Then, at the push of a button, both the air and the surfaces in the cabin area of ambulances can be disinfected reliably and quickly.
"Three years of development time, a complex radiation design with various optimizations and the permanent progress in the field of UV-C LED technology now give us the opportunity to bring the system to the market", explains Prof. Andreas Wenzel, group leader at the Fraunhofer IOSB-AST Ilmenau, who developed the system together with BINZ Ambulance and Environmental Technology .
In order to be able to meet the demanding specifications for cleaning ambulances, Fraunhofer and Binz relied on LEDs to generate the UV-C light (100 to 280 nm). This is because UV-C LED technology expands the range of applications for disinfection enormously. It is now possible to develop systems based on UV lights that were previously unthinkable using conventional technology.
In comparison with classic quicksilver vapour lamps, LEDs are vibration-resistant, offer more efficient wavelengths for deactivating viruses and germs, have no warm-up times and can be optimally integrated into the existing compact light system of an ambulance. In addition, the radiation range can be adjusted very precisely using attachment lenses. In addition, they have an increased service life and the possibility of electronically monitoring the radiation doses. Another remarkable effect is that during the disinfection process not only the surfaces but also the air inside the ambulance are disinfected.
Although LED lights are more expensive than LEDs, it is worth it. Until now, vehicles have had to be cleaned by hand according to an extensive work schedule and disinfected with chemical agents, which can sometimes take up to an hour.
"Thanks to Fraunhofer's know-how in UV-C technology and our expertise in the field of special vehicle construction, we were able to integrate the UVC LEDs directly into our modular lighting system in the ceiling of the vehicle. As a result, it is now possible to disinfect the entire cabin area of the ambulance vehicle highly efficiently within just ten minutes. An enormous time advantage, not only in times of corona", says Cathrin Wilhelm, Managing Director of BINZ Ambulance and Environmental Technology in Ilmenau.
In initial model simulations, the Fraunhofer IOSB-AST was able to confirm the effectiveness of the UVC LEDs in combination with the holistic system concept: The surfaces of the cabin interior in the ambulance are cleaned of viruses, bacteria and germs with up to 99.99 percent.
Simulations by Fraunhofer IOSB-AST confirm the outstanding disinfection effect of the UVC LEDs in the interior cabin of the ambulance.
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