Where to Install UV-C LED Systems
Ultraviolet LEDs are gaining interest in water dispensing applications, to provide enhanced disinfection. While this digital technology boasts several unique benefits (i.e. instant on, small footprint, long replacement intervals), exploiting these attributes takes expertise, experience and engineering know-how. AquiSense Technologies offers added insight as we have been designing for these solutions for years. Below are a few installation concepts to keep in mind when designing for the integration of the world’s smallest UV disinfection system, the PearlAqua Micro™.
This method leaves the disinfection outside the device or process, leaving an opening for bacteria growth at any point in the system. The UV LED system is easier to replace but with lamp lifetimes of up to 10,000 hours, the need to replace is less frequent when compared to conventional mercury lamps. For example, 5,000 hours 'on' time at 2 LPM equals 600,000 liters of water served to clients. Inlet disinfection can also make installations easier as there is no need for a system redesign or remodeling of the original product. However, installing the UV LED system at the inlet can make for a more cumbersome system as your components are now outside and more likely to be damaged or disconnected.
In Process Disinfection
Installing a PearlAqua Micro offers added benefits as your product is now intact with no parts or components outside the system. This type of installation is closer to point of use as the amount of contamination possible from the point of use to the disinfection point has been diminished. One drawback is this type of installation does not prevent retro contamination, or bacteria growing up the pipeline from the point of use.
Point of Consumption Disinfection
Point of consumption or point of use disinfection offers the most protection for contamination in a product or system. By installing a UV-C LED system at the point of consumption two major benefits are offered – retrograde protection and last mile protection. Retrograde contamination, as mentioned before happens when bacteria from the outlet contaminates the system by growing up the pipeline into the system. Retrograde protection offers disinfection at the outlet, so growth is prevented. One manufacturer, OASIS International also improves on this concept by switching on the UV LEDs to periodically disinfect the outlet even when not in use. Last mile protection offers disinfection from pathogens that might be growing at any point prior to the outlet. Point of use protection allows the manufacturer an assurance of disinfection for the end user of their product.
Each application has different needs and reasons for disinfection. Any of these options are suitable depending on the internal space available, the need for replacement, and the level of disinfection. The PearlAqua Micro provides flexible options for any need.