Large enclosed spaces such as cinemas, theatres and churches are difficult to heat. Typically a forced-air heating system delivers warm air into the space via supply ducts. Sometimes the air is heated directly using electric resistance. Alternatively, hot water coils in the supply ducts warm the air. A boiler heats up the water which then circulates to each hot water coil in the supply ductwork. This means that viruses and other germs can circulate with the supply air.
The evangelic parish church in Gross-Gerau is heated by a boiler in the cellar. Since the Corona pandemic began, the church turns off the heating system whenever peolpe attend services. Intermittently, they turn the heating on to prevent damage to the organ.
Looking for a technical solution, the church board contacted the UV experts at Heraeus Noblelight, who conceived and designed a disinfection system to precisely match their requirements. The system needed to guarantee disinfection of the existing supply airflow, without adversely affecting the heating. As a result, the church retrofitted UV-C (UVGI) lamps into the supply air ducts to quickly and safely kill the viruses in the warm air flow. The UV light is contained safely inside the ducts, so the system can operate during services and delivers only disinfected warm air inside the church.
Church board member, Holger Tampe, comments, “We are the first parish in the Evangelical Church (EKHN) to disinfect the air in our heating system. This complements perfectly our existing hygiene measures.” In summer the system provides virus-free ventilation without heating.
Viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms spread by means of tiny water droplets in the air, so called aerosols. They can survive for a long time and spread from host to host. There is very high risk in confined spaces containing a lot of people, such as waiting rooms, or in churches where people are singing.
UV light is very effective against viruses, bacteria and fungi. It can easily destroy viruses like the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its mutations since they have only a thin lipid (fat) layer. The UV-C light easily penetrates this layer and destroys the virus immediately.
The renowned Fraunhofer Institute has already established the effectiveness of air disinfection using enclosed UV-C (UVGI) air disinfection equipment by means of elaborate scientific tests under real operating conditions. Heraeus UV-C air disinfection systems can reduce the viral load in enclosed spaces by more than 99%. Testing at the Hygiene Institute Biotec and the University clinic of Tuebingen further confirmed the disinfection effect of UCV-C light.