Region: The Americas
Berner introduces air curtains “that deactivate viruses”
New Castle, Pennsylvania, 11 August 2020: Berner has developed the PureAir Package, an air purification system for air curtains to help buildings combat the COVID-19 pandemic while supporting sustainability goals, the company said through a Press release. The Berner PureAir Package complements the built-environment’s indoor air quality (IAQ) and disinfection efforts by deactivating viruses, killing bacteria, and neutralising a space’s airborne volatile organic compounds (VOC), as well as allergens and other biological contaminants such as mold spores, the company said. This is the industry’s first air curtain to include needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI) technology, enabling users to safely disinfect and purify the air in the space, beginning at the doorway, the company claimed.
The PureAir Package is currently available on Berner’s Architectural High Performance 10 (AHD10) air curtain, designed for separating environments at main entrances in retail, restaurants, hospitality, healthcare, education and other commercial and industrial applications, the company said. The PureAir Package includes the NPBI module; a washable one-inch-thick (25-mm) aluminum mesh MERV-8 particulate filter; a 10-speed 1/2-hp electronically commutated (EC) motor; and a factory-installed Intelliswitch with Pure Mode operation, the company said.
During periods when the door is open, the air curtain operates as both an air curtain and an air purifier. When the door closes for longer than 60 seconds, the air curtain automatically transitions to Pure Mode for continuous NPBI ion distribution throughout the space with one of its lowest, quietest speeds, the company said. The Pure Mode setting distributes a minimum ion density of 787 ions/inch2 (2,000 ions/cm2) within a minute for reliable pathogen disinfection of the space, the company added. On Pure Night mode, to provide optimum ion density, the air curtain runs at a powerful high speed, de-stratifying the air in the room and purifying it prior to occupancy periods, the company further added.
NPBI has been third-party surface-tested by Cypress, California-based Innovative Bioanalysis, to neutralize airborne viruses, including the source of COVID-19 disease, SARS CoV-2, at a 99.4% success rate during 30-minute exposures, the company claimed. NPBI also disinfects mold, mildew, allergens, bacteria and other biological contaminants using an ionization process that’s Environmental Claim Validated through UL-2998 for zero ozone emission and byproducts free, the company further claimed.
The ionization process creates positively and negatively charged ions that are distributed by the air curtain, the company said. These ions attach to microscopic airborne particulates. The positive and negative ions break down gases such as VOCs and odors and also pull hydrogen out of viruses, bacteria and mold that deactivates or kills them, the company said. The polarized particles’ electrical attraction and subsequent agglomeration facilitates their entrapment in the air curtain’s intake air MERV 8 filter, the company said. Together, the combination of the NPBI technology and MERV 8 filter approaches HEPA performance and improves the IAQ, the company said.
The Intelliswitch, a programmable digital controller, which has a time clock, time delay, built-in thermostat, 10-speed fan control, and other integrated customizable features, can also be operated wirelessly through the Berner AIR, an advanced control technology communications platform for air curtains, the company said. The platform uses a wireless controller, encrypted at the processor level, to connect the Intelliswitch to the Berner App for smartphones, which also allows Berner factory technicians to help local contractors troubleshoot service, the company said.
Air curtain technology is ideal for NPBI, because air curtains are used right where customers, patients and employees, to name three, enter and exit a building, the company said. The air curtain, the company said, distributes ions from inside the space, starting right at the entrance, for an immediate effect, and it tirelessly replenishes the supply, as old ions reach their minutes-long lifecycle.