To cater to the rising fears of coronavirus infection in closed spaces, air conditioning and commercial refrigeration major Blue Star has launched new products and services with virus deactivation technology (VDT).
The company said that VDT has the capability to deactivate viruses, including coronavirus, with up to 99.9 percent efficacy when air passes through these systems.
Blue Star joins a slew of other companies like Sharp and Orient Electric launching anti-viral technology and allied devices to help combat COVID-19.
Electronics goods maker Sharp Corporation has developed a device equipped with plasmacluster technology that it claims, in a research test, has the ability to reduce the infectious titre of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by more than 90 percent.
In fact, even consumer goods companies have launched products like anti-viral plywood (CenturyPly), anti-viral fabric (Siyarams) to laundry sanitiser (Dettol).
Use of air conditioners
Air conditioners (ACs) have come under the scanner ever since there were reports saying that usage of such devices could increase the intensity of COVID-19 spread.
However, the Refrigeration and Air Conditioner Manufacturers Association (RAMA) has said the use of ACs do not pose any additional risks of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
In a statement, RAMA had said that a temperature band of 24 to 30 degrees Celsius and relative humidity between 40 and 70 percent is ideal to boost immunity and to resist the infection.
AC sales hit during summer months
While peak AC sales months are March-May, in 2020 the season was a washout due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Appliance makers are also looking to make up for the lost revenue by launching innovative products to meet customer needs during the festive season.
The AC segment in India is worth Rs 15,000 crore and every year close to 5.5 million ACs are sold to retail customers.
According to an Edelweiss research report, Voltas leads the AC segment in India with 23 percent market share, followed by LG and Blue star at 16 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
Blue Star’s VDT technology
The VDT components can be retrofitted into room ACs as well as central ACs. The technology will come in the form of Livinguard and UVC filters. This can be used in homes, offices, theatres, malls and other commercial spaces.
The products under VDT include room ACs with Livinguard filter. In this system, the virus is deactivated when the air passes through the filter. The filter is washable and lasts three years, the company said. There is also the room ACs with ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). Its pricing has not yet been disclosed.
The ‘Livinguard’ filter, through its positive charge, attracts the negatively charged viruses including COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and other microbes like a powerful magnet. These then are deactivated when air passes through this filter. Livinguard Technologies is a Swiss hygiene company that is providing this technology.
These VDT solutions will be useful for all AC applications be it at homes, ATMs, showrooms, restaurants, offices, or large commercial spaces like malls, cinema theatres and airports.
It is important to note that the product is not a substitute to the mandatory precautions prescribed by the government such as wearing masks, social distancing, usage of hand sanitisers and surface hygiene practices.
Fitting the Livinguard filter into an existing Blue Star AC will cost Rs 2,000 while a UVC filter fitting will cost Rs 4,000.
Also read: Here are devices that can kill Coronavirus on surfaces
B Thiagarajan, Managing Director, Blue Star, said VDT provides additional protection against viruses including COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), in air-conditioned spaces.
“Apart from being completely safe for humans, the above technology deploys components that are non-hazardous, eco-friendly, proven and accepted across the world,” he added.
Blue Star has also integrated UVGI technology into its VDT range of solutions. The UVC emitters that are placed in the air conditioning systems irradiate viruses including COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) by altering their DNA/RNA. This effectively deactivates the virus present in the air which passes through ACs.
Today is the 198th day since India implemented a nationwide lockdown to help curb the novel coronavirus pandemic. So far, India has recorded 67,57,131 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 1,04,555 deaths.