'Smart scrubber' provides innovative way to clean air, boost IAQ
Like most anything else, air molecules need to be cleaned, too. Airborne pollutants permeating commercial settings like schools and offices are lingering to be breathed in by occupants.
HVAC systems can’t necessarily tidy up polluted air alone. That’s where enVerid’s HLR (HVAC Load Reduction) comes in.
Because buildings generally have a difficult time releasing contaminated air, they typically rely on exchangers to transfer poor air outside and bring fresh air in.
The problem with that process, besides it costliness, is that HVAC systems are working harder to clean air that cycles through a structure, enVerid CEO Dr. Udi Meirav said.
“It costs a lot of energy to cool that (outside) air down, and what makes matters worse is you’re bringing outdoor pollution in the process,” he said while displaying the HLR at AHR Expo 2018 in Chicago. “Here you have a way of keeping the outside pollution out and cleaning the indoor air comprehensively from all the indoor pollutants.”
While some contaminants, such as dust, are large enough to be captured by conventional filters, others are too small to be filtered. That’s why air replacement has been the only way to offset the buildup of molecular contaminants.
At the center of the HLR system is a patented sorbent. With a dozen inch-thick cartridges installed into the unit, those materials suck in the air, capturing carbon dioxide (the No. 1 indoor contaminant), VOCs and formaldehyde.
During the adsorption phase of the HLR’s operating cycle, a small portion of indoor air flows through the sorbents and contaminants are captured, allowing clean air to flow back into the building.
Because the HLR shoulders the bulk of cleansing, HVAC systems no longer have to work as hard. That means facilities that install HLR units oftentimes can use smaller heating and air conditioning setups.
“Over time, more and more engineering firms … will look at this as a standard part of a building,” Meirav said. “Just like you have air conditioning, elevators and infrastructure, you will put in active air quality technology.”
The HLR system can be used in an array of commercial applications. So far, most installations have been in office buildings and educational facilities. Demand also is increasing from hotels and retail venues.
Eventually, Meirav sees potential for the product in automobiles and trains.
“Everywhere people are indoors, there are these same air quality challenges that need to be addressed,” he said.
Topics: Architectural Firms, Building Owners and Managers, Construction Firms, Energy Saving Products, Great Commercial Buildings, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, HVAC - Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Interiors, Office Buildings, Technology, Ventilation
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