ICA partners with Chigo to use material, claimed to prevent spread of fungi and improve indoor air quality
Chinese air conditioning manufacturer, Chigo has launched the world’s first antimicrobial copper air conditioner, in Beijing, in association with the International Copper Association (ICA). It is also touted to be the world’s first consumer product to contain antimicrobial copper – claimed to be the most effective antimicrobial touch surface material. The product has a Cu+ mark to indicate that it contains antimicrobial copper.
Dubbing it a ground-breaking product, Chigo said that the air conditioner would harness the antimicrobial properties of copper for a new application, in addition to offering energy-saving performance. Compared to other models of the same capacity with the current highest EER grade (3.6), it could save up to 56% more energy, it claimed.
In this context, Ravinder Bhan, Principal Consultant of TPS Management Consultants, the local representatives for ICA, said: “The antimicrobial properties of copper are fast gaining the attention of policy makers, especially in the healthcare sector. The introduction of the world’s first antimicrobial copper air conditioner will be of great relevance to the Middle East region, where the use of air conditioners is a way of life. It will significantly enhance the quality of the air we breathe, and add to the overall well-being, in addition to enhancing energy use efficiency and reducing power bills. We are confident that the new air conditioner will find wide acceptance in the region.”
According to Chigo, HVAC system components operate in warm, dark, humid environments – ideal breeding grounds for contamination that cause odours and can inhibit system efficiency. Chigo Laboratory tests had shown that copper materials could inhibit the growth of such organisms, it said, and added that after 24 hours of exposure to copper surfaces, total die off was observed in several common mould species, and the commonly used aluminium had no effect on any of the fungi.
The announcement highlighted that the practical implementation was built on laboratory work done by University of Southampton’s researcher, Professor Bill Keevil, who assessed the effectiveness of copper as an antifungal surface for air conditioning systems. It is said to be an advancement for both antimicrobial copper implementation, and for innovation in the HVAC sector.
Headquartered in New York, the ICA is a not-for-profit organisation for promotion of copper worldwide, and is dedicated to advancing copper as the material of choice for current markets and use in new applications based on its reportedly superior attributes. Details can be obtained from www.copperinfo.com.
The latest published research into copper’s efficacy against the spread of fungi in air conditioning systems has appeared in Letters in Applied Microbiology: Potential for Preventing Spread of Fungi in Air Conditioning Systems Constructed Using Copper Instead of Aluminium, L Weaver, H T Michels, C W Keevil.