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UV-C LEDs going large in Las Vegas

Monday, 8 August 2022

Las Vegas, the neon capital of the world and soon to lead the world in utility UV LED adoption

Getting ahead of the UV LED game

AquiSense Technologies, a US manufacturer of ultraviolet (UV) LED water disinfection systems, has announced its PearlAqua Tera™ is being used by the Las Vegas Valley Water District.

The Tera is AquiSense Technology's first UV LED system designed specifically for municipal and industrial markets. AquiSense says the PearlAqua Tera is mercury-free, in the self-contained system providing chemical-free disinfection.

The system has an automatic on/off switch with thermal management, its eight-inch flange allows a disinfection flowrate of two million gallons a day (9,092 m3/day), with the potential to take it to six million gallons a day (27,276 m3/day), using larger flanges.

"We were approached by the Las Vegas Valley Water District as they wanted to do a study using traditional mercury technology and LED technology together and to evaluate the two," said Oliver Lawal, CEO of AquiSense Technologies.

AquiSense delivered a fully operational system by late December 2021, despite only being commissioned at the start of the year.

“Working with municipals was always in our pipeline but now our product platform has been accelerated by two years.”

Speaking to Aquatech Online, Lawal said: "We approached it from their specific requirements while understanding the larger platform.
"We were taking elements of mechanical design, electrical design, optical design, and thermal fluid dynamics, taking all of those elements with different engineers and combining them to assist them."

As simple as UV LED

The PearlAqua Tera system has a 20-year plus life span and the only maintenance required is to replace the LEDs, which Lawal added are “considerably cheaper and safer than mercury lamps”.

One of the main requirements of the Las Vegas Valley Water District was to make the system easy to operate.

"We've tried to make it more user-friendly with the lamps on the outside,” said the CEO. "This is a significant aspect of architecture so that it's easy to maintain. You don't need to take the water out and perform maintenance it in situ.”

This method allows AquiSense the flexibility to install the system inside or outside.

The company has another seven installations planned over the next 12 months, ranging from 500 m3/d to 15,000 m3/d across the US and Asia.

"Working with municipals was always in our pipeline but now our product platform has been accelerated by two years," he said.

AquiSense also has five more projects in the pipeline with the Las Vegas Valley Water District.

Driving adoption

AquiSense believes the driver for utilities and municipal adoption of this technology is the low-cost of ownership, drawing similarities to the electric car market.

"If someone buys a piece of capital equipment with a 20-year life cycle, how can industrial users guarantee that mercury lamps will still be available in ten years or 15 years, or even five years?” asks Lawal.

Mercury lamps are currently banned but are under an exemption that allows specific industries to use them.

"I own an electric car and I don't need to worry about oil changes or fuel prices,” he adds.

“As people are concerned about how they will be able to buy replacement lamps, I think this is going to drive the market a little quicker."

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