: Due to DV and DCB systems’ comparative lack of moving parts and mechanical equipment (fans, filters, drain pans and condensate pumps), they typically have lower maintenance costs compared to other systems.
  2. Low Operating Cost: DV and DCB systems only condition the occupied zone or lower portion of the space. Other inherent qualities, such as higher supply air temperatures and lower air speeds, combine to deliver air efficiently. In combination, this results in significant energy savings that allow for annual funds to be leveraged on other school projects.
  3. Lower Noise Levels: The use of DV and DCB systems improves acoustics due to the low velocity supply used to deliver the air to the space. This leads to an improved learning environment compared to other traditional systems that rely on high velocity air. Teachers are now able to instruct without raising their voices over the air system, and students in the extremities of the classroom can hear instruction clearly.
  4. High Indoor Air Quality: Indoor air quality (IAQ) has been proven by several independent studies to have a major impact on the health, performance and attendance of students and teachers. The use of displacement ventilation has resulted in significant improvements in air quality in a number of studies.1,2,3,4
  5. Improved Thermal Comfort: DV supplies warmer air at lower velocity than traditional air distribution systems, and is driven naturally throughout the space by the heat sources and occupants, providing superior comfort.
  6. Cost of Ownership: DV and DCB systems are first-cost competitive; once the cost of replacement and maintenance is considered, these system cost less compared to almost any other systems, including a variable refrigerant (VRF) system. The school system can realize even further cost benefits when considering the reduction in energy consumption and resulting lower utility bills.
  7. Reduced Renovation or Modernization Cost: Owners can achieve the improvements of a high performance system with minimal renovation costs (see Figure 3). A DCB system can be easily installed into a building with existing unit ventilators and chilled water piping by simply adding duct work and reconnecting the chilled water piping. Similarly, buildings with only ventilation and heating infrastructure can be retrofitted by removing the heating coil and ceiling diffusers, adding in the chilled beams, reconnecting the hot water piping and adding in a chilled water supply.
existing unit ventilator and new chilled beam

Figure 3: Existing unit ventilator (left) and new chilled beam (right)

High Indoor Air Quality

Indoor environmental quality (IAQ) has been proven by several independent studies to have a major impact on health, performance and attendance of students and teachers. Displacement ventilation has shown significant improvements of the air quality in classrooms on a number of studies conducted. 5,6,7,8

The images below (Figures 4a and 4b) shows provides an illustration of what happens when contaminants, such as exhaled particles, enter the space. In a mixing space the particles released in a sneeze would be mixed throughout the space. In a displacement system the particles are pushed upward, and out of the breathing zone.

mixing system example

Figure 4a: In a mixing system, exhaled particles (red) are mixed throughout the space

displacement system example

Figure 4b: In a displacement system, the exhaled particles (red) are pushed up and out of the breathing zone

To learn more about how Displacement Ventilation and Displacement Chilled Beams systems can be leveraged for High Performance Schools and Universities please Contact Us.

References

1. Arent, J., Eley, C., & Meister, B. (2006). Displacement Ventilation in Action: Performance Monitoring of Demonstration Classrooms. ACEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.

2. Smedje, G., & Norback, D. (2000). New Ventilation Systems at Select Schools in Sweden – Effects on Asthma and Exposure.

3. ASHRAE. (2013). ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2013: Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.

4. Jung, A. and Zeller, M. (2005). Analysis and Testing of Methods to Deter-mine Indoor Air Quality and Air Change Effectiveness. Original technical paper from Rheinisch-Westfälische Technical University of Aachen, Germany, 1994

5. ASHRAE. (2013). ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2013: Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. ASHRAE.

6. Arent, J., Eley, C., & Meister, B. (2006). Displacement Ventilation in Action: Performance Monitoring of Demonstration Classrooms. ACEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.

7. Smedje, G., & Norback, D. (2000). New Ventilation Systems at Select Schools in Sweden – Effects on Asthma and Exposure.

8. Jung, A., and M. Zeller, 2005. Analysis and Testing of Methods to Determine Indoor Air Quality and Air Change Effectiveness. Original technical paper from Rheinisch-Westfälische Technical University of Aachen, Germany, 1994.

Fan Filter Units in Retrofit Isolation Rooms

Airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIR) are used for patients with easily communicable airborne disease. When there is a shortage of AIIR, existing patient rooms (or hotel rooms in temporary care facilities) can be converted to negative pressure isolation rooms. Price Fan Filter Units (FFU) can be used in three configurations to retrofit these existing spaces.

fan filter units in airborne infection isolation rooms

Ceiling Mounted Exhaust Flow FFU

ceiling mounted exhaust flow fan filter unit

In this, the most permanent and involved application, an exhaust flow FFU is installed in the ceiling near the patient. Air is drawn from the room, HEPA filtered, and then exhausted through existing exhaust/return ductwork.

 

Portable Exhaust Flow FFU

portable exhaust flow fan filter unit

An exhaust flow fan filter unit can be placed on the floor of the patient room and plugged into a standard wall socket, drawing air in through the face of the unit and exhausting HEPA filtered air out through ductwork that is directed to a room exhaust/return grille, an adjacent space, or out a window. It is important that any openings for ductwork are sealed for leakage to maintain room pressurization.

 

Portable Standard FFU

portable standard fan filter unit

A standard supply air FFU can be placed on the floor of a patient room and plugged into a standard wall socket, drawing air through the back of the unit, and expelling HEPA filtered air out through the face of the unit. The FFU should be positioned in an opening in a doorway or wall that is sealed to prevent leakage past the FFU. Alternatively, the FFU can be placed in the doorway between two adjacent rooms (possibly hotel rooms), to create a negative pressure space where the patient is located.

For more information please call us on 1300 770 908 or visit our Contact Us page.

In-Duct Air Disinfection with UVC Germicidal Lamps

American Ultraviolet High-output DC-Series HVAC UVC Germicidal Lamps:
• Duct Mounted UV-C
• Optimised pass-by air decontamination
• Lamps & electronics accessed externally from ducting
• Available in two and four-lamp configuration
• Can be mounted singly, in built-up banks, or in parallel configurations

Improves Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) by serving as a UV-C air sanitiser, reducing bacteria, viruses and mould that either grow or pass through the air handling systems. Reduces the risk of cold, flu, allergies and other illness associated with air handling systems.

For more information please visit our UVC Germicidal Light page or Contact Us.

ultraviolet high output dc series germicidal

New Floor Standing Condensing Boiler Range

We are pleased to announce the arrival of our newest 160Kw Type A Floor Standing Condensing Boiler.

The Ideal Brand boiler has Australian Type A Appliance Approvals.
• AGA Approved for Indoor and Outdoor use
• Approved for Natural Gas & Propane (LPG)
• Electrical & Fittings Approvals

Features
• In Built Commissioning & Fault Diagnostics
• Compact Size – Small Footprint
• Conventional or Room Sealed Flue Options
• 1.5 Modulation
• 95.7% Minimum Efficiency
• Robust Cast Aluminium Silicon Alloy Heat Exchanger

For more information, please Contact Us or visit our Ideal Commercial Condensing Boiler page.

floor standing condensing boiler

TechIN appoints ecoHVAC exclusive RHOSS distributor for QLD, NSW & ACT

Aligned with TechIN expansion strategy, TechIN has appointed ecoHVAC as its exclusive distributor of the RHOSS brand for QLD, NSW and ACT; including chillers, heat pumps and polyvalent units (4 & 6 Pipes).

ecoHVAC vast experience in the HVAC&R industry will enrich the technical support of the RHOSS brand in these states, together with TechIN and RHOSS engineering departments the QLD, NSW and ACT HVAC&R industries will be now closer than ever to the outstanding RHOSS engineering solutions.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

ecoHVAC Exclusive Rhoss Distributor

ecoHVAC now representing Evapco Cooling Towers in Victoria

ecoHVAC are proud to announce we are now the representative for EVAPCO Cooling Towers in Victoria.

EVAPCO is a leading provider of commercial HVAC cooling solutions – Open Cooling Towers or Closed Circuit Coolers.

No matter the environment, EVAPCO has products suited for any situation.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

ecohvac evapco representative victoria cooling towers

Measure your UVC Equipment’s Performance without an expensive Radiometer

Introducing the American Ultraviolet Dosimeter.

The UVC Dosimeter is an inexpensive way to accurately measure your UVC equipment’s performance. Just place the UVC Dosimeter in the room, turn on your equipment and the Photo-chromatic ink reacts to the UVC to give you accurate dosage levels.

Contact Us today for more information.

Enhance Traditional System Design with Acutherm ADVANTAGE VAV Diffusers

Acutherm ADVANTAGE VAV diffusers enhance traditional system design by adding personal control. Room temperature sensors provide constant feedback to the controller located in the diffuser, enabling precise monitoring of the space temperature.

Discover the ADVANTAGE:
• Superior air distribution
• No dumping
• More entrainment
• Even temperature distribution
• Better room air change effectiveness
• Power: Electric Motor
• Network: BACnet MS/TP

For more information, please Contact Us.

acutherm advantage vav diffuser

Why choose Baxi Condensing Boilers?

The Baxi Commercial range of floor and wall mounted boilers use cutting edge gas condensing technology. With stainless steel exchangers, high modulation ratios, flexible cascade install, indoor and outdoor use. Baxi condensing boilers are both compact and light weight and provide scalability.

Class leading ‘turndown’ modulation ratios enable smooth and efficient operation providing significant savings and return on investment. Available in outputs from 35Kw to 150Kw.

For more information, please Contact Us.