3 Reasons to Choose Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization

Posted on October 29, 2020

Insights from Commercial Filter Sales & Service

Our understanding of the link between indoor air quality (IAQ) and health isn’t new. As early as the 1850s, recognition of IAQ’s importance drove efforts to improve conditions for consumers. The rise of outdoor pollutants shifted concerns to external air quality in the 1960s, but research shows IAQ continues to affect asthma rates, airway infections, and lung cancer.

According to EPA research, Americans now spend almost 90 percent of their time indoors, where pollutant concentrations, including viruses, are 2 to 5 times higher than the outdoors.

Techniques identified for improving IAQ include:

  • Ventilating in outdoor air inside to dilute internal air.

    Unfortunately, this approach often has a high energy cost, making it challenging to maintain IAQ and energy efficiency.

    The moisture content of external air can also contribute to condensation and the growth of mold within ventilation systems.

  • Using indoor purification methods such as ultraviolet irradiation, ozone oxidation, and bipolar ionization.

    While these methods can destroy microorganisms and reduce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) levels, some are less effective at removing large particulates or controlling other gases like CO2 or ozone. Others, like UV radiation, have limited surface coverage.

Fortunately, technological innovations in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) filtration systems provide effective IAQ solutions. 

What is Bipolar Ionization?

The history of bipolar ionization traces back to the late 19th century when William Crookes discovered how to charge or ionize molecules within cathode tubes. Fast-forward to the 1970s US food producers adopted European precedents to incorporate bipolar ionization systems to control pathogens in manufacturing facilities. By 2004, researchers discovered that ionization rendered the SARS virus inactive.

When integrated into HVAC systems, the bipolar ionization tubes generate positive and negative ions that release as air flows through ducts. Ions cluster around mold, bacteria, and viruses, then trigger the harmful oxidation of cells and a breakdown of gases. The process neutralizes odors and eliminates VOCs.

Ions also attach to dust and breath droplets, enlarging them sufficiently for filtration.

The initial bipolar ionization systems relied on glass tubes, increasing the fragility and cost of the generators. A harmful level of ozone was often released during the ionization process.

By the mid-2000s, advancements led to needlepoint bipolar ionization (NBPI), which builds on the benefits of bipolar ionization by reducing ozone by-products.

  • NBPI systems don’t rely on a dielectric, an insulator that’s polarized during the process. Instead, the controlled power output prevents the production of ozone or other by-products.
  • The needlepoint bipolar ionization technology also breaks down VOCs into O2, CO2, N2, and H2O.
  • Ions travel with the air stream into occupied and unseen areas and have microbicidal power against pathogens, reducing the infectiousness of viruses.

Why Install Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization

In the near term, until researchers understand COVID-19 better and the true numbers come to light, delivering high IAQ in commercial buildings is essential to staff health and well-being. The top 3 reasons for choosing NBPI for your organization are:

  1. To provide consistent, active disinfection of your facility. COVID-19’s aerosolized spread and extended life in air demand an aggressive approach to air-cleaning.

    Researchers know that coronaviruses are enveloped, making them easier to isolate and eradicate than other viruses.

  2. To leverage a proven technology used to control IAQ at leading organizations, including Johns Hopkins Medical Center, the White House, and Google headquarters. Airforce One also has an NBPI system onboard.
  3. To limit the need for external ventilation, minimizing the risk of microorganism growth in the building.

NBPI has Proven Effective for Improving Air Quality

Needlepoint bipolar ionization demonstrates results under rigorous testing in laboratory settings, simulations, and in the field.

  • Controlled lab testing showed:
    • Norovirus had a 93.5 percent rate of reduction within 30 minutes
    • Coronavirus dropped 90 percent within 60 minutes
    • Legionella reduced 99.7% within 30 minutes
  • Simulations which modeled real-world environments demonstrated:
    • Tuberculosis had a 69 percent rate of reduction in 60 minutes
    • MRSA and Staphylococcus saw a 96.2 percent drop in 30 minutes
    • E.coli declined 99.6 percent in 15 minutes
  • Field testing also produced favorable outcomes:
    • In a major medical center, gram-negative rods dropped to zero in 6 test rooms compared to control, and isolated pathogens declined by 64 to 99 percent
    • An air travel command center showed particle reductions within a month of:
      • 0.3 microns by 87.2 percent
      • 0.5 microns by 95.4 percent
      • 1 micron by 95.8 percent

Installation of NBPI is Easy

Needlepoint bipolar ionization systems from Commercial Filter Sales & Service fit easily within new or existing HVAC equipment.

  • NBPI attaches to the entering side of a cooling coil.
  • No need for increased system pressure, other fans, larger filters, or modifications to air handling or ducts.
  • NBPI typically requires minimal maintenance or replacement parts, with designs that last for the air handling system’s lifetime.

Additional features include:

  • Versatility, with almost no size restriction. A single power supply, for example, can service 6 12-foot bars covering a 150,000 cubic feet per minute air handler.
  • Automatic cleaning feature for direct current (DC) NBPI systems to control dust and maximize performance.
  • All NBPI technology comes with a universal voltage input capable of handling 24 to 240 volts in AC or DC.
  • Power requirements are low, pulling power from the control circuit.

Partner with CFS for Improved IAQ with Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization

For more information about NBPI, contact our team. We’ll discuss your needs and find the right solution for you and your staff.  Delivering consistently good internal air quality is vital for staff health and building safety. Let’s talk about how NBIP can help you today!

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