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Seminar on AHUs clears the air

Event throws light on maintaining hygienic standards with energy efficiency

| | Oct 15, 2010 | 1:13 pm
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Event throws light on maintaining hygienic standards with energy efficiency

On September 28, Euroclima, which manufactures air-handling units and double-skin fan-coil units, and an associate of Faisal Jassim Trading Company, conducted a seminar on best practices in AHUs, at Hilton Abu Dhabi. The speaker, Bernward Ruegenberg, Technical Director at Euroclima, made a presentation highlighting hygiene-related requirements for AHUs.

Drawing attention to the need for complying with hygienic international health standard in AHUs, Ruegenberg said that it was of prime importance, as biological contaminants like bacteria, mould and other of micro organisms can breed in air conditioning systems and form a biofilm, which can get suspended in indoor air. This could pose a health hazard in the form of respiratory infections, lung diseases, mainly for people with weak immune system, especially children and the elderly. Other possible health problems, he said, were allergic illnesses, irritant effects and toxic effects.

Under the rubric of Hygienic Requirements and Energy Efficiency Testing for AHUs, Ruegenberg spoke about why hygienic air conditioners are a must in central AHUs and decentralised /domestic air conditioners, and put forward 10 hygienic requirements for good air quality. He also gave guidelines for technical measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of unhygienic conditions in AHUs.

The 10 requirements he dealt with comprehensively were regarding:

  1. Casing materials (metal parts)
  2. Non metallic parts
  3. Construction details
  4. General accessibility
  5. Coils
  6. Droplet separators
  7. Condensate trays/drain pans
  8. Filter sections
  9. Drain trap/siphon
  10. Fan motor sections

Under the topic, General AHU applications and hospital sector, he discussed European hygiene standards and hygiene requirements for ventilation and air conditioning systems and units. Ruegenberg supported and demontrated his presentation with visuals and graphs.

Ruegenberg also added that all parts in contact with the air flow should be made of materials which do not emit any substance harmful to health or provide a nutrient substrate for micro organisms – from the ceiling to the floor.

In conclusion, Ruegenberg said that for air conditioning units to provide good air quality, we need to ensure that hygiene conforms to AHU execution, there is proper maintenance and cleaning and that there are regular hygiene inspections.

Explaining how to ensure hygiene standards to conform to AHU execution, he listed the following:

1) Specify AHU execution to be according to actual and sophisticated hygiene standards, treating this matter specifically:

• VDI 6022 – part 1 – or all HVAC applications

• DIN 1946 – part 4 – for hospital applications

2) Ask for manufacturer’s declaration of conformity for the delivered units

3) Specify manufacturer to provide third party-certification of conformity from independent accredited laboratory, specialised in tests such as ILH – Berlin or equivalent

4) Specify material quality, suitable for environment and use

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