From Hotels to Gyms, This Startup is Helping Make Public Indoor Spaces Safer

Thanks to the global pandemic, businesses like restaurants, gyms, hotels, and co-working spaces among others, who were already under mounting pressure, now also had to worry about keeping the indoor spaces safer than ever if ever they decide to re-open. Even large workspaces like IT companies and BPOs are unsure when it would be safe to go back to work.

Well, things may not immediately go back to normal, but there is definitely a way to make these places of gathering safer.

As is widely understood, viruses and bacteria tend to attach themselves to aerosols (fine solid particles or liquid droplets in the air) and thus remain suspended in enclosed spaces for extended periods of time. They also tend to float around and then settle on exposed surfaces, like eatables on a table.

To tackle this, one method is to drastically reduce the presence of particles in the air, and pass all eatables through germicides like UV light.

Entreprenuer Vivek Bhugra

Vivek Bhugra, a Gurugram-based entrepreneur and founder of Respire Puro, has a solution for this that shows promise. The startup was founded in 2016 in the backdrop of increasing air pollution levels in Delhi. They have installed 200 air purification systems to date and 30 air monitoring stations across Delhi NCR.

“We have lab reports that show that our solution is 99.99 per cent effective against H1N1, PM 2,5, PM 10 along with bacteria, pollen, and viruses,” explains Vivek

In conversation with The Better India (TBI) the entrepreneur tells us how the sanitation technology works, how it can help businesses open up in contemporary times when the fear of infection is high.

How the technology works to indoor spaces safer

Respire Puro’s Central Air Cleaners are retrofitted to pre-existing air conditioning systems in a closed space and are adaptable to all kinds of air conditioning systems.  These could be the Fan Coil Unit (FCUs), Air Handling Unit (AHUs), Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems Cassettes among others.

The electronic purification system purifies the air from all contaminants and ensures safety through their ‘trap and kill’ technology which is a combination of electromagnetic filtration and Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) features.

“The electromagnetic system charges the dust particles that include PM 2.5, PM 10, and also bacteria, viruses, pollen, and all other harmful microorganisms present in the air and then captures them on the electronic grid. A very high electromagnetic field ensures that RNA and DNA of the captured microorganisms is ruptured, rendering them incapable of multiplying thereon,” explains Vivek.

The technology also doubles up as a MERV 15 filter, that basically removes aerosols, which play an important role in keeping viruses and bacteria suspended in the air, while also trapping them.

Moreover, once the solution has been installed, air quality is monitored in real-time using IoT enabled devices that give information on the air quality levels including parameters like PM2.5, PM10, VOC, Carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity.

“Once we install this solution the information on the air quality is accessible to the client through a web-based dashboard,” says Vivek.

Central air cleaner with UVGI

In addition to this, they have another solution which helps in sanitising articles and even groceries. This is most useful in the context of online grocery stores as well as restaurants that provide quick service.

“This particular technological system has UV rays of 254 nanometers that are part of the solution. Especially in places like restaurants that serve eatables, we provide this solution that sanitises the eatables without compromising the nutritional value or taste,” informs Vivek.

Both these technological solutions (air sanitisation and purification as well as article sanitisation) are a combination of the electromagnetic filtration system as well as the  UVGI system. These solutions can be a one time purchase while the option to rent this solution is also available for customers, informs Vivek.

Both these solutions are in compliance with the standards prescribed by The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), The Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Eurovent. And it has been certified by bodies like Conformitè Europëenne Mark (CE), Underwriter Laboratories (UL), Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), and International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

How this tech is already helping

The solution that Vivek is providing is relevant in the current times and people have already been benefiting from it.

Take Divya Kumar Sharma for example who has been using the air sanitisation and purification solution for the past five months.

UVGI On-coil and UVGI In-duct

The Deputy General Manager/Civil at Jindal Consultancy services Ltd based out of Delhi informs, “The reason why we decided to go for this solution is that both systems ensured a safer workspace. Hospitals and theatres have been using the electromagnetic as well as the UGVI system for quite some time. Also, since they are based in India, maintenance is also easy which would have been difficult in the case of European systems. Hence, we deemed it fit for us,” he says.

There are other merits for these technologies too which Vivek mentions.

“The good thing about the solution, unlike mechanical air solutions like High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filters, these filters do not introduce any drop in air pressure. This pressure drop in the air affects the functioning of the air conditioning system where it consumes more energy to function effectively. Since installing this does not impede the functioning of the air conditioner (unlike in the case of mechanical filters), it saves electricity,” points out the entrepreneur.

Furthermore, these filters have a lifetime of 10 to 15 years and have low maintenance costs. All one needs to do is clean them once every one or two months.

“Premises such as co-working spaces, business offices, hotels, restaurants, gyms, schools, and BPO that have a high concentration of employees can benefit from our solutions. Any space that is centrally air-conditioned can be sanitised in this manner. My hope is that with these solutions, going out can be an experience that is safe and free from fear,” says the entrepreneur.

If you wish to get in touch with Vivek Bhugra, please contact him at [email protected]

(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)

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