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Wisconsin tribal casinos using UV light to 'kill' coronavirus, tech could work in schools?

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  • Wisconsin tribal casinos using UV light to 'kill' coronavirus, tech could work in schools?

    Frank Vaisvilas Green Bay Press-Gazette

    Published 4:11 p.m. CT Aug. 13, 2020

    CRANDON - As tribal casinos reopen amid the ongoing pandemic, some are utilizing ultra-violet light systems in their ventilation ducts to help neutralize the coronavirus.

    The Sokaogon Chippewa Community recently installed such a system made by the California-based company UltraViolet Devices, Inc., at its Mole Lake casino and lodge in Crandon.

    “Tribal leadership is committed to enhanced measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests and employees as we reopen,” said Johnny L. Phillips Jr., assistant general manager of the Mole Lake Casino, in a statement. “As part of multiple facility upgrades, including touch-less restrooms, we’re pleased to work with UVDI to install its state-of-the-art UV air disinfection system.”

    The tribe, which has around 1,400 members and a 4,900-acre reservation, has reported zero COVID-19 cases, which tribal officials attribute to enhanced testing and tracing.

    “UV-C germicidal lamps are installed inside the HVAC system duct work,” said Will Gerard, spokesman for UVDI, about how the system works. “As the air passes the UV-C light, it ‘kills’ more than 99% of the virus immediately. The air is recirculated to the HVAC system from the casino space, therefore cleaning the air in the casino.”


    Dr. Edward Nardell, a Harvard Medical School professor who specializes in airborne diseases, told the Associated Press that the danger in schools is from ineffective air systems that don’t remove floating viruses and let them linger in classrooms after an infected person visits.

    Ultraviolet light technology was developed during the 1950s and is still in use in hospitals, but experts believe schools and other entities should consider installing the lights, which can cost $3,000 per classroom.

    Last edited by sharon sanders; August 14, 2020, 02:55 PM.

  • #2
    The solution here is cost, and the existing air system. If the air can be expelled from the building then the lamps are not needed. If the air is not, due to the cost of heating or cooling outside air, then this may be a solution. If all classroom air can be routed to the same point then only one lamp is needed. UV-C is very dangerous to us and must not come in contact with anyone, and the bulbs aren't cheap. UVC covers 200-280nm with 254nm typical in a swimming pool UV system with a bulb life of about 1 year.


    • #3
      Yes, the costs of the Ultraviolate Light System are enormous.
      Perhaps, in the future, more competition in the market, would lower these prices.

      Who knows, building codes some day may require this type of ventilation systems in all new constructions.

      And what do you think regarding states in cold climates, temps ranges can run -30F - -50F below durning winter months.
      I would think states in these extreme climates would need to use ?? UV system bulbs, which would greatly diminish the UV system bulbs life span.

      In the future, UV systems may be Incorporated into the solar energy power systems (panels).


      • #4
        It all gets a bit complicated with UV-C as you increase the bulb wattage. You can get a 10$ UV-C bulb but you need high intensity and then problems relating to transparency of the glass or quartz kick in, especially if you are trying to focus the light. UV-C's short wave length causes it to scatter if there are any imperfections in the medium it is traveling in and its high energy can cause damage to crystalline structure leading to more scattering. This are more relevant to laser applications though. This is a overview and this UV optics

        Re. the cold climate question. An alternative may be HEPA filters, I do not know about their relative capital and running costs.


        • #5
          We've had a Bipolar Ionization Cleaning System installed at the school I work at. Some background here:
          Twitter: @RonanKelly13
          The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.


          • #6
            It turns out there is a far UVC frequency which can be used safely to steralise occupied rooms.