Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Reporting Live From AHR EXPO 2008

The AHR Expo is in full swing here in New York City. We are among 1,800 exhibitors that are presenting booths at this show. The technical programs have been outstanding, especially the programs dealing with Ultraviolet light.
As a whole the industry seems to be maturing. As compared to previous years when people asked, “What is UV?”, this year they know what it can do and are asking more questions regarding applications. The field of UV manufacturers is well represented here at the Expo and at the technical committee level. Although we are competitors there is an agreement that we have shared interests as an industry.
This spirit was evident at a symposium entitled, ‘Applying UV Without Getting Burned’. Moderated by Steve Martin, the forum discussed the safety implications of applying UV to HVAC. Altru V’s VP of Technology Dave Witham demonstrated how his company is testing the effects of UV on HVAC components such as filters, insulation and wiring. His company has created a testing chamber to help quantify those effects.
Richard Vincent, the author of many journal articles on UVGI, also touched upon the safety aspects of applying UV. Dr. Vincent is a recognized expert in the field and discussed the conclusions of a 7 year study on the effects of UV in homeless shelters.
The always entertaining Dave Marciniak of the GSA round-out the forum. His use of humor livened the sometimes dry details of government safety guidelines and regulations. Being the last speak in a forum is always tough but Dave did it with memorable style. My kind of bureaucrat!
Another highlight was a presentation made by Kathryn Worrilow Ph.D of Leigh Valley Hospital. Her talk was part of the TC 2.9 (thanks for the update, Mr. Bahnfleth) series, AKA Control of Infectious Diseases with UVGI. Dr. Worrilow, an embryologist, explained how the use of UVGI air disinfection led to better clinical outcomes in her lab. Her study, The Impact of UVC Radiation on Clinical Pregnancy and Miscarriage Rates in ISO 5 Cleanroom In Vitro Fertilization Laboratory was well received and is the latest in a growing body of evidence linking UV air sanitation with positive clinical outcomes.
Among the contacts VIGILAIR made at AHR is Ponkamon Aumpansub, a graduate student at Penn State. Her studies at the prestigious Penn State Indoor Environment Center deal with the complex issues surrounding the modeling and mitigation of contaminants in large buildings. AHR is first and foremost an expo to promote business. It is also important to recognize that tomorrow innovations will come from today’s engineering students such as Ms. Aumpansub. It is imparative for commercial entities to foster the relationship between research and commercial applications as their goals are connected.
The theme that seemed to resonate throughout the 1,800 exhibits this year is the emerging importance of IAQ in all aspects of HVAC. There is an awareness from front line mechanical contractors to multi-national manufacturers that HVAC is all about creating an environment of comfort and safety indoors. VIGILAIR and our partners at Steril-Aire are at the vanguard of implementing UV to meet those goals.


Bill Bahnfleth said...

The sponsoring TC for the UVGI programs summarized in this article was not TC 9.6. It was TC 2.9 Ultraviolet Air and Surface Treatment.

Bill Bahnfleth said...

Oops--should have said "also sponsored by...". TC 9.6 Healthcare Facilities was a co-sponsor.