Ankit Sharma, Director of Airific Systems, speaks to Rajneesh De, Consulting Editor, APAC News Network about the journey of Airific Systems and how it’s innovative product UV Heal is helping people during this pandemic.
How would you trace the genesis of Airific Systems?
I have been actively involved with development of BMS (Building Management Systems) and EMS (Energy Management Systems) for a few years now. I am a Graduate in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and have worked as an Engineering Consultant (Electrical Design Engineer) for WSP in Houston, Texas. Since the spread of the deadly virus we were receiving various enquiries. Clients were prepared with sanitizers, temperature scanning, but no one was sure what to do with Central Air-conditioning System. Turning it off is not at all a solution. So, we developed this product as per the requirements.
Elaborate on the functions of the UVC system.
UV technology can be used for disinfection between wavelengths from 200 nm to 300 nm. Specifically, radiation in UVC band has a strong germicidal effect.
Germicidal ultraviolet (UVC) used for UV disinfection inactivates microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, yeasts and fungi, by disrupting their cellular membranes and by damaging their DNA or RNA.
The UV light initiates a reaction between two molecules of thymine, one of the bases that make up DNA. UV light at 253.7 nm wavelength (germicidal UV or UVC) causes adjacent thymine molecules on DNA to form covalent bonds between certain adjacent bases in the DNA.
Due to formation of such bonds on a microorganism’s DNA, its replication is inhibited, resulting in effective UV disinfection by rendering the microorganisms harmless. Moreover, the microorganisms cannot become resistant to UV radiation. In fact, when the organism tries to replicate, it dies.
What problem is UV Heal trying to solve?
UVHeal safe Air uses UVGI technology to disinfect the air in the centralized Air Conditioning / HVAC systems. The product once installed is said to kill viruses like covid and other harmful microorganisms & bacteria’s which in turn keeps the health of the occupants safe. Did you know that there is a term coined in the West called “Sick Buildings”? This is a term that has been recalled over and over again over the last several years.
The reason for buildings being termed as “sick” is the bad quality of air circulation. Mold and fungi accumulation are common themes in Air Circulation units, and many people are allergic to such exposure. Therefore UVGI technology has been used extensively to eradicate these kinds of problems, and it is my goal to bring the same to India.
How has been the response for the system and what are its use cases in different sectors?
Since 3 QTR 2020, we have been getting orders from following sectors:
Hospitality (Hotel & Resorts), Transportation (Buses, Trains & Metro, Refrigerated Trucks), Educational Institutions, Retail Outlets, Café & Restaurants, etc.
What makes UV Heal different from other platforms, which are already available in the market?
UVGI is a new segment that has emerged in the Indian market post-Covid. But UV is a well-established technology. There are a lot of companies that are offering solutions to various sectors like Hospitals, Food, Pharma, etc. For different applications like sanitizing the food packaging line, disinfecting tools in the operation theatre, and many more.
Now, coming to UVGI for HVAC, there are various companies which are providing the solution for coil-based application but there is no expertise for duct-based system and designing standards. We are following the standards as per ASHRAE’s guidelines, our technology and features make us different.
Because other companies which are supplying this, are only putting the lamps inside the ducts/coils and the buyer has to blindly trust the technology, but on the other hand, we have a complete solution from where you can control and monitor the product without actually going to AHU room again and again. And it gives you the live status of the product.
How is the pricing model?
CSIO Product design to address small sizes AHU requirement (From 300 CFM to 5000/CFM). It is a budgeted solution. Anyone can afford it.
What is the GTM strategy that you follow?
AIRIFIC SYSTEMS is planning to promote through HVAC consultant, HVAC Dealer & Distributors.
What is going to be your key focus areas for the next few quarters?
Airific is looking to expand UV Based IAQ duct and non duct based Products for commercial, Industrial and residential.