Is Your AC Transmitting Coronavirus?
Photo courtesy: Creative Designer Architects (CDA)
A recent press release by the Government of India stated that there has been increasing evidence of airborne transmission of SARS CoV-2 via aerosols; this is now considered significant by many international health agencies. Airborne transmission is a major risk in indoor settings like malls, commercial offices, hospitals, etc. Significantly, research carried out by CSIR constituent labs Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) and CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH) in September 2020 had demonstrated experimentally that SARS-CoV-2 viral particles could be detected in the air even after two hours of exit of infected persons from a room and at distances much greater than a few metres as well, strengthening evidence of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Based on these studies and recognising the need for effective viral disinfection solutions, the challenge was to develop an effective, fail-proof retrofit device with high intensities to handle fast airflows to be fitted with minimal intervention in air ducts of existing HVAC systems that are widely used indoors in industrial and commercial environments.
UV-C disinfectionTo this end, CSIR-CSIO has developed a UV-C air duct disinfection system. It can be used in any place with an existing air duct/central AC, providing a relatively safer environment for indoor activities in the current pandemic. The technology has been developed according to the requirements for deactivation of SARS CoV-2 virus contained in an aerosol with necessary ventilation measures, necessary safety and user guidelines and tested biosafety standards. UV-C deactivates over 99 per cent of viruses, bacteria, fungus and other bio-aerosols and can be used as a retrofit solution for air-handling units (AHUs) of buildings, transport vehicles and other spinoff applications. The UV-C system is said to be energy-efficient, improves airflow through coils, enhances indoor air quality (IAQ), requires less maintenance, is easy to retrofit with any existing system having AHU ducts, and has a low initial setup cost. The system comes with commercialised standards and certifications.
The release also indicated that 28 companies from around the country have been given the design patent and have been transferred the technology.
CW explores further and asks experts and concerned institutions their views on the technology.
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