European Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive
How UV technology can contribute to the EU's wastewater treatment targets

Ozon oxidation and UV advanced oxidation haven proven to be effective technologies for removal of micro-pollutants in wastewater. Because these technologies use (renewable) electrical energy and produce no waste, they have potential to help water utilities to reduce the CO2-footprint and reach their neutrality target.

We partner with UV professionals globally to create energy efficient UV systems at the lowest total costs of ownership. Integrating energy efficient UV drivers helps to reduce operational costs and carbon footprint, creating future proof UV systems.

Author: Olga Kruidhof
20 February 2024
Agreement on European Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive

On January 29th, the Council and the European Parliament’s negotiators reached a provisional political agreement on a proposal to review the urban wastewater treatment directive. The revised directive is one of the key deliverables under the EU’s zero-pollution action plan.

In the agreement, the co-legislators aligned the thresholds and timelines for quaternary treatment (the removal of a broad spectrum of micro-pollutants). By 2045, Member states will have to ensure the application of quaternary treatment in larger plants of 150,000 population equivalent and above, with intermediate targets in 2033 and 2039 for quaternary treatment.

Energy neutrality and renewables

The co-legislators also agreed that the urban wastewater treatment sector could play a significant role in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping the EU achieve its climate neutrality objective. They introduced an energy neutrality target, meaning that by 2045 urban wastewater treatment plants will have to produce energy from renewable sources, based on regular energy audits, with progressive intermediate targets. This energy can be produced on or off-site, and up to 35% of non-fossil energy can be purchased from external sources. This percentage only applies to the final target.

Designing systems with optimal electrical efficiency has always been our focus. Now it’s even more relevant because of the sustainability ambitions of governments.

Bart Bouwhuis
Electronic design engineer Nedap
Energy efficiency in water management

Energy efficiency is increasingly important for governments and industries. It is seen as the first building block for any energy strategy and stated in the COP28 declaration. In Germany, wastewater treatment facilities currently account for 20% of energy consumption, making them the biggest municipal energy consumers (source: FONA). In the coming decades, a further shortage of conventional energy sources and an increase in energy costs can be expected. Increasing energy and resource efficiency in water management is therefore of crucial importance worldwide.

Advancements in oxidation technologies

The opportunity for advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) in water and wastewater treatment is growing concurrently with the increasing drive towards water reuse and stricter regulations for wastewater discharge. This brings AOPs to the forefront of dealing with new treatment challenges.


Leading the way

With more than 16,000 publicly owned wastewater treatment systems, the United States forms a large potential market for UV vendors. The industry is familiar with UV-hydrogen peroxide treatment due to several decades of experience. UV treatment coupled with the addition of hydrogen peroxide is the most commonly employed AOP for municipal water and wastewater, either for drinking water or municipal water reuse. This is due to the simple fact that it often comes out as the most cost-effective solution. The UV/hydrogen peroxide combination has been installed in major treatment plants since the early 2000s, with the 2008s Orange County, CA being the first ‘toilet-to-tap’ treatment plant in the USA.

Combining technology increases effectiveness and efficiency

Ozon oxidation and UV advanced oxidation have proven to be effective technologies for removal of micro-pollutants in wastewater. Because these technologies use (renewable) electrical energy and produce no waste, they have potential to help water utilities to reduce the carbon footprint and reach their neutrality target. Several pilots have been conducted to compare the carbon footprint (meanly energy costs) of UV peroxide oxidation and ozonation with other technologies, like Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) or Powdered Activated Carbon in Activated Sludge (PACAS).

 

> Image: The MicroForce++ technology combines ozonation and biological oxidation and has a removal efficiency of 80%, low carbon footprint and low cost per m3 treated water.

Customization being the standard

The pilots and full-scale applications have set a clear rule: there is no one size fits all approach. The make-up of streams that require treatment varies wildly from industry to industry (and sometimes between streams in one facility) and technology application requires large amounts of customization. Full scale pilot studies do show that when combining filtration technologies with ozonization or an AOP step with UV and hydrogen peroxide, the removal efficiencies greatly increase. This results in high quality water that for example can be reused in the industrial processes.

 

> Image: The Ozone treatment technology of MicroForce shows that the total CO2 footprint only slightly increases compared to the reference situation without post-treatment, and that this increase is almost entirely due to the energy required to generate and introduce the ozone.

Lower CO2 Footprint of UV Treatment

Dutch research conducted by Witteveen + Bos (2023) showed that UV peroxide oxidation technology can have a lower or comparable environmental impact in certain cases compared to activated carbon and ozonation. This is highly dependent on the UV transmission of the wastewater. Higher transmission means lower energy consumption. In case of low transmission, the wastewater can be pretreated with a sand filter and flocculation.

 

> Image: The Advanox AOP system combines UV-C light with hydrogen peroxide to effectively break down micro-pollutants. The CO2- footprint primarily consists of the required electronic energy. This consumption is the smallest when the water has high transmission values (70% T10); then the technology works most efficiently, and the CO2 footprint is lower compared to other technologies. If renewable energy is also utilized, the impact decreases even further.
Source: H2OWaternetwerk.nl (Sept. 2023)

How Nedap UV driver technology helps to reduce energy consumption

Within the proven UV technology, there are two main streams: low-pressure and medium-pressure systems. Low-pressure UV systems are more energy-efficient compared to the more compact medium-pressure systems. By accurately and smartly controlling the large, multi-lamp systems, the system can become even more energy efficient. The electrical efficiency of the UV lamp drivers also makes a difference.  This is exactly what distinguishes Nedap driver technology.  

 

> Image: St Anthony Village is the 35th public water system in North America to specifically treat 1,4 Dioxane using Advanced Oxidation with UV-Peroxide. The six (6) Trojan UVPhox Reactors each contain 144 low-pressure high-output UV lamps. The overall system can remove more than 99% of 1,4 Dioxane at Peak Flow Conditions of 3,000 GPM. Source: www.health.state.mn.us (August 2017)

Contact us

Nedap is dedicated to reducing our environmental footprint through smart driver technology that meets current regulations and anticipates future trends. Get in touch to discover how our team can support your business.

Reduce operational costs and carbon footprint by integrating energy efficient UV drivers
Build robust systems with drivers that have a lifetime of >10 years.
Create smart systems that provide users with data insights
IFAT Munich 2024

Nedap UV will be present again at the NL Pavilion during IFAT, taking place May 13-17, 2024 in Munich, Germany.
Being the world’s leading trade fair for environmental technologies, IFAT Munich features strategies and new solutions in water, sewage, waste and raw materials management that enable resources to be used in intelligent cycles so that they are preserved in the long term

UV Insights
IUVA/RadTech World Congress 2024

Nedap will participate in the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) World Congress taking place at the Hyatt Regency Orlando in Orlando, Florida on May 20-22, 2024.

This event is co-located with RadTech 2024.

UV insights
Weftec exhibit 2024

Join Nedap UV at the WEFTEC 2024 Exhibit! This event will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, from October 5 to October 9, 2024.

UV insights
CSRD: A new era in accountability
7 Q&A’s about this new legislation

The Corporate Sustainability Report Directive (CSRD) mandates that companies under European legislation transparently report on their handling of sustainability related issues. Companies have the discretion to select for themselves the subjects they deem relevant based on their specific 1) impact and/or 2) major opportunities/risks. 

When will businesses need to start implementing it?

On January 5th, 2023, the CSRD came into force. Companies in the EU will have to apply the new rules in the 2024 financial year, for reports due in 2025. If you are a large company (>500 employees) or a public-interest entity, you will have to comply with the CSRD requirements by 2024. 

What is the impact of the new CSRD on UV businesses?

CSRD is a reason to start thinking about your own impact; your partners might ask for this as well. You can begin by gathering data about your current operations to gain relevant insights. This involves formalizing sustainability practices and developing policies to support it. For this, it is essential that businesses establish clear targets and define their sustainability ambitions. The impact of the CSRD is the necessity for UV businesses to develop and implement procedures to ensure compliance to the legislation.

What does it entail and how can UV businesses act upon it to create added value?

CSRD will increase awareness on sustainable water management, presenting an opportunity for the application of UV technology. This aligns closely with the goals of the CSRD, particularly in areas such as: 

Climate change and UV technology:

In terms of climate change, UV technology plays a crucial role. For climate change adaptation (E.1.1), UV water treatment ensures that water quality is maintained even when environmental conditions change. In terms of climate change mitigation (E.1.2), UV technology stands out for its efficiency and use of (renewable) electrical energy, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In a similar way, energy efficiency measures in UV driver technology help businesses reduce the overall carbon footprint.

Pollution reduction & Water and marine resources management

UV technology contributes to reducing pollution in air and water (E.2.1-2.2). It can purify and cure substances without the use of harmful chemicals.

UV technology aids sustainable water management by addressing aspects like withdrawals, consumption and discharges (E.3.1- 3.5). This means that water is preserved and as such are marine ecosystems.

 

UV technology and circular economy:

UV technology has a minimal operating impact (E5). The waste-free process aligns with resource-efficient and sustainable water policies. Extending the end of life of components (drivers and lamps) in UV systems also leads to a reduction of waste.

Does the EU regulation also affect businesses from abroad, for example the USA?

If companies have significant activities in the EUincluding physical presence and have a net turnover of 150 million euros ($ 161) for two consequent years, CSRD applies to them. 

How is Nedap incorporating CSRD?

Nedap has set clear sustainability objectives. For our UV market, our focus is on creating more energy-efficient operations. Since we produce devices which are electrically powered, the lifecycle analyses of UV drivers revealed that energy use has the most impact in the total product lifecycle (>90%). Our impact is limited by the high efficiency design of the drivers. As a result, the exposure of Nedap drivers is significantly lower compared to other drivers in the market. In close collaboration with our partners, we will look at how we can further extend the lifespan of drivers, for example by creating more awareness about the optimal temperature in installations.

My tip? Don’t sideline CSRD to a lone department. Make it a team sport. Involve diverse minds from across your organization. Focus on what matters for your sustainability strategy. Remember, CSRD isn’t just a mandate – it’s your ticket to achieving real sustainability goals. 

 

Daniëlle van der Sluijs
Chief Financial Officer at Nedap
How does Nedap support business to comply with this new legislation?

The CSRD requires companies to provide information on their energy consumption. Nedap’s UV technology aligns with the CSRD goals by optimizing energy usage. Our UV lamp drivers are designed to be energy-efficient, which can help reduce the overall energy consumption of the system they are part of. In concrete:

Helping you to gain more insights into the performance of drivers during operation, by using our smart UV driver technology.
Reducing energy consumption by further optimizing operation.
Getting more insights into the effect of smart driver technology in extending the lamp life.

The case of Andijk

The drinking water facility in Andijk, the Netherlands, uses advanced oxidation with UV to treat 120 million liter water a day. The installation was designed to not only disinfect the water, but also remove micro pollutions.

The stepless dimming of the UV lamps by Nedap drivers ensures extra energy savings and prevents unwanted (chemical) by-products. Nedap technology contributes to significantly reducing the electrical losses in the installation and the electricity network due to high efficiency, high power factor, and very low harmonic distortion (THD).

In 2014 Andijk 3 became operational. By incorporating this step into the treatment process, the clarity of the water improved, which subsequently reduced the energy required for UV treatment considerably. Check out a video about the facility here.

Contact us

Nedap is dedicated to reducing our environmental footprint through smart driver technology that meets current regulations and anticipates future trends. Get in touch to discover how leveraging the CSRD can benefit your business. 

AQUATECH 2023: A recap

Earlier this month, Nedap was proud to exhibit at the Aquatech Amsterdam trade show. Held from the 6th to the 9th of November at Amsterdam RAI, AQUATECH 2023 was the biggest event of its kind so far, with more than 1,000 exhibiting companies and drawing over 25,000 professional visitors. Attendees explored trends around wastewater treatment, purification methods and more.

Key market developments

Growing global awareness of water treatment and storage challenges, driven by climate change and population growth, fuels interest in each part of the water supply chain. Through presentations and networking areas on all kinds of water-related topics, AQUATECH 2023 showcased innovative solutions and new developments that could mitigate some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

1. Circular economy in water treatment

At Aquatech, new pilot schemes were presented, showcasing energy-neutral treatment projects and resource-efficient initiatives looking to reduce water waste and lower carbon footprints. Additionally, new business models were also presented, including ‘wastewater-as-a-service’.

2. Growing PFAS market

The issue of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other forms of so-called “forever chemicals” was another important topic featured at the show. It is clear that a ‘tech stack’ of solutions will be necessary to deliver unity in this market.

3. Removal of micropollutants

Another topic presented during the show surrounded the removal of pharmaceuticals and agricultural additives from sewage water. Treatment plants are setting up pilots to test different combinations of technologies, mostly driven by regulations such as the European Framework Directive (2027) and the European Wastewater Directive (2030).

4. Treatment of different industrial wastewater streams

For many industries, compliance with regulation is a driving force in treating wastewater streams. It is clear that depending on the situation, application, and the stream of wastewater itself, a ‘tech stack’ of solutions is also required in this area.

Technology developments

As was made clear during the show, the removal of micropollutants with a quaternary step is dependent on three mainstream technologies:
Activated carbon (PAC / PACAS)
Ozone (Ozone / AOP with UV)
Filtration (Nanofiltration technology/sand filtration)

During pilot studies of these three approaches, crucial parameters, including carbon footprint reduction, waste minimisation, and the cost per cubic metre of treated water, were key considerations.

Nedap witnessed the importance of applying a ‘tech stack’ approach to both proven and new solutions. By integrating UV technologies with innovations like ultra or nano-filtration technology, superior results were achieved, eliminating 70 to 80% of micropollutants from sewage and wastewater. In Ozone water treatment, UV is used to deplete unwanted byproducts.

Concerning ozone water treatment, UV light is used to deplete unwanted byproducts. Advanced oxidation processes (AOP) use UV light to reduce low-molecular-weight contaminants that may bypass Reverse Osmosis (RO) membranes, such as pharmaceutical residues, endocrine disruptor chemicals, or industrial solvents. The UV AOP process requires using UV light along with an oxidant, such as hydrogen peroxide or chlorine, to enhance the purification process. 

Circular economy approach of Nedap drivers

At Aquatech, we observed a growing interest in UV technology as a sustainable solution for water treatment. Our sustainable driver technology helps utilities in lowering carbon footprint during operation. Additionally, the extended lifespan of Nedap drivers, significantly reduces the total cost of ownership. Eager to experience the impact? Use our digital calculator to estimate your savings.

Networking and knowledge sharing

As a hub of water professionals from all over the world, AQUATECH 2023 offered a perfect chance to network and share insights with industry peers.

 

To find out more regarding the exciting developments and thought-provoking debates that emerged at AQUATECH 2023, as well as the ongoing role that Nedap expects to play in the fast-moving world of water treatment, get in touch with us!

Upcoming events
Events
13 May, 2024
IFAT Munich 2024
Events
20 May, 2024
IUVA/ RadTech World Congress 2024
Education: Physics Teacher and YouTuber Wietsma Explains the Wonders of UV Technology

In our continuous pursuit of sustainable and intelligent solutions, we are thrilled to present our latest collaborative project. We’ve teamed up with ‘Meneer Wietsma’, a teacher and popular Dutch science YouTuber, to bring you an insightful video on the role of UV light and water purification.

New York City at sunset
Behind UV Purification

UV technology has endless applications, many of which remain unknown to the younger generation. To bridge this gap and ignite curiosity, we collaborated with ‘Meneer Wietsma’. After all, in today’s digital age, what better way to capture attention than through engaging online content? Check out the video learn about UV light, form water purification to industrial innovations.

At Nedap, we’re passionate about UV light and its powerful applications, from industrial processes to essential water purification. Collaborating with Meneer Wietsma to create this educational video is an exciting opportunity for us to share our enthusiasm and knowledge in the field. For any further inquiries or more information on this topic, feel free to contact the our team.

UV insights
The versatility of the UniMulti lamp driver

Today, there are several use cases for lamp driver technology, from UV Disinfection  to curing applications. Likewise, there are numerous customer demands that must be met for lamp drivers to suit their specific application needs. This is where Nedap’s UniMulti lamp driver excels, showcasing its strengths.

Testing unimulti
Portrait of Olga Kruidhof
Co-author: Olga Kruidhof (Nedap)
2 August 2023
Versatility as standard

The UniMulti lamp driver entered production in 2010 and was designed to plug the gap in the market for projects requiring lamp power ranging from 60W to 440W. This driver can operate in two configurations: four lamps operating at 220W each or two lamps at 440W, providing a UV power supply of 880W. It is compatible with four voltage levels, enabling versatile configurations based on the lamps used alongside it.

 

Photo: The bare PCB of the UniMulti is placed in its fixture and it is ready to be tested.

Optimal performance

Flexibility is at the heart of the UniMulti and its series of drivers. The UniMulti is genuinely universal and can be used effectively in multiple applications. In response to customer demands, Nedap recently introduced a new version of the UniMulti driver with an extended input voltage range. The lamp driver now supports the North American standard input voltage of 120Vac, providing even more applications for this exciting technology.

Nedap worked with lamp manufacturers when designing the UniMulti driver to ensure optimal settings and practical application. For example, we know conventional lamps need to be preheated before ignition. The current and duration required for filament preheating is determined on a per-manufacturer, per-type, and per-lamp basis. These settings can all be pre-programmed into the UniMulti driver’s microprocessor, ensuring the best performance with any commercially available lamp type. Customers are provided with a lamp ID, which they can use to manage the driver’s performance for each lamp.

Fit for the future

The UniMulti driver offers incredible functionality but remains simple to use and can be paired easily. The unit has a staff plug (a small RJ45 connector) that prompts the driver to start automatically when input power is applied.

Customers have praised the UniMulti driver’s ability to capture data. The driver can be controlled and monitored by Modbus serial communication or analog signals. Operators can collect information on the lamp behaviour, driver behaviour or ballast. Using the information, they can rapidly identify issues with lamps while monitoring power, voltage, or current. The UniMulti driver is designed to give users the information they need to optimise operations. It’s UV technology that combines visibility and versatility.

The driver has UL and cUL approval for use in the USA and Canada and has been designed to meet the regulatory demands of today and the future. Its high energy efficiency standards make it a sustainable choice for all operators.

We’re continuing to invest in the development of the UniMulti driver series. Working closely alongside customers and lamp manufacturers, we’re already developing the next generation of innovative lamp driver technologie

Operators want greater intelligence from their lamp drivers, and the UniMulti lamp driver can provide it. It’s the industry-standard lamp driver for specialist applications.

 

Photo: The UniMulti is a lightweight lamp driver. A total of 6 UniMulti units are securely placed in a well-protected cardboard box during production.

Meet the team: Interview with Jürgen Bomers

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Jürgen Bomers to learn more about his role at Nedap and his remarkable journey as an engineer. This is his story!

What do you do at Nedap?

I’m a test/proto engineer and my job involves working on product development before those products hit the production line. I get to delve into the functions of these products and make sure they are up to scratch before they go into full-scale production. It’s all about testing and ensuring that the products meet the necessary requirements.

How did you land your job at Nedap?

Getting my job at Nedap was quite a fascinating journey and certainly an interesting one. I grew up in Groenlo, where Nedap is located. Every time I rode my bicycle around town, I would see the name “Nedap” and it would always intrigue me. I didn’t really know what Nedap did, but I had this strong feeling that it was where I wanted to work.

During my LBO study, I thought that when I graduated I was going to stop studying and directly work in the field of insulation. One day on the way to my internship I had a bike accident. This accident was in the middle of the winter and my internship was in a closed space without windows. This situation made me realise that stopping my education right there was not the path that I wanted to pursue.

Later on while studying my MBO, I had the opportunity to visit Nedap as part of a company visit organised by my school. It was my first real introduction to the company and I instantly liked it!

I decided to do my internship at Nedap, and after that, I never left the company. I started in the service department, specifically working for power supplies on repairs. After years of working, I made the decision to go back to school, this time to pursue higher education at an HBO level.

It’s been a journey of curiosity, exploration, and continuous learning that led me to my position at Nedap (it’s been 26 years!).

What do you like about Nedap?

What I really enjoy about Nedap is the people I get to work with. One thing that sets Nedap apart from other companies is the diverse range of tasks I get to tackle. Unlike other businesses where you might be limited to just software work, here I have the opportunity to work on both software and electronics. I find it exciting that I can get hands-on with soldering and problem-solving. It keeps things interesting and allows me to learn and grow in different areas!

What is your personal mantra?

My mantra is do what you like. I believe you are in the right place if you are where you want to be. That is why I have been working for Nedap for so long.

What did you want to be when growing up?

When I was growing up my initial dream was to travel to the USA and pursue a career related to electronics. However, I ended up falling in love and my priorities shifted. I made the decision to stay in Groenlo, and my aspirations took a different direction.

What are you most proud of?

I take pride in the journey I’ve been on with Nedap. Being part of the team brings me a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Moreover, my biggest source of pride is my wonderful family. They are my support system and the reason behind all my motivation.

How do you like to spend your free time?

In my free time I run my own business (www.iFIXpoint.nl) where I fix iPhones, laptops, and other electronics.It’s a different gig from my work at Nedap, but it’s still within the realm of electronics, which is along the lines of my passion for electronics. One thing I take pride in when it comes to my business is my commitment to sustainability. Instead of tossing out components, I prefer to reuse and repurpose them whenever possible.
I have some other hobbies; I absolutely love going for rides in my car and on my bike. I also enjoy maintenance; I like ensuring both my car and bike stay in tip-top shape. And while this might not be a hobby as such – nothing beats quality time with my family. They mean the world to me, and I cherish every moment I get to spend with them!

Note: The phone in the picture is one of the first iPhones!

Read more of our stories!
Legislation and standardisation (part 2)
Trends in UV-C LED and the impact on UV (Ultraviolet) businesses

 

Previously, we explored the emerging developments around UV legislation and standardisation and what they are likely to mean for UV businesses. In this follow-up article, we’ll take a closer look at how the regulatory landscape should evolve to create a conducive environment for further innovation. 

Portrait of Olga Kruidhof
Co-author: Olga Kruidhof (Nedap)
23 May 2023

Today, UV-C LED disinfection has several use cases, notably for air and surface cleaning, as well as water treatment. However, although the use of UV for disinfection dates back over a century, the regulatory environment around the technology stays immature. Fragmentation persists significantly across geography, industry and utility.  

Looking ahead to 2023, there is a need for standards to simplify UV-C legislation to foster further innovation around UV-C LED air disinfection and other germicidal applications. A lack of standards and regulations for these applications affects the adoption and market trust in innovative technologies. In this article, we delve into the outlook for 2023 and beyond by exploring the potential implications and advancements in this field 

The need for regulatory evolution

Taking a forward-looking approach, there are discussions around changing standardisation rules for medium-pressure UV lamps, as well as greater standardisation planned for municipal LED applications. Translating these discussions into legislation will take time, but it is key for businesses to proactively stay informed about the current trajectory at the earliest opportunity.

At the ICULTA 2023 in Berlin, new upcoming GUV (germicidal ultraviolet) Guidelines and standards for air disinfection were presented as ‘under development’: 

ASHREA GPC 37 – Guidelines for the application of upper-air UV-C devices to control the transmission of airborne pathogens 

ASHREA 185.3 – Method of testing in-room devices and systems for microorganisms or inactivation in a chamber.  

NALMCO – Creating a newly standardized curriculum and certification protocols for GUV devices maintenance staff, installation technicians and system designers in the field. 

For UV-C water disinfection, there are upcoming test standards for the use of UV LEDs in public drinking water disinfection. Official drafts are planned to be released at end of 2023: 

At Nedap we care about the interaction between technology and sustainability.

DIN 19294-1 (published)/ DIN 19294-2 (planned end 2023)  
Testing of Composition, Function and Disinfection Effectiveness for (LP) Low Pressure UV devices and (MP) Medium Pressure UV devices. 

DIN 19294-3 (published) / DIN 19294-4 (planned end 2023) 
Reference radiometers for LP and MP UV devices 

DIN 19294 – 5 (DRAFT planned end 2023) Devices for the disinfection of water using devices equipped with UV LEDs – requirements and testing – Research project DINoLED project 

The goal of the DINoLED project is the development of a DIN draft standard for UV LED-based water disinfection devices in public drinking water treatment (point-of-entry and point-of-use devices are not considered in the standard). The DINoLED project is funded by the German Federal ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and it is the result of a cooperation between several UV companies (Xylem, OSRAM) and educational institutes such as Technologiezetrum Wasser.  

How regulation and validation go hand in hand

In terms of UV LED products, a clear distinction between regulation and validation should be kept front of mind. Regulation sets parameters that UV technologies must adhere to, while validation provides companies with the means to decide whether they are working within those parameters. 

At Nedap we care about the interaction between technology and sustainability.
Validation

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, air disinfection has received a major push forward. Innovative technologies like LED and UV are now more common and better known. In the US, threshold limit values (TLVs) supply recommendations around biological exposure to UV radiation. All radiation below 250 nm has different TLV standards, with exposure limits being much higher than they were previously. A study on far-UVC at 222nm, published in Nature Scientific Reports (2022), showed that it efficiently inactivates airborne pathogens. This research also showed that 222nm devices are safe for human skin and eyes. 

 

Image: Study presented by David Brenner at ICULTA conference (Columbia University) showing the effects of FAR UVC to skin

UV Validation brings confidence

Currently, most of the responsibility around the design, production and operational quality is with the manufacturer of UV-C LED disinfection solutions. The current lack of clarity around regulations and guidelines means that many manufacturers are simply taken on their word. Compliance is promoted through marketing claims, which may or may not be verifiable.  

UV validation brings confidence, making it crucial for manufacturers to test and validate their systems. While clear standards exist for water disinfection, challenges arise when it comes to new LED technology such as UV-C LED. This is primarily due to variations in validation requirements across applications and the power variability of current LEDs. These variations depend on the LED manufacturer, product, drive current and temperature. Adding to the complexity is the fact that current LED datasheets are rarely representatives of the ‘real-world’ performance. Thus, to obtain reliable data, it becomes necessary to measure system performance in operation.  

Validation at Nedap

The opportunities of UV-C LED systems and their applications are being explored by the industry. There are many challenges to overcome, such as the power efficiency, costs and reliability. At Nedap, our LED driver technology can support testing and validation of UV-C LED solutions, supplying data insights and full control of the power supply. Our smart driver technology is designed to suit current regulations, with an eye on future developments. Get in touch with us to find out how our UV technology can help you navigate the current regulatory landscape, with a design that prioritises both validation and standardisation.