Air Filtration - Expert Commentary

COVID-19 and the Renaissance of Digitalized HVAC
COVID-19 and the Renaissance of Digitalized HVAC

It is said that the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the single biggest driving forces behind the digitalization of industries ever seen. And although not new within HVAC infrastructures – especially within the food retail environment where it has been rolled out extensively – remote management and automation of HVAC systems is increasingly being used to support supermarket responses to COVID-19. From air filtration through to dynamic scheduling, digitalization of HVAC within the food retail sector is going through something of a renaissance. Pre-COVID Digitalization Software solutions that use Internet of Things (IoT) technology to analyze data from HVAC infrastructures, for example, are common in food retail stores. These solutions work by monitoring mission critical aspects of HVAC systems, from simple temperature data through to complex asset monitoring. This data can then either be fed back to the retailer for them to perform their own analysis or, using more advanced IoT technology, can be used to enact automated HVAC outcomes. Software solutions that use IoT technology to analyze data from HVAC infrastructures are common in food retail stores From preventing HVAC asset’s overworking – and therefore expending too much energy – through to detecting the first stages of a fault and alerting the relevant maintenance engineers, automation has been shown to deliver numerous benefits. These combine to serve the retailer’s primary purposes; enhancing the consumers in-store experience, improving the bottom line and decreasing energy usage to lower carbon footprint. But not only is the digitalization of HVAC helping food retailers drive down costs and energy, advances in areas such as air filtration and dynamic scheduling have meant that it is also being seen as a potential solution to COVID-19 related issues. Filtering Out the Virus Air filtration is a primary focus when looking for ways to keep internal spaces free from pathogens. While not exactly a new feature for HVAC systems, food retailers have been increasingly working towards implementing or improving their existing air filtration techniques in their stores. The solution to keeping air clean and fresh is actually quite straightforward and relies on the same technology that many stores already use to monitor CO2. Advances in areas such as air filtration and dynamic scheduling have meant that HVAC is being seen as a potential solution to COVID-19 By connecting CO2 monitors to a central controls panel (the technical way of describing the place where all of the sensor data is collected and, in some cases, analyzed), sensors are able to detect the CO2 levels instore, signal if they begin to drift past a pre-determined base level, and automatically alert the HVAC systems to provide more fresh air into the store. This is a simple process of optimization. Additional sensors detect when fresh air is either too humid, hot or cold to be filtered into the store and rectify this by automatically adjusting the HVAC. Essentially, monitoring CO2 and air quality levels makes sure the air in a store is constantly fresh and filtered to keep the chances of airborne transmission as low as possible without causing the HVAC systems to expend any more energy than is necessary. Research has shown that COVID-19 spreads through small respiratory droplets that are released into the air from an infected person when coughing, talking or even breathing. Within a store environment therefore, where surface contamination and proximity to other people are likely to increase the chances of transmitting the virus, optimized fresh air flow to dilute indoor air is desirable. By detecting higher levels of CO2 within the air which in turn increases the chances of pathogens floating around, food retailers can automate their HVAC systems to filtrate the air and significantly reduce chances of transmission. Dynamic HVAC Response Air filtration isn’t the only way that food retailers are combining digitalization and HVAC systems to help them navigate the ‘new normal’. With store opening times continually changing, fewer people inside a store at any one time and staff performing additional and stricter clean regimes after hours, the requirements for optimum store temperature have moved from static to dynamic. Before the pandemic, HVAC systems would have to keep an average non-24 hour store at the optimum temperature for between say, 7am and 11pm, and would have to work a little harder to deliver more air into the store during the lunch time rush and post-work peaks – a mostly predictable routine. Research has shown that COVID-19 spreads through small respiratory droplets that are released into the air from an infected person Now, however, with adjusted store schedules and social distancing regulations, the footfall and peak traffic times have changed dramatically. Through digitally enabled remote management of HVAC temperatures and schedules, new schedules could be deployed across the estate at the touch of a button. Real-time monitoring of in-store temperatures and the volume of people inside also enables HVAC systems to run more efficiently by stopping them from filtering in more outside air than is necessary in a shop that contains fewer customers than normal. IoT solutions are ensuring HVAC infrastructures are running efficiently, saving energy, helping a retailer’s bottom line and most importantly, ensuring the comfort and safety of customers and colleagues. However, as retailers look for solutions to the challenges posed by the post-COVID landscape, digitalized HVAC is breathing fresh air into the industry. From improved air filtration to dynamic schedule monitoring, digitalized HVAC systems are proving to be an important tool in a food retailer’s arsenal as they navigate the new normal.

Ventilation And Transmission: HVAC And Adapting To COVID-19
Ventilation And Transmission: HVAC And Adapting To COVID-19

Effective heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems have always been part of maintaining a healthy building environment, and with the impact of COVID-19 and the unique way the virus is spread, it has never been more imperative that HVAC plays a vital role in keeping occupants of buildings safe, especially as people begin to return to the office and other commercial environments. COVID-19 has three known contamination routes. First of all, there is person-to-person transmission, which could be indirect too, if the virus travels from someone to a surface they have touched, which is then touched by another person. Then there is airborne transmission. The British Council for Offices (BCO)’s Thoughts on Office Design and Operation After COVID 19 document talks of large droplets, greater than 10 micrometres, “expelled by sneezing and coughing and in still air, typically within about 2 metres of the infected person.” But Dr Linsey Marr, the Charles P. Lunsford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech, speaking to the New Scientist says that people emit thousands of times more smaller droplets than larger ones. She thinks that it is these ones that infect people with COVID-19. Then there’s the third contamination route: faecal to oral whereby particles from the toilet can enter people’s respiritory systems when using WCs. Counteracting COVID-19 transmission There are several methods to counteract these routes of transmission. The risk of the virus spreading from person-to-person can be lessened where there is a focus on smart technology. This begins upon arrival at a building, with the use of touchless entry systems, for instance harnessing facial recognition technology. Once inside, staff could then be directed to an area of the office that isn’t already occupied via digital signage or an app. And instead of manually pressing a button, information from the employee’s ID pass about which floor they work on can be read by a card reader, activating the elevator. As for transmissions via surfaces, scientists have emphasized copper’s antibacterial properties, with COVID-19 surviving just a few hours on copper, compared with a number of days for steel or plastic. William Keevil, a senior microbiologist at the University of Southampton, has recently suggested that the UK is behind other countries in using this material on communal areas like handrails and doorknobs. Copper-based nickel would perform better than chrome in certain parts of the office too. The risk of the virus spreading from person-to-person can be lessened where there is a focus on smart technology To dilute airborne contamination, the Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) recommends running ventilation systems at a higher flow rate. “This may require changes to C02 set points for both mechanical ventilation and automated windows,” it states in its COVID-19 Ventilation Guidance. Airborne Particles and the need for ventilation Chinese and American academics looking at outbreaks in the Chinese province of Zhejiang found that airborne transmission of the virus may have taken place in 48.3% of people in a badly ventilated office. Essentially to stop the spread of COVID-19, ventilation needs to be increased and more fresh air needs to be brought in. The risk of contamination via recirculated air can be mitigated with a higher level of filtration such as F9. This is a very fine system that will catch nanoparticles of 70nm but does involve greater energy use to overcome the resistance.  The alternative is to keep these systems on for much longer – typically two hours before people arrive and then two hours after they leave. CIBSE’s COVID-19 report also states that, “Recirculation of air within a single room, where this is complemented by an outdoor air supply, is acceptable.” Getting abundant fresh air in the system is key. This could be as simple as just opening the windows. The BCO’s report goes so far as to say, “Actively use operable windows and openings to boost ventilation to occupied spaces as much as possible, even if this is at the expense of thermal comfort.” Fan coils and Chilled beams Getting abundant fresh air in the system is key The BCO also recommends that fan coils, which recirculate air locally in the occupied space, “should be frequently and thoroughly cleaned and where condensation occurs, drain pans and traps should be maintained frequently to prevent growth of bacteria and mold.” It is also a recommendation that HepVo traps are installed on condensate systems that drain into waste pipework. As far as chilled beams are concerned, CIBSE says that active chilled beams can be operated as normal, while with passive chilled beams there should be a good supply of air. I would be interested to see some further research on the performance of underfloor and low level air distribution. The lower velocities and laminar air flow associated with these systems causes less air turbulence, particularly in the zone where air is breathed. This would seem to have an obvious advantage in reducing the risk of virus spread in an office environment. Mixed Mode Ventilation The ‘mixed mode’ of ventilation will become more commonplace. When it is not high summer, the cooling can be turned off so windows can be opened. This could even eventually replace the familiar sealed building model. This system can happen automatically with sensors, after all, fresh air is good for people: There are several recent examples of this being done successfully, other building such as London Wall Place, have been designed future proofed for ‘mixed mode’ use to be adopted if this is preferred by a tenant. Meanwhile, to combat faecal-oral transmission, bathroom extraction fans need to be kept on high and again perhaps running the systems for 24 hours a day. Toilets that automatically shut and touchless flushes can also help to stop the spread of the virus. The same goes for anti-bacterial coatings on bathroom doors. Some of clients are considering motorized doors that are effectively ‘touch free’. Post-COVID Ventilation Strategies Toilets that automatically shut and touchless flushes can also help to stop the spread of the virus There is definitely set to be more access to outside air moving forward and there is a strong sustainability argument to be made for this method. However, some of the changes to ventilation strategies being deployed for a post-COVID world will inevitably have some compromises for carbon emissions. If systems are run at a higher rate and for longer, if not continuously, throughout the day then that has implications for a larger carbon footprint, as the buildings become less energy efficient. However, in the middle of a global pandemic, it’s a price worth paying. As energy saving methods (thermal wheels and plate heat exchangers) also present a risk, CIBSE recommends that these are bypassed and not used in the current environment Of course, some of these solutions are temporary but other, smart office elements like touchless versions of door handles, room/desk booking systems (wayfinding) and reception sign-in procedures look set to be with us for the longer term. These all affect the M&E, as well as the architecture and design of buildings. We will overcome COVID-19 but we need to listen to the lessons that we are learning, and some will most certainly become permanent before the next virus that hits the human race comes along!

Latest Carrier Corporation news

Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems Announces Evolution Extreme 26 Air Conditioner And Evolution Extreme 24 Heat Pump
Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems Announces Evolution Extreme 26 Air Conditioner And Evolution Extreme 24 Heat Pump

Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems launched the latest additions to its tier Evolution™ series with the Evolution Extreme 26 air conditioner (Model 186CNV) and Evolution Extreme 24 heat pump (Model 284ANV). Both products showcase a number of features performance, which includes numerous technological advancements with 12 patents pending. Bluetooth® diagnostic information Bryant, a supplier of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment, is a part of Carrier, a global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. Bryant also offers online troubleshooting and training modules, and virtual reality The Evolution Extreme 26 and 24 offer a number of enhancements designed with technicians in mind. Bluetooth® technology is available on the outdoor unit, making it unnecessary to access outdoor unit diagnostic information inside the home. Over-the-air software updates are available and technicians can assess over 130 diagnostic points. Sound output as low as 51 dB Plus, installations can use up to 250 equivalent feet of refrigerant line length, features two-wire installation, and the units are self-configuring and Evolution™ Zoning System-capable. Bryant also offers online troubleshooting and training modules, and virtual reality, 3D simulation training is available. Dehumidification can remove up to 70% more moisture per day than a single-stage system For most sizes, the Evolution Extreme 26 offers ratings for a ducted system at up to 26.0 SEER and 16.5 EER; while the Evolution Extreme 24 heat pump offers the in-class ratings at up to 24.0 SEER, 15.0 EER and 13.0 HSPF. Furthermore, both the Evolution Extreme 26 and 24 tout quiet operation with sound output as low as 51 dB. Ducted heat pump with a variable-speed The Evolution Extreme 26 and 24 include enhanced dehumidification and can remove up to 70% more moisture per day than a single-stage system. Plus, both units feature a variable-speed capacity operating range down to 25% in 1% increments and provide high-ambient cooling operation with full power up to 125 F. An Evolution™ air purifier will be included with the purchase of every Evolution Extreme 26 and 244 The Evolution Extreme 24 also offers heating operation to minus 15 F. In addition, it is has a ducted heat pump with a variable-speed, 5-ton unit that can achieve 13.0 EER and features the addition of vapor-injection technology. “We’re confident that homeowners will appreciate the features and benefits that are realized in our most ambitious development project to date. We’re also pleased to introduce enhanced installation and serviceability to our dealers, as we know that these improvements will make their lives easier,” said Todd Nolte, senior director, product and brand marketing, HVAC-Residential, Carrier. “The Evolution Extreme 26 and 24 are a true testament to the rigorous research and development that went into this project and we’re proud to be able to provide customers with such advantages.” Evolution™ air purifier destroys 99% germs and viruses In addition, an Evolution™ air purifier will be included with the purchase of every Evolution Extreme 26 and 244. The Evolution air purifier works silently in-line with the HVAC system and can improve indoor air quality. It uses Captures & Kills™ technology to trap up to 95% of particles, then uses an electrical charge to kill or inactivate up to 99% of germs and viruses. With every cycle of air that passes through this patented air purifying system, pollen, animal dander, bacteria and other pollutants are trapped and held tightly to the filter. An electrical charge then bursts the cell walls of pathogens it comes in contact with.

Carrier Hong Kong Wins Long-Term Service Agreement At The Hong Kong International Airport
Carrier Hong Kong Wins Long-Term Service Agreement At The Hong Kong International Airport

Carrier Hong Kong Ltd. was awarded a four-year chiller service agreement covering all 52 chillers in 17 buildings of Hong Kong International Airport. The service agreement, which covers Carrier and non-Carrier brand chillers, was awarded based on Carrier’s innovative service capabilities and cost competitiveness. Carrier Hong Kong is responsible for all of the maintenance, staffing, repairs, improvements and refurbishment required to keep all 52 chillers in the facility operational, and offers a connected service model with digital capabilities including remote monitoring and diagnostics. Carrier Hong Kong is a unit of Carrier Global, a renowned global provider of innovative heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. unparalleled customer service “We are honored to be selected by Airport Authority Hong Kong for their service and support requirements. With world class and differentiated parts, service, and digital capabilities, Carrier Hong Kong was able to create the right solution for the Airport Authority,” said Ajay Agrawal, Vice President, Strategy & Services, Carrier. “We have an industry leading team that is committed to providing unparalleled customer service throughout the product lifecycle.” In 2016, Carrier Hong Kong further demonstrated its capabilities when it was awarded a service agreement again" Carrier Hong Kong first started working with Airport Authority Hong Kong in 1998 when chillers and air handling units were installed in Terminal 1 of Hong Kong International Airport. In 2016, Carrier Hong Kong further demonstrated its capabilities when it was awarded a service agreement again for that the same terminal. optimize uptime and efficiency “We have an excellent understanding of the client and the airport’s requirements,” said Antony Wu, Director, Service & Aftermarket, Carrier Hong Kong. “We’re leveraging this knowledge to offer a specialized operations and maintenance solution that will be digitally enabled to optimize uptime and efficiency.” Carrier’s HVAC-Commercial Services business continues to innovate solutions to improve outcomes for customers through a variety of ways, including its Carrier SMART Service offering, a, proactive strategy for enhanced equipment and system management.

Carrier Global Corporation's OptiClean Negative Air Machine To Help Hospitals Slow The Spread Of COVID-19
Carrier Global Corporation's OptiClean Negative Air Machine To Help Hospitals Slow The Spread Of COVID-19

To help hospitals treating patients with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Carrier Global Corporation launched the OptiClean portable negative air machine, which cleans and removes air potentially contaminated by the virus. In a closed room, the machine uses high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, an air management system to significantly reduce the presence of coronavirus and other contaminants in the air, and flexible ducting to exhaust the filtered air. The machine creates negative pressure so that when the hospital room door is opened, air is pulled into the room from outside instead of letting potentially contaminated air out from the room. If negative pressure is not required, such as in an open-air, temporary hospital, the machine can be used as an air “scrubber,” pulling air in, removing many contaminants, and discharging cleaner air back into the room. air filtration systems Carrier’s strength lies in the expertise and passion of our employees to solve some of society’s most challenging problems" “During this global pandemic, it is essential that companies like Carrier do what we can to help stem the spread of the disease and protect caregivers, hospital workers, and patients,” said Carrier President & CEO Dave Gitlin. “Carrier’s strength lies in the expertise, creativity and passion of our employees to solve some of society’s most challenging problems. I am so proud of our team for identifying a need and quickly developing an innovative solution that will have an immediate impact for hospitals throughout the country.” While hospitals generally have air filtration systems that reduce the spread of infectious diseases, those systems might only be available in certain sections of the hospital. The rate at which COVID-19 spreads has put inordinate strain on hospitals in the most affected cities, where there are more COVID-19 patients than there are infectious isolation rooms. Hospital-level air filtration As a result, hospitals have had to convert rooms that were not intended for patients with infectious diseases, and new field hospitals have been established that are not equipped with hospital-level air filtration. “The Carrier negative air machine fills a significant need in these critical situations when it is necessary to create a negative offset in temporary facilities,” said Mark Schwartz, Director of Facilities at the University of Rochester Medical Center, which trialed the machine. air handling capabilities Solutions from Carrier like the OptiClean are necessary to effectively remove contaminants from the air" “As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, facilities must expand their capacity to treat patients in spaces that typically do not have the same air handling capabilities as hospital rooms, which are specifically designed for treating airborne infectious diseases. Solutions from Carrier like the OptiClean are necessary to effectively remove contaminants from the air, create negative pressure within the patient care space while protecting the adjacent areas, and slowing the spread of the disease.” Carrier began developing the OptiClean in late March. After quickly and successfully testing prototypes in Carrier facilities, the company began field trials in hospitals across the country and expects to begin shipping units shortly. The machines are portable, plug into a normal wall outlet, and sit on wheels that enable hospitals to move them to rooms as needed. protect vulnerable populations “Using existing Carrier fan coil technology and working with suppliers to quickly secure additional raw materials, we’ve thrown away the playbook to ramp up testing and production to get machines deployed as fast as possible,” said Chris Kmetz, Carrier’s Vice President of Engineering. “Going forward, with professional installation OptiClean could be used in homes, businesses, assisted living facilities and elsewhere to provide cleaner air and protect vulnerable populations and communities.”

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