Klaran by Crystal IS – Berlin 2019 Sponsor

January 31, 2020

Eoin Connolly: Vice President of Product Management.

How important is WE to your plans in Europe and do you have any comments on the Berlin trade fair?

We found the WE event to be an excellent and inviting forum where we could learn about the water industry and engage directly in candid discussions with both technical and commercial leaders from many countries. We found the participants to be very open and willing to share their experiences, challenges and business opportunities, of which there are many. The staff at Berlin were very professional and made attending this event both effective and enjoyable.

How does UVC LED technology work? How does it compare to traditional filtration methods?

UVC disinfection is a physical process where light emitted from the LED disrupts the DNA of any microorganisms present in the water and destroys their ability to reproduce. UVC does not remove anything from the water supply and as such preserves natural odour and flavour. UVC technology is generally a complement to filtration technology and not a replacement. If the source water needs to be treated to eliminate unwanted metals or dissolved salts, then UVC should be paired with an appropriate filtration technology specified to target these contaminants.

What benefits do UVC LEDs offer Cooler Operators? Product Manufacturers?

Adding UVC LED technology can improve overall water quality, consistency and customer satisfaction by removing the potential spread of waterborne pathogens like E. coli and Pseudomonas, in addition to reducing total bacterial count (HPC measurement). UVC LED devices may be easily added or retrofit to dispensers and can provide simple on-demand, maintenance-free operation for the useful lifetime of most systems. For operators, the addition of maintenance-free UVC LED technology offers a pathway to improve revenue and access new business opportunities without significant technician training or increased service calls.

For most product manufacturers UVC LED technology is sufficiently compact and “plug and play,” or added into exiting products with minimal design impact. The durable and reliable semiconductor construction of LEDs provides the ability to add germicidal performance at a lifetime cost of less than one cent per liter.

How can Cooler Operators access this technology today? How can engineers integrate it into their products?

Cooler operators can work directly with Crystal IS and its distribution partners to retrofit the Klaran WS solution to most dispensers. Our regional field applications engineers provide training to operator technicians so that Klaran solutions can be quickly installed, typically under five minutes. Alternately, operators may request their preferred product manufacturer directly integrate the Klaran WR reactor component. Product manufacturers can obtain the same support to integrate Klaran UVC LED technology, including collaborative development that utilizes Crystal IS’ in-house microbial testing capabilities and LED lifetime characterization datasets.

What's the lifetime and footprint of a UVC LED reactor?

The primary factor contributing to the footprint difference in UVC LED reactors above other traditional disinfection methods is the use of LED chips. Klaran UVC LEDs are 3.5 mm across and less than one millimeter in depth. UVC water treatment reactors designed using these LEDs can be two to three times smaller than a comparable UVC solution, i.e. mercury bulbs and ballasts. Current reactor designs are small enough to integrate directly into most existing dispenser product designs which not only minimizes R&D costs, but also ensures fast time to market.

Lifetime, or the capacity of a reactor, is highly configurable. UVC LEDs can be sized and controlled to optimize intensity (microbial performance) and capacity. Typical UVC LED dispenser products can ensure >99.9% reduction in bacterial loads while providing 10-30 liters per day for five to seven years. 

What trends or regulations are promoting the increase in value of microbial hygiene in coolers and dispensers today?

In recent years, consumers and governments alike are becoming more engaged and aware of the quality of their water. Because of this, both parties are beginning to look at water sources beyond just municipal tap water, including bottles and dispensers, in order to ensure the water they rely on is clean and safe. Testing solutions are also getting less expensive, allowing end-users and regulators to quickly and easily spot check their water source. With these trends in mind, proactively considering microbial treatment with technology like UVC LEDs assures a level of confidence that satisfies consumers, operators and manufacturers.