Spotlight Shines On Purification Products

February 13, 2004
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ANAHEIM, Calif. - Every contractor knows that consumers are looking for ways to ensure cleaner, healthier indoor air. The market for air purification products is brimming with systems that can help homeowners and building owners, and manufacturers were on hand at the 2004 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) to give attendees a closer look at the equipment that can clean indoor air and bring extra profits to a contractor's business.

Patrick Nielsen, product manager, poses with the GuardianPlus energy recovery ventilator. The unit has just received medical device status (FDA Registration No. 3003799370). (All photos by Jim Johnson.)

A UV Boom

For some time now, manufacturers have been offering ultraviolet light systems as an option to eliminate airborne bacteria and viruses, as well as mold and mildew. This year's expo was proof that UV is stealing the spotlight from other air purification products.

Altru-V (www.altruv.com) displayed several UV options during the show. The company's V-Strike is an external system-mount ultraviolet fixture. The fixture comes with one UV light and is available in two models. The XS Model can be used for side mounting of the light, while the XT can be used for top mounting. The system can be installed in through-the-wall or rooftop units up to 10 tons.

The V-Strike IDMâ„¢ is an extended dual biaxial lamp fixture, and can provide over 9,000 hours of use (or lasts about one year if used full time). The fixture includes LED indicators that demonstrate lamp power supply and functionality.

The V-Flex is a high-intensity UV airstream and surface disinfection system. According to the company, the system has a patent-pending design that allows for multiple lamp capability per extrusion. Lamps can be mounted to any of four support faces. Multiple high-power, single-ended biaxial lamps can be mounted to a single extrusion as close as 10-inch centers on each face. The product can be used in HVAC systems of virtually any size. Altru-V also introduced its V-Mod lights. The modular UV lamp system doubles as a side access fixture system in addition to its traditional "built-up bank" arrangement.

Dust Free (www.dustfree.com) gave show attendees a look at its Bio-Fighter® XL. The Dust Free lamps come in sizes up to five feet in length. The product comes with a moisture-resistant lamp connection, and can be mounted in a duct or in an air-handling unit.

According to the company, the Bio-Fighter XL is ideal for use with large commercial coils to maximize surface area coverage.

Philips Lighting Company (www.uvdisinfection.philips.com) introduced its TUV SteriLamp® High Output germicidal lamps. According to Philips, its High Output lamps are manufactured to deal with windchill influences that can impact the performance of the bulb. The company also developed its Secura Shatterproof TUV PL-L germicidal lamp. The lamps are covered by a fluoropolymer sleeve to protect HVAC systems from contamination if the lamp were to break during maintenance.

Steril-Aire Inc. (www.steril-aire-usa.com) broadened its line of UVC Emittersâ„¢ for mold and microbial control in HVAC systems. The company's UVC devices are now available with a 277-V electronic power supply. According to the company, the 277-V power supply allows users to install UVC devices using fewer wires, transformers, and other components.

USHIO America (www.ushio.com) announced the addition of its waterproof UV lamp. The CORE UV series, introduced last fall, applies a special plastic compound to encapsulate the UV lamp, making it safe to operate in wet environments.

UV Accessories

Ultravation (www.ultravation.com) introduced the UV LampMonitor. The device is a microprocessor control system designed to warn consumers in advance when lamps need to be replaced, when they have expired, and if they have stopped working. The monitor will make an audible sound and a light will appear on the face of the system when the lights need attention, the company said.

Also available through Ultravation is the UV Monitor with integrated sensor or remote sensor. Each monitor uses a calibrated electronic sensor to physically detect and measure the strength of UVC.

Ultravation developed its Multistage UF Indoor Air Treatment System. The product applies multiple technologies in a specific sequence to improve the quality of indoor air, the company said. Return air to the furnace or HVAC system is first exposed to the germicidal UV that inactivates airborne microorganisms. Inside the UV disinfection chamber is a titanium panel designed to absorb volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Fedders demonstrated how its new Console Electronic Air Cleaner, marketed under the Trion brand name, removes smoke from this enclosure in seconds (above and below).

Commercial And Residential Solutions

Trion Inc. (www.trioninc.com), a division of Fedders Engineered Products, showcased several new air purification products. The Air Boss® ATS air purification system was introduced for commercial kitchens. The unit uses an electrostatic air cleaner to ensure that exhaust from commercial kitchens meets clean air standards.

The Air Boss ATS has a built-in wash system. It is controlled by a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), which allows the customer to wash cells at their convenience and can be interfaced with an existing building management system. The unit's spiked blades and standoff insulators help it maintain peak efficiency, according to Trion.

Also new from Trion is the Electronic Filter Bank (EFB) for commercial use. The electrostatic air cleaner is mounted to the return air plenum of a forced-air system and can capture airborne particles at 0.3 microns and larger. Key features of the EFB include 2,000-cfm capacity per unit, multiple unit interconnectivity, indicator lights for fault conditions, and connectivity to building management systems.

The company also introduced its SE400E and SE800E Smoke Eliminators. The devices work in conjunction with existing HVAC systems and are mounted on ceilings. Ideally suited for spaces where smoke is generated, air enters the device's filter and then passes through a high-intensity electrical field that imparts an electrical charge to the particles, the company said. The models feature a Coanda effect airflow pattern where the dirty air intake is in the center and side discharges return clean air in four directions.

For the residential market, Fedders introduced the Trion whole-house HE air cleaners. The air cleaners are attached to the home's heating and cooling unit where the washable, aluminum, mesh prefilter captures large particles. A high-voltage ionizer is used within the company's Forever Filter® purifying cell, which is designed to charge airborne pollutants as small as 0.01 microns so that they stick to the collection plates. An optional charcoal after-filter helps reduce household odors.

Under the Trion brand, Fedders also released its Tabletop and Console Electronic Air Purifiers. The purifiers use the Forever Filter technology designed to remove up to 95 percent of airborne pollutants. The Console is a stand-alone appliance, the approximate size of an audio speaker, and cleans a room size of 350 square feet, while the Tabletop units clean a room of 150 feet, according to the company.

Ultra-Sun Technologies Inc. (www.sun-pure.com) introduced its Sun-Pure catalytic air purification system (Model SP-20C) for home and office. The device comes with a treated micron pre-filter that is designed to remove all particles from the air larger than 5 microns. A hospital-grade HEPA filter then removes small allergens. A specially formulated gas absorption media is used to absorb automobile exhaust fumes, organic hydrocarbons, formaldehyde, and other airborne matter, the company said. Photocatalytic oxidation is used in the system to destroy toxic chemicals, while a UV light is used to kill germs.

Broan NuTone (www.broan.com) highlighted its GuardianPlus Air System at the show. The system includes whole-house HEPA filtration, fresh air ventilation, and energy recovery in one system.

According to the company, the GuardianPlus energy recovery ventilator (ERV) transfers both latent energy and sensible energy from opposing airstreams, heating or cooling incoming air and minimizing incoming humidity. The fresh air reduces the presence of contaminants smaller than 0.3 microns such as noxious gases, bacteria, germs, and other threats that would escape the filtration chamber, while HEPA filtration removes pollutants, including pollen, dust, and mold spores. Incoming fresh air is heated or cooled by the home's exhausting air.

According to Broan, this cuts down on the energy costs required to condition the fresh air. Latent energy is captured from the incoming fresh air and transferred to the exhausting air from the house, thereby minimizing humidity while maximizing fresh air in the home, the company said. The fresh air that has been conditioned by the ERV is then sent through the HEPA filtration system and distributed throughout the house.

Nutech Energy Systems Inc. (www.lifebreath.com) displayed its Lifebreath Clean Air Furnace. The furnace combines a heat recovery ventilator with a water heater/air handler. According to Nutech, the combination provides constant ventilation and warm air for a healthier, more comfortable environment. The unit also comes with an optional Lifebreath TFP air cleaner, which the company says removes airborne particulates without generating ozone.

Publication date: 02/16/2004

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