TZW invests in innovative LED test bench

Measurement of LED reactor components

In order to strengthen the sustainability of the "Advanced UV for Life" consortium, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provided additional investment funds at the beginning of 2019 following a needs analysis. The TZW: DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser (German Water Centre) was selected to set up a hydraulic test stand specially designed for LED disinfection systems and an optical laboratory. These investments enable TZW to further expand its equipment and knowledge lead in the field of characterisation and testing of LED disinfection devices.

Due to the rapid technical progress in light emitting diodes (LEDs) in the UVC range between 240 and 280 nm, interest in UV LEDs as an alternative to conventional mercury-containing systems for water treatment has increased in recent years.

Over the past six years, TZW has participated in several research projects in the field of UVC-LED-based water treatment funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWI). It has positioned itself as an important partner in the "Advanced UV for Life" consortium. The consortium bundles the expertise of around 50 research institutions and business partners from all over Germany for the development and application of UV LEDs. The participating research institutes combine globally renowned know-how in the key technologies of photonics, medicine, production and materials technology as well as plant research.

As an accredited testing laboratory for UV disinfection devices, the TZW can already validate large-scale UV systems at locations in Germany and the USA with flow rates of up to a maximum of 7000 m³/h. TZW offers validations in accordance with internationally recognised regulations.

"Our planned new hydraulic test stand focuses on small systems with flow rates of up to five cubic metres per hour, i.e. around 80 litres per minute. In addition, it offers the possibility of flexibly installing LED systems and realizing different water conditions and water temperatures," explains Dr. Jutta Eggers, head of the "UV Technology" team at TZW. The test bench can also be used for long-term experiments, e.g. for ageing tests on LED systems.

The investments for the optical laboratory include high-precision measuring instruments for the electro-optical characterization of LED boards or individual chips. This combination enables LED devices to be completely characterized and tested according to the current state of the art, i.e. both for disinfection effectiveness and component-based electro-optical characterization. This enables TZW to perform additional LED-specific measurements, which are absolutely necessary for the independent validation of UV LED disinfection systems.

In addition to the scientific and technical support of development work and the performance of LED device tests, the investments will create specific measurement possibilities required for the planned development of a test standard for UV-LED-based disinfection devices. The fully assembled and validated test stand is scheduled for completion in autumn 2019.

Contact: Dr. Jutta Eggers, Tel +49 721 9678-130, send e-mail