One-Stop Shopping: Nuvonics Gives Users Broad Choices in UV Disinfection Technology

A wide selection of UV technologies from four companies helps Nuvonic recommend the best disinfection solution for customers’ applications

One-Stop Shopping: Nuvonics Gives Users Broad Choices in UV Disinfection Technology

Nuvonic technologies include UVpro KMD modules installed in supply air ducts to disinfect air entering production facilities.

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UV light is a proven disinfection agent for drinking water and wastewater treatment. A variety of technologies are available. The key challenge is to deploy the one that best meets a facility’s disinfection requirements at an affordable cost.

Nuvonic now offers a comprehensive suite of chemical-free disinfection solutions for entire municipal and industrial facilities, covering water, surfaces and air if necessary, through advanced UV technologies. The company, a part of Halma Group, combines the UV technologies of Aquionics, Berson, Hanovia and Orca.

The company says the combined solutions help organizations meet the challenge of managing multiple disinfection providers and scale disinfection as their needs grow. It’s a different approach to selecting technology for pathogen elimination.

Ken Kershner, global commercial director with Nuvonic, talked about the offering in an interview with Treatment Plant Operator. 

TPO: What is the market need Nuvonic is looking to meet?

Kershner: We saw that there was no global provider offering a full suite of technologies able to cover a full range of UV disinfection applications. Bringing these four companies together under one roof allows us to provide a global technology suite and support network to handle all the disinfection needs of a facility.

TPO: Why do facilities need this capability versus choosing UV methods on their own?

Kershner: A company can call one manufacturer and get a disinfection system for drinking water, another for air, another for surfaces. Then when they need parts or service they would have to call each of those companies. Our platform enables customers to make one phone call to get everything they need, from upfront application science to aftermarket parts and service, no matter where they are in the world.

TPO: How does Nuvonic support customers in choosing the most appropriate technology for their applications?

Kershner: When an end user or a consultant calls, we’re able to give them what we consider to be the best solution. They are able to see our full suite of solutions all at once. Through one organization they’re able to see all the UV technologies, platforms and configurations, from which they can select what is the most appropriate to the site-specific needs.

TPO: Briefly, what technologies do each of these companies offer?

Kershner: Hanovia works mostly in the food and beverage market and the industrial sector and offers medium-pressure lamp systems. Berson focuses on municipal drinking water and wastewater and so all the traditional uses for UV, such as helping a reuse plant meet fecal coliform permit levels. They offer medium-and low-pressure high-output amalgam lamps. Orca treats air and surfaces using low-pressure high-output amalgam lamps. Aquionics offers technologies across all these applications.

TPO: Under what circumstances would a wastewater or drinking water treatment plant need air or surface disinfection?

Kershner: They would not typically need to disinfect surfaces, but for air, UV disinfection is a common need for those facilities, and in fact for municipal buildings of all kinds. These customers want to install UV in their air-handling units to protect customers and employees from airborne pathogens.

TPO: What would a UV application for air treatment look like?

Kershner: A UV system would be placed right at the central part of an HVAC system, or near the return of every segment of ductwork. The air would flow across the UV lamps, which would inactivate the airborne pathogens before they reach the building occupants. It’s all tied into the building control system. It’s simple to install in existing HVAC systems and easily adapted to new construction.

TPO: Did you see an increase in demand for air disinfection with the COVID pandemic?

Kershner: Yes. It started with wastewater and drinking water plants calling because people needed to work there every day during the pandemic. As UV became recognized as a solution, we saw an exponential increase in inquiries for municipal applications that continue today.

TPO: What are some factors a water or wastewater facility would need to consider when looking at UV technologies?

Kershner: Footprint is a big one. At an existing plant where someone is trying to add a UV system, medium-pressure technology tends to be a good fit, since it’s a more compact system. Another consideration is whether the system is gravity flow, where open-channel is typically used, or pressurized, which normally calls for a closed-vessel medium- or low-pressure systems. Water quality can play a factor. If there is iron or manganese in the water that can cause fouling, systems with chemical wiping tend to be selected.

TPO: Is energy consumption a significant consideration?

Kershner: Sustainability, and so energy consumption and carbon footprint, is becoming more of an issue. Users want to know how the equipment conforms to sustainability metrics. Different units consume different amounts of energy.

TPO: How do you walk prospective customers through the process of selecting the technology that is best for them?

Kershner: We want the customer to tell us what kinds of problems they are experiencing. For example, are they trying to eliminate some kind of biofouling? Or they might not have a problem and they just need to meet a permit. Once we establish why they are calling, we try to understand the upstream and downstream processes. While UV does a certain thing, it has to interact with everything else in the plant. We work with clients to understand how their plant works. Is it a sequencing batch reactor that has a lot of on-off cycles? What else could affect the UV system? Once we know all that, we can make recommendations on which products will be the best fit for them.


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