Many sanitisation solutions on the market (eg. UVC, HEPA filters) are not always compatible with the existing HVAC systems on board, often requiring complex adaptations which end up in longer lead times and further investments for shipowners.
Integra Fragrances has come up with an innovative sanitising solution which seems to have attracted a lot of interest from the cruise industry, including cruise lines, major companies that project manage and produce HVAC systems for cruise ships, cruise interior designers and cruise maintenance suppliers.
From ambient scenting to sanitizing
Since 2006, Integra Fragrances has created custom scent identities for some of the world’s leading brands in retail, banking, travel, design, and hospitality. When the Covid-19 pandemic came, Integra realized that their almost 4,000 remotely controlled HVAC-connected scent diffusers could also be used to sanitize the environments.
Thanks to the nebulization of a non-toxic registered active principle through the existing HVAC ducts, Integra’s system sanitises the air, the surfaces and conditioning system every day from viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Unlike other biocides, the active can be safely inhaled and is non-aggressive with the most delicate and natural surfaces, including marble, wood, leather, fabrics, and metals. “We chose it because it was suitable for environments featuring a refined design and precious materials”, says Lorenzo Cotti, CEO. It is odourless, nonflammable, travels worldwide as a non-dangerous substance, and does not accumulate in the environment.
Flexibility and innovation
Unlike other solutions, it can be very easily installed on existing vessels, with no changes nor adaptations to the existing HVAC project, functioning and parameters. The system is remotely controlled and requires little or no maintenance, as the sanitising solution provided on installation lasts for 10 to 12 months.
It’s a very flexible solution and really not expensive compared to other solutions on the market. Unlike UV-C technology, for instance, it acts not only on the air and the HVAC ducts and filters, but on all surfaces (objects, textiles) in the premises.
'According to the US ratings, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, besides being rarely compatible with HVAC systems and air ventilation speed on board, filter 0.3 microns while the coronavirus is 0.1 microns,' explains Cotti. 'There are not many solutions available that are cost effective and quick and easy to install to bring ships back to cruising as soon as possible.'
Remote control and reporting
Each nebuliser is managed and constantly monitored by remote control via LAN, Wi-Fi, app, and Bluetooth. A custom software, connected to the on-board operating system, allows the crew to assess, for each air handling unit (A.H.U.), the sanitisation operating data: treatments setup times, input quantities of the active, and the cubic meters constantly sanitised. That is, for the cruise line, having real-time access to data such as which rooms, corridors, crew decks, and cabins have been sanitised on a specific date and time, to further guarantee the guests’ safety on board.
Laboratory tests show efficacy on air, surfaces and HVAC ducts and filters
Integra Fragrances tested its sanitising protocol in laboratory conditions in various public environments open to the public, different in volume and intended use. Studies show that the microbial contamination level of the air, surfaces and air filters in highly frequented public environments is kept at the best indoor quality levels 24 hours a day.
Finally, the system can sanitise, scent, or sanitise and scent, allowing for the product’s second life. A cruise line could either diffuse their custom signature scent on all common areas on board or could decide to characterise every single environment with a fragrance that embodies the area’s personality and enhances its unique experience. “The unique perfume will revive the good memories of your guests’ holidays, bringing them back on board”, suggests Cotti.