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.
Due to the rapid technical progress in light emitting diodes (LEDs) in the UVC range, interest in UV LEDs as an alternative to conventional mercury-containing systems for water treatment has increased in recent years. For the market launch of LED based disinfection systems and the acceptance of this novel technology by end customers, biodosimetric efficacy tests by an independent accredited testing laboratory is a fundamental prerequisite.
As a partner of the "Advanced UV for Life" research consortium (Link to consortium) funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, TZW received funding for setting up an optical laboratory and a hydraulic test stand specially designed for LED disinfection systems.
The focus here is on the testing of small systems with flows up to a maximum of 5 m³/h and the possibility of testing UV LED based devices flexibly, with different water qualities and adapted to the respective application. In addition to the actual components and measuring instruments for the test stand, an automatic counting device for colonies / plaques was procured, which offers the possibility of carrying out a large number of phage analyses reproducibly and with high precision in a time-saving manner.
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. The test rig can also be used to carry out long-term tests with different water qualities.