The growth of molds and other bio-organisms on heat exchangers in commercial air handling units (AHU’s) can reduce air flow thereby affecting the efficiency of the HVAC system and potentially affecting air quality. This growth is especially prevalent on the moist surfaces of cooling coils. The use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) to control bio-growth on heat exchange coils in commercial AHU’s has become a common practice with documented positive results. Although the use of UVGI is effective on those surfaces that receive sufficient doses of radiation, concerns about surfaces outside of the radiation field plus concerns about energy costs and maintenance issues related to UVGI equipment has led to a search for new methods and materials that are more effective and less costly in reducing bio-fouling of heat exchange coils over the life of an AHU.
RVE’s Annina Hogan in conjunction with the Copper Development Agency and Exel Consulting recently completed a study designed to explore the anti-microbial properties of copper alloys and their effectiveness in the prevention of bio-growth on commercial cooling and heating coils, including coil support structures such as brackets and drain pans. This study was also designed to compare the current state-of-the-art copper-tube/aluminum-fin coils to coils made entirely of copper alloy.
Click here to view her presentation and see her findings.