The Energy Intelligence Center is pleased to lend its expertise to the Purge Virus initiative. To safely reopen hotels, schools, restaurants, and other businesses such as dental practices, sanitized indoor air may become a “new normal.” Hospitals have been using ultraviolet (UVC) devices and with proven Germicidal UVC Light and other disinfectant protocols for multiple decades, and many of the technologies are now applicable to other types of properties.
We focus on solutions where YOU CAN BE IN THE ROOMS DURING DISINFECTION
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) can transfer viral pathogens within rooms and between rooms. HVAC can also become part of the solution to reduce the mitigation of pathogens. From our combined expertise working with heating and cooling, the Energy Intelligence Center knows HVAC, and we help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and future viruses.
The Purge Virus “Prevention Eco-System”
HERE IS SPECIFICALLY HOW WE HELP: Our executive team has decades of experience assessing HVAC systems through our mechanical, electrical and architecture backgrounds. We leverage our knowledge of HVAC energy savings to help clients identify the most appropriate pathogen reduction technology for their specific facility. Different solutions apply for In-Room, In-Duct, and/or Coil & Pan Sanitization. Our recommendations are based on rigorous due diligence that includes the reviews of documentation, such as certifications, specifications, testing, and performance reports. In short, we guide our clients to the most appropriate solutions, and we provide “turn-key” solutions with qualified installers upon request.
Together, the Energy Intelligence Center and Purge Virus can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and the potential resurgence of this virus or other future virus outbreaks. $0 upfront cost solutions are available for the sanitization technology, and business owners may also choose to couple HVAC energy savings as a means to help cover the cost of clear air solutions.
Dentists need help ASAP
Many businesses need help, but some of our first and most urgent calls came from dentists who face dire economic challenges from the inability to service their patients.
Focus Area: Dental Operatory Rooms
Needs: Acute Air Disinfection
Standards: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) – Health Care Facilities: Chapter 9 Section 9.17
ACH Average: 8 to 12 Air Changes per Hour (ACH). For code compliant Operatories, the existing HVAC system delivers air changes every 5 to 7.5 minutes.
Solution: Wall Mounted Upper Air Treatment with Germicidal UVC Light Devices in each Operatory.
SAFE and CONTINUOUS Sanitization DURING OCCUPANCY
Note: This device allows Dentists to work with patients at any time during office hours. There are a broad range of other types of UVC devices, many of which require clearing the room and setting timers during the sterilization.
How it works: Direct exposure to UVC is harmful for humans, so this device is mounted 7 feet from the finished floor and includes louvers, horizontal to the floor plane. This Germicidal UVC Light is 27.7” wide x 5.2” high x 6.6” deep. It is a gold standard for Dental Operatories, because it delivers a high dose of UVC and takes advantage of the high frequency of air changes. To learn more about options for integration with HVAC ducts, see Germicidal UV Light.
Advantages over other Devices: For Dental Operatories, the upper air solution is more effective at irradiating pathogens than floor or table devices, containing internal fans, because this technology treats the air across the full width and length of the Operatory room for continuous disinfection during occupancy. The devices come in widths of 18.5” (12 watts), 27.7” (24 watts), and 37.5” (36 watts) for coverage of 100 sq ft, 200 sq ft, and 300 sq ft respectively. The TB series are the most popular with Dentists, given that Operatories average between 100 and 180 sq ft. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a proven disinfection method to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA. This leaves them unable to perform vital cellular functions.
Combination Wall & Ceiling Mount Devices: Surgical Operating Rooms have set the precedent for disinfection. Some Dentists are following the lead and using ceiling mounted fixtures in conjunction with the wall mounted devices to enhance disinfection of surfaces in addition to cleaning the air. Since the ceiling mounted fixtures require clearing the room of occupants and setting a timer for about 10 minutes, the application is only appropriate for Dental Operatories that have a door to prevent people from entering during the ceiling fixture surface disinfection.
Production Availability: As of April 28, 2020, the manufacturing of these upper air devices for Dental Operatories are backlogged with a 3 to 4 week production time. The US manufacturer has over 50 years of experience and over 50,000 ultraviolet devices installed to date across the line of devices that also include ceiling mounted fixtures, in-duct and coil & fan sanitization technology for properties that are typically larger than Dental Care Facilities.
To Learn More: Please Contact Us. We will provide complete specifications, testing reports, and support information. Note: Please make sure to let us know the approximate sq ft of one or all of the Operatories, and we will let you know the appropriate size device for each.
For business owners and operators of other types of facilities, we welcome the opportunity to help guide you along the path to sanitized air.
ORDER NOW: Wall Mounted Device for up to 200 sq ft room + this link includes the devices for 100 and 300 sq ft.
$0 Upfront Cost Options
We understand that dentists and other types of doctors and business owners have been stretched thin with working capital given COVID-19. We have strategic relationship with multiple financing companies that have over $300 million available to spread the cost of disinfection technology over 3, 4, or 5 years. This provides business owners with $0 upfront cost options and monthly payment plans for both the germicidal UVC light and/or the installation. The rates are typically a few points over the prime rate, and the credit applications for under $250,000 of installed equipment are just one page, without requirements for financial statements. Please let us know if you would like to receive the credit application, and there is no charge to submit it. This allows you to review the monthly cost structure relative to the upfront costs.
The Science Precedes COVID-19
(Read before purchasing any equipment)
1. Scientific Highlights: The Sun generates Ultraviolet (UV) light across the wavelength range in nanometers from 100-400 nm. UV is divided into three bands: UVA (315-400 nm), UVB (280-315 nm), and UVC (100-280 nm). The ozone layer in the stratosphere absorbs UVC. Life on Earth has evolved without exposure to UVC, which makes a broad range of life forms vulnerable if exposed to it. The UVC photons are energetic enough to damage the DNA and RNA of microorganisms, destroying their ability to replicate. Different microorganisms respond differently to UVC. Viruses are very susceptible to it, bacteria are less susceptible, and fungal spores are the least susceptible. This means that applying the right dose of UVC is the key to killing the pathogens.
2. Technology Highlights: The lamps used in the devices described above are similar to typical fluorescent tubes in offices around the world, but they do not have the phosphorescent coating which delivers the soft white light. Many commercial UVC lamps are low pressure mercury lamps that emit UV energy at 253.7 nm, which is an ideal wavelength for disrupting the DNA of microorganisms such as viruses. The wavelength of the devices described on this page is 253.7 nm. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH have recommended permissible exposure limits for different UV wavelengths. For UVC, at 253.7 nm wavelength, the recommended exposure limit (REL) is 6,000 joules per centimeter squared (6 mJ/cm2) for a daily 8 hour work shift. UVC devices are being used at increasing levels all over the world in various form factors and applications to disinfect water, air and surfaces.
3. Safety and Disinfection Dosage: When people enter the room, they see a blue glow coming from the wall mounted UVC device, described above. Time, intensity, and distance = dose. At the device intensity, an occupant would have to stand on a chair and stare straight into the light for a while to achieve the harmful levels of dose. At 10 ft away from this device, the intensity factor is .115. The intensity at 1 meter is 120 uW/cm2 (Micro-Watts per square centimeter) and at 10 feet away the intensity is 13.8 uW/cm2. This is key, because effective germicidal impact is over 10 uW/cm2. (chart below). In joules per second, this equates to 0.0138. This device has been engineered and installed over many years at many facilities to provide the key combination of both safety and disinfection. See: Reducing Infectious disease transmission with ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) – ASHRAE Report 2020-2017
4. Pros and Cons of Direct Dosage vs Fan Based Systems: Irradiating pathogens does not happen instantly. Disrupting the DNA of microorganisms such as viruses can take up to 100 seconds, subject to germicidal UVC dosage levels. Fan based devices come in many shapes, sizes, and price points. Some of them are designed to be placed on the floor or a counter, while others are designed for ceiling installation. Regardless of the form factor and location, fan based devices typically draw air into the equipment, partially treat it, and exhaust it without fully irradiating the pathogens. The cycle then continues. With these types of devices, the air speed passing the UV or UVC luminaire is a key factor in addition to the wattage of the luminaire relative to the number of pass-by air intervals needed to fully kill the pathogens. For a 10’ x 12’ room with a 9’ ceiling (approx 1,000 cubic feet), it may take 15 minutes or more to clean the air in the room. Plus, the sides and corners of the room farthest from the fan device is treated less acutely than the air near the device. By contrast, direct dosage devices, such as the upper air wall mounted technology described on this page, can irradiate all of the air in the same size room within 5 to 7.5 minutes. This is due to the fact that code compliant HVAC systems in rooms, such as dental operatories, have 8 to 12 Air Changes per Hour (ACH). The air moves slowly around the room and across the ceiling giving the UV time to kill the pathogens rather than rushing it by the UV elements inside of a fan based device. The result is faster and more thorough air disinfection with direct dosage. There is a place for fan based devices or in-duct devices for properties such as office buildings that do not need acute disinfection. Dental operatories and other healthcare facilities warrant the most aggressive form of pathogen irradiation, as do certain quick serve restaurants and other facilities with high traffic of different people moving though the space.
5. UVC and UV: Not all ultraviolet wavelengths are created equal when it comes to irradiating pathogens. Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) is between 100 and 280 nanometers (nm). UVC has been proven to have an incredibly high capacity to kill pathogens, including viruses. UV is a broader range 100-400nm, and 405nm is just outside of UV and is used by some manufacturers. The 405nm wavelength has demonstrated capacity to reduce the mitigation of some viruses, but it is not as potent as UVC. Remember that time, intensity, and distance = dose. While the number 405 is higher than 100-280, the intensity is inverted. The devices described here use 253.7nm, which is the peak performance for germicidal effectiveness. (See chart below and ASHRAE Report 2020-2017). When considering a UV or UVC device, ask your potential service or technology provide about the nanometers used in the equipment. Facilities with acute needs such as dental operatories and other healthcare facilities warrant germicidal UVC light, as do certain quick serve restaurants and other facilities with high traffic of different people moving though the space.
- ASHRAE Handbook (2020). Position Document on Airborne Infectious Diseases – Reaffirmed by Technology Council February 5, 2020.
- ASHRAE Handbook (2016). HVAC Systems and Equipment, Ultraviolet Lamp Systems. Ch. 17 Section 5 Safety – Exposure Limits. Recommended exposure limit (REL) 8 hour work shift for UVC.
- ACGIH (2015). Theoretical Limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices, Cincinnati Ohio.
- Kauffman R (2011). Study the degradation of typical HVAC materials, filters and components irradiated by UVC energy. ASHRAE Research Report RP-1509.
- IESNA (2000). Lighting Handbook: Reference & Application IESNA HB-9-2000, New York.
- Harm W (1980). Biological Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation, New York. Cambridge University Press.
- NIOSH (1972). Criteria for a recommended standard: Occupational exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Publication 73-11009, Washington D.C.