Europe’s first certified antimicrobial unit produced in France
The European Copper Institute has revealed in an announcement that the first certified antimicrobial copper coil air handling unit has been produced in Europe by French manufacturer Hydronic in association with Centre d’Information du Cuivre-Laitons et Alliages (CICLA). Calling it a ground-breaking product for France, the announcement says that the new product will harness the antimicrobial properties of copper and will, thus, improve indoor air quality, especially in hospitals.
The European Copper Institute pointed out that the HVAC system components operate in warm, dark and humid environments that are ideal breeding grounds for contamination, which causes odours and can reduce system efficiency. It claimed that laboratory testing had shown that copper could inhibit the growth of these organisms. After 24 hours of exposure to copper surfaces, total elimination was observed in several common mould species, and the commonly-used aluminium had no effect on reducing the growth of the fungi, it added. In the light of this, the institute revealed that the practical implementation was based on laboratory work by University of Southampton researcher, Professor Bill Keevil, assessing the effectiveness of copper as an antifungal surface for air conditioning systems, and is a tremendous advancement for both antimicrobial copper implementation and innovation in the HVAC sector.
“We are delighted that the antimicrobial properties of copper are being used to advantage in HVAC applications,” said Nigel Cotton, Global OEM Team Leader for the International Copper Association, against the backdrop of the new product being launched. “Consumers today are becoming more health conscious, and in a proactive response to this market trend, Hydronic’s air handling units are Europe’s first to be permitted to use the Antimicrobial Copper Cu+ mark. These large-scale air conditioning coils can vary from 300 mm x 600 mm to 1.600 mm x 1.800 mm, contain copper tubes of 12,7 mm and 15,45 mm internal diameter and handle an air-flow between 300 m³/hour (0,1 m³/s) to greater than 130.000 m3/hour (36 m³/s).”
Thomas Dupire, Product Manager for Hydronic, added that controlling the quality of air in healthcare units was at the heart of the company’s strategy. “Our air handling unit was designed to comply with air hygiene standards,” he said. “Integrating antimicrobial copper into our products was the logical way to proceed. Moreover, these certified antimicrobial copper coil units have a better thermal efficiency, up to eight per cent higher than standard aluminium fins coil.”
On a tangential, but relevant note, the announcement pointed out that in December 2010, the Chinese air conditioning company, Chigo, launched the world’s first antimicrobial copper room air conditioner with the Cu+ mark. This new product pioneered a new trend towards healthier home appliances. Today, Hydronic manufactures the first large-scale antimicrobial copper coils air handling units in Europe, designed for off-shore, hospital, industrial and commercial applications, it added.