FAQ / frequently asked

14 min

How UV disinfection works

Ultraviolet germicidal radiation (UVGI) is UV light at UV-C wavelengths ranging from 200 to 280 nm, which is known to have a germicidal effect on organisms. As early as 1906, UV radiation was used to disinfect drinking water. According to the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA), UVC light is used to disinfect drinking and waste water, as well as to disinfect air, including hospital rooms. UV light destroys the genetic material of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi or mites. UV light is also effective against multi-resistant bacteria. The great advantage of UV radiation is that
it cannot develop a resistance to UV radiation.

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) protects against current pandemics caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as against all future pandemics caused by various known (Beta, Delta, Omicron) and hitherto unknown virus mutations. UV radiation inactivates the RNA of these viruses. In addition, no resistance can develop to UV radiation, as is the case with drugs. UV radiation also destroys flu viruses, cold viruses, other dangerous germs and microbes. UV disinfection of the air in the room is a solution to protection against the inevitable further wave of influenza, pneumonia, etc.

Is UV radiation harmful to health?

Generally speaking, yes, but TriUV® units meet photobiological safety. UV-C radiation can cause severe burns (skin) and eye injuries (photokeratitis). Therefore, avoid direct exposure of the skin to UV-C radiation and never look directly at the UVC light source, not even briefly. UV disinfection units must be designed so that they do not emit UV radiation or only UV radiation with a very low intensity, so as not to endanger human health. This is not a problem with TriUV® products.

Influenza and prevention of its transmission by UV radiation

Influenza (Flu) is a contagious disease caused by an RNA virus of the Orthomyxoviridae family. It is spreading rapidly around the world in seasonal epidemics, with significant economic costs due to health care spending and lost productivity. The primary genetic changes in the virus caused three flu epidemics or even pandemics in the 20th century, which killed millions of people.

The best known and most deadly was the Spanish flu pandemic (influenza A, strain H1N1), which lasted from 1918 to 1919, at the end of World War I, and killed tens of millions of people, probably more than in the war.

The virus attacks the respiratory system, is transmitted from person to person by droplets of saliva formed during coughing. The flu symptoms are:

The effects of the flu are much worse and last longer than the effects of the common cold. The flu can be deadly, especially for the weak, elderly or chronically ill. Some flu pandemics have claimed millions of lives.

Most people who get the flu recover within one to two weeks, but others develop life-threatening complications such as pneumonia. Millions of people in the US and the EU get the flu every year, about a third of the population. Of this number, about 1% are hospitalised for the flu and about 0.2% die of the flu each year.

Healthy people can also be affected and serious flu problems can occur at any age, although people over the age of 65, people of all ages with chronic health problems and very young children are the most common. Pneumonia, bronchitis (inflammation of the bronchi), sinusitis (inflammation of the nasal cavities) and ear infections are the main examples of complications from the flu.

Influenza can exacerbate chronic health problems – for example, people with asthma may have more frequent asthma attacks and people with chronic heart disease may have worse heart performance. UV radiation is very effective in reducing the risk of transmitting the flu virus to healthy people. TriUV® disinfection units inactivate 99.9999% of the
flu virus in just one pass of contaminated air through this unit. The investment in these units will pay off very quickly if you realise what problems and financial losses can be avoided – both from your own point of view and
from the point of view of your employer.

Is it possible to regulate the air flow of the TriUV®?

With TriUV® disinfection units, the air flow can be continuously regulated from 30 to 100% of the maximum flow. At maximum flow, the noise elvel is below 40 dB (A), at minimum flow, it’s further reduced to onyl 18 dB (A) – rather than noise, we can talk about noiseless operation.

Is a possible fan fault indicated?

Each TriUV® unit is equipped with multiple fans and the correct function of each is monitored. In the event of a fan failure, the TriUV® disinfection unit remains in operation with the remaining fans and at the same time information
concerning fan failure is given to the TriUV® mobile application. This event is also indicated by a coloured LED at the TriUV® switch. Fan replacement is very easy and fast thanks to the well-thought-out TriUV®design.

Is a possible UV lamp failure indicated?

Yes. The fault information is displayed in the TriUV® mobile application and at the same time by an optical signal at the TriUV® main switch. If the TriUV® unit is equipped with more than one UV lamp, then the disinfection unit remains in operation. Of course, the effectiveness of disinfection is lower, but, if necessary, a lower degree of disinfection reduces the risk of infection transmission.

Is the date of the approaching UV lamp replacement time indicated?

One month in advance, the client is informed that the old UV lamp will need to be replaced with a new one. This information appears on the one hand in the TriUV® mobile application, and the client is also notified by an optical
signal at the TriUV® main switch.

What does the Smart Life concept of TriUV® mean?

TriUV® is an intelligent product that can easily be controlled using the Smart Life device management application. Available for mobile phones with IoS and Android operating systems. TriUV® is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit Smart Home platforms. The settings allow you to regulate the fan speed, schedule when the device will run or be switched off even without your presence for many days in advance. With the notification system, you will always have your device under control. TriUV® is part of the Smart Home concept.

TriUV® also has a mechanical LED button that can be used to control the device. A classic remote control is also available.

What voltage supply is required for TriUV®?

The TriUV® disinfection unit can be used worldwide, because the AC supply voltage can be in the range of 110 – 230 V, the voltage frequency can be 50-60 Hz.

How to measure the disinfection efficiency of equipment and what to look out for when
comparing disinfection units

TriUV® disinfection efficiencies were measured in the world-renowned Hygiene Institute biotec GmbH German laboratory. The most convincing method of determining the disinfection efficiency of TriUV® was chosen – the
reduction of bacteria and viruses was measured in a single pass through the TriUV® unit.

In addition, the measurement was performed at a UV intensity correspond-ing to the end of the life of the UV lamp.

These measurement conditions ensure that the disinfection efficiency of the TriUV® throughout the life of the UV lamp is higher than the value specified in the laboratory for the end-of-life UV lamp.

In this context, it should be noted that many manufacturers report disin-fection efficiencies of 99% and higher for their equipment without proper certification. They argue that they use generally known knowledge about UV radiation, which inactivates viruses and bacteria by more than 99%. What matters, however, is the conditions under which such efficiencies are achieved – and these conditions may not be met by their facilities at all. Another way to determine the disinfection efficiency of the device is to have the disinfection unit enclosed in a test space. Air samples are taken from the space at time intervals and the amount of surviving viruses or bacteria is determined. Based on this measurement, a statement is subsequently made that the disinfectant unit has an efficiency of, for example, 99.99%. However, this information alone is not relevant so that you can compare the efficiencies of units from different manufacturers. It is still necessary to know in what time period this efficiency was achieved, in which test space and at what the air flow was through the disinfection unit. Based on this information, the disinfection efficiency of a single pass through the unit, can be calculated. It is very often shown that, of the declared efficiency of 99.99%, only 80% or even lower the disinfection efficiency in a single pass through the unit.

As far as your health is concerned, you need to make sure that the disinfec-tion unit really does what the manufacturer declares. The most convincing information about the efficiency of the device is its determination in a single air pass through the disinfection unit.

Why is it important to test the effectiveness of UV system disinfection at the end of the UV lamps lifetime?

Standard low-pressure UV lamps have a lifespan of around 9000 hours and their UV intensity decreases very rapidly over their operating time. If they had a UV intensity of 100% at the beginning, then at the end of their lifetime the UV intensity is reduced to around 60%. As a standard, the disinfection efficiency of the device is tested for a new UV lamp, ie for 100% radiation. It is clear from the figure that at the end of its service life, the disinfection unit has about 40% lower efficiency than with a new UV lamp. The indication of the disinfection efficiency for a new lamp is therefore very incorrect.

LIFETECH uses special longlife UV lamps in TriUV® disinfection units. Their service life is around 16,000 hours and the decrease in UV intensity with operating time is much smaller than with standard UV lamps. Longlife UV intensity UV lamps at the end of their life continue to maintain around 80% UV intensity compared to a new UV lamp. The disinfection efficiency of TriUV® was tested at the end of the life of UV lamps. This ensures that the disinfection efficiency is always higher than the measured efficiency in the laboratory throughout the operation of the TriUV®. Thus, TriUV® disinfec-tion efficiency can always be relied upon.

TriUV® designed in accordance with sustainability. Small savings prevent big waste.

The following strategic conditions were set during the design of TriUV® disinfection units:

• TriUV® must have disinfection efficiencies at the end of the life of UV lamps higher than 99%
• There must be a radical reduction in operating costs and CO2 foot-print compared to the current situation
• The device must be extremely quiet and noiseless
• TriUV® design must be adaptable to client requirements
• As many recyclable materials as possible must be used for the pro-duction of TriUV®

We are proud that the resulting TriUV® design meets all these conditions as set at the beginning of its development.
In order to achieve the maximum lifespan of UV lamps and at the same time a minimum decrease in UV intensity at the end of their lifespan, spe-cial longlife UV lamps were used for TriUV® units. Compared to standard UV lamps with a lifespan of around 9,000 hours, our UV lamps have a lifespan of about 16,000 hours. The UV intensity of our longlife UV lamps drops to only 80% at the end of their service life, while the UV intensity of standard UV lamps drops to 60%.

The next picture shows that if the UV lamps were operated continuously, then in the case of standard UV lamps it will be necessary to replace them nine times in 9 years, while in the case of our longlife UV lamps only five replacements will be necessary.

Thanks to the new patented TriUV® technology, it was possible to reduce energy consumption by up to 50% compared to current certified UV disinfection systems with the same disinfection efficiency. The figure below shows the huge savings of the TriUV® 600, depending on the number of units installed.

As shown in the example of the TriUV® disinfection unit, there are already facilities that not only save your money, but also contribute to the sustain-ability of life on our unique planet. TriUV® is truly designed with love for people and nature.

Does the airflow caused by the disinfection unit affect the risk of infection transmission?

The air flow in the room caused by the disinfection unit must be such that all the air in the room passes through this disinfection unit regularly and in the shortest possible time. There are many disinfectants that are simple and cheap at first glance, but have a major drawback in that the air coming out of the disinfection unit is largely entrained back into the unit, as indicat-ed in the figure below.

A properly designed airflow system includes the possibility of placing it on the floor, wall or ceiling, is shown in the following figures.

Why is it, from a health point of view, economically advantageous to have TriUV® disinfection units installed in both private and public buildings?

It is clear from history and up to the present that pandemics similar to the current coronavirus pandemic will continue in the future and are more likely to be more frequent than before. It is necessary to prepare for these situations in advance and thus minimise their extent and consequences. However, this is not the only reason to invest in a TriUV® disinfection unit. It is not necessary to list all the diseases that commonly occur every year. Per-haps it is enough to mention influenza periods or diseases that the patient may acquire during hospital treatment – these are Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) caused by, for example, methicillin-resistant Staphylococ-cus aureus (MRSA).

Imagine the financial and other consequences for you if you are ill or your child, your employees, your patients are ill. In addition, it is important to realise that any illness can have lasting consequences. We do not want to quantify the economic savings associated with TriUV® installations here, as it always depends on the specific conditions. We can only state that we know from some of our private clients who have done the economic analy-sis that the investment in TriUV® disinfection units will pay for themselves in 1-2 years. And we are including private households. In the case of hospitals or IT companies, etc., the investment returns are realised within a few months.

Suppose your child fell ill in kindergarten, at school

The typical duration of the disease is two weeks. Someone has to stay home with the child. Because school is a process, it is necessary to help your child keep up, if the state of their health allows it. So you can’t go to work, your work must be done by someone else in the best case, or you will have to catch up after the illness. There are financial costs as well, of drugs, vitamins, etc. associated with treatment. Not everything is covered by insurance if you even have insurance. Any illness can have lasting consequences. Influenza can exacerbate chronic health problems – for example, people with asthma may have more frequent asthma attacks and people with chronic heart disease may have declining heart function.
Prevention: install TriUV® disinfection units in kindergarten or school, but also at home, so that the disease does not spread among household members.

Perhaps your employees fell ill at work

One sick employee is enough, and they can quickly infect multiple employ-ees who are close to or in contact with them. This results in non-fulfilment of planned tasks or higher demands on healthy employees who have to work beyond their normal activities. Of course, there may be a situation, as we know from the current pandemic, where all employees become infected and the company needs to close. That means huge financial losses. These production losses must be added the company’s costs of wages and health and social security contributions, which must be paid even if the employees are ill. If the disease is still associated with some persistent health conse-quences, it can reduce the performance of your employees.

Prevention: install TriUV® disinfection units at a minimum in places with a higher concentrations of employees, where there is a risk of increased infec-tion transmission. However, it is safest to install in all working areas.

Perhaps patients have become ill at your hospital

For more information on why TriUV® disinfection units should be installed in hospitals, see “Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) and How to Prevent Them ”.

Why it is important to have quiet equipment – noise and health

Noise is one of the factors that threaten human health. Noise exceeding a sound pressure level of 40 -50 dB (A) not only reduces mental concentration and thus reduces work efficiency, but causes resentment at rest, disrupts sleep, causes an increase in blood pressure and tachycardia. It can also lead to irreversible hearing loss. Noise can also be the initial stimulus for the de-velopment of neurotic and psychosomatic disorders. Noise levels above 55 dB (A) are a typical environmental stressor that triggers acute and chronic increases in catecholamine and cortisol levels.

The International Noise Council and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that noise levels in hospital areas should be 35-40 dB(A) in the daytime and 30-40 dB(A) in the evening. The Environmental Protective Agency (EPA) recommends the noise level as below 45 dB(A) at daytime and below 35 dB(A) at night for hospitals.

TriUV® disinfection units are extremely quiet thanks to their technical inno-vation. At maximum air flow, the noise is only 39 dB (A) and at minimum air flow, we even consider noise, because it reaches only is 18 dB (A), corre-sponding to the silence in a recording studio.

How to choose the right TriUV® disinfection unit size

Right at the beginning, we want to draw attention to certain unprofessional recommendations that other manufacturers may include for their disinfection units for room sizes equal to or even greater than the air flow rate of their unit per hour. To illustrate, we will give an example.

The maximum air flow through the unit is 200 m3 / h. The recommendation that this is a sufficient model for a room with a volume of 200 m3 or even more is wrong. Thus, the infected air will pass through the unit for at least an hour. This is a very long time to radically reduce the transmission of infection. If patients are constantly present in the room, the risk of infection will not be reduced.

Another recommendation only applies to TriUV® disinfection units, where the correct air flow is ensured throughout the room. The higher the degree of reduction in the risk of infection transmission we want to achieve, the more all the air in the room must pass through the TriUV® disinfection unit. The general recommendation for the minimum number of passages of all air in the room through the TriUV® disinfection unit is as follows:

• At home – passage 4 times / hour
• Office, kindergartens, schools, hospitals, surgeries, dentists, veterinar-ians – 5 times / hour
• Operating rooms – 6 times / hour

For example, let’s have a kindergarten measuring 5m x 4m x 3m = 60 m3. It is therefore recommended to install one TriUV® 300 unit for this space with an air flow of 300 m3 / h (= 5×60 m3 / h).
For example, let’s have a school class measuring 6m x 5m x 3.5m = 105 m3. The required flow through the disinfection unit is therefore 5 x 105 m3 / h = 525 m3 / h. It is therefore recommended to install one TriUV® 600 unit with a flow rate of 600 m3 / h. The second option is to install two TriUV® 300 units, each with an air flow of 300 m3 / h.

Why does TriUV® have no filter installed?

The use of air filters, especially so-called HEPA filters, presents several prob-lems. Such devices are noisy, which has a negative effect on concentration and work performance. Filters in air purifiers must be replaced periodically, often at monthly intervals. This is very often forgotten, so the flow through the air purifier decreases radically, decreasing its efficiency while its noise levels increase. To this must be added the operating costs associated with the power input and the replacement of filters – and these costs are current-ly very high and rising rapidly.

Why install expensive HEPA filters when the disinfection efficiency of TriUV® is higher than 99.99% even without them? From a practical point of view, it is far more advantageous to use TriUV® units for air disinfection, which ensure stable disinfection throughout the life of UV lamps – that is, for about 1.5 years if the unit runs without interruption. If the disinfection unit is operated 8-10 hours a day, then lamp replacement will take place in about 5 years. And you will be automatically notified of this exchange in time.

Can we manufacture TriUV® side panels based on my particular requirements?

Absolutely. The TriUV® design was deliberately designed to allow individ-ual solutions based on your specific requirements. As can be seen in the pictures on the website, the side panels are fastened to the TriUV® central unit with 4 screws. Send us your individual requirements and together we will make prepare a final proposal.