With virtual simulation for air disinfection with UV (UVGI) light

Air disinfection with UV-C light can kill the Corona virus in the air up to 99.99 percent. However, UV-C (UVGI) air purifiers must be designed so that the effective UV light is directed against the viruses and is completely harmless to humans. The air drawn in by the purifiers must remain in the device long enough for all viruses to be killed. Innovative simulation tools are perfect tools for designing optimal disinfection devices.

Ultraviolet (UV) light is part of the natural light spectrum. At a wavelength of 254 nm (UV-C), the genetic material of viruses is very reliably destroyed. However, possible UV-C air purifiers must be designed in such a way that the radiation is only directed against the viruses and is completely harmless to humans. A further challenge: the air that is sucked in by the cleaners must remain in the device long enough for all viruses to be killed. If it flows back out too soon, viruses remain alive and thus active.

Precisely fitting UV-C air disinfection thanks to simulation

Heraeus Larisa von Riewel
Larisa von Riewel, Group Leader Computer Aided Engineering (CAE)

In order to adapt devices for UV-C disinfection specifically to these challenges, Heraeus Noblelight first tested its devices in a virtual simulation.

  • Raytracing-Analyse, die Verfolgung der Strahlen, zeigt, wie sich die UV-Strahlung im Gerät ausbreitet und ob sie in den Raum gelangt
  • Simulationen stellen die Luftströmung und die Verteilung von Tröpfchen und Aerosolen in einem Raum nach

"It is significantly easier to model a product in the virtual world first than to physically assemble it directly. Accurate simulation saved us many production steps and we knew right away what to look out for," explains Larisa von Riewel, the responsible Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) team leader.

The simulations were a prerequisite for the development of the Soluva product range from Heraeus: customized UV-C devices for air disinfection as in a wide variety of areas, such as in courthouses, canteens, retail, cultural institutions or schools.

Disinfection units optimized for air management have an integrated UV-C lamp. They draw in contaminated air and treat it so that it receives as much UV light as possible. The interaction of UV-C (UVGI) and air results in the destruction of viruses transported in aerosols. For optimal and efficient functionality, parameters such as circulation rate, air volume and pressure drop play a decisive role in the disinfection process.

Airflow simulation shows the paths of aerosols in rooms

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Using state-of-the-art technology, the experts at Heraeus can simulate how droplets and aerosols are distributed physical accurately in a room - here, for example, in an office. The simulation also shows how quickly these aerosols are rendered harmless by disinfection with UV-C light.