The incoming air goes through a washable pre-filter that has special ultraviolet light resistant properties. The sole purpose of the pre-filter is to ensure that the permanent photocatalytic elements within the Air Sniper remain uncontaminated with dust, lint or other larger particles present in the air. This ensures that the light transmission through the photocatalytic elements remains unimpeded. Frequent cleaning of the pre-filter is recommended to ensure proper air flow – about once every three months. The unit has been equipped with a sensor to indicate when the filter is approaching a clogged state that is detrimental to the Air Sniper’s operation. If left unresolved the unit will shut down and won’t turn back on until the filter has been cleaned.
Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI)
Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation or “UVGI” is electromagnetic radiation that is in the ultraviolet light spectrum. The UVGI is generated by mercury vapour bulbs, specially designed in cooperation with a UVC bulb manufacturer, to deliver these wavelengths without any ozone production or transient/unwanted odours. When microorganisms (including all viruses, bacteria and spores) are exposed to sufficient UVGI it destroys their nucleic acids and disrupts their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions and rendering them harmless or inert. The Air Sniper has been designed with 72 - 216 watts of UVGI to maximize the cumulative irradiation the microorganisms are exposed to and facilitate their destruction.
Permanent Photocatalytic Elements
The Air Sniper has been designed with four photocatalytic elements with
direct exposure to UVC light in a laminar flow arrangement. This means that
all contaminants in the air stream must pass through an element four times.
These photocatalytic elements consist of high purity quartz High quality
stainless steel (UVC conducting) wool coated with a photocatalyst (anatase
titanium dioxide) to create an enormous photoelectrically active surface
area that is all fibre-optically accessible to the UVC light. The photons of
the energetic UVC light striking the photocatalyst's surfaces causes electrons to be ejected, leaving positive "holes" behind.
The released electrons and created "holes" cause oxidation and reduction
reactions (including the creation of aggressive, extremely short lived,
hydroxyl free radicals) that convert all the volatile organic molecules
(odours) that they come in contact with into carbon dioxide and water. This
further deactivates and converts all microorganisms surviving the UVGI
dosage. The tangled mass of fibres in the quartz wool Tight weave of the
stainless steel mesh assures that there are many surface contacts
experienced by the molecules and microorganisms upon passage through each of the four elements.
The conversion process indicated above, that takes place at the nanoscale,
reduces the ejected electrons energy and it drops back into the hole that
was created upon the UVC photon strike. This self regeneration
characteristic is what makes the photocatalytic elements permanent and able
to last a lifetime.
Sterilized Air Flow
A powerful, yet quiet, industrial fan pulls air into the Air Sniper at a rate of 90 - 250 cubic feet per minute while on high speed (which means that most of the air in an average room will move through the unit in about twenty minutes). The fan speed can be manually set at one of 4 speeds and can be set to slow down (quieter operation) to a programmed preference when motion is detected in the room. When no motion has been detected for 90 minutes, the fan speeds back up so that the room’s air is sterilized more quickly and ready for people when they return.