TVA EnergyRight

TVA Offers Incentives for Using UV-C Technology to Battle COVID

July 27, 2020
The Tennessee Valley Authority is partnering with area power companies to make Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation available to schools, businesses in its broad service area.


(Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville TN - June 2020) | The emergence of COVID-19 has spurred a search for innovative technologies to help combat the spread of diseases and ensure Valley businesses are the safest and most welcoming for customers in the country. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) has emerged as a technology that could have a significant impact. UVGI has been used for over 100 years to kill bacteria and viruses. 

While hospitals have an immediate need to combat the spread of COVID-19, businesses across the Valley can look to adopting technologies such as UVGI as they find new ways of doing business. The proven application of UVGI technology offers the potential to keep customers of the Valley healthy and safe, not only in hospitals, but in schools, reception areas, retail establishments, nursing homes, churches, hairdressers, business offices and more. If you are looking to keep your personnel healthier and promote a safer environment for your customers, UVGI can quickly help your businesses by minimizing the spread of COVID-19. You might say UVGI is like a germ-killing super-ninja that trained for years to kill COVID-19 and every other virus and bacteria that it comes in contact with.

What is ultraviolet germicidal irradiation technology? 

TVA recognizes the social health benefits of UVGI technology. UVGI uses UV-C light, which is a short wavelength ultraviolet light that has germicidal effects, and has been commercially available since the 1930’s when Westinghouse quickly commercialized the low-pressure mercury vapor germicidal lamp. However, UV-C has been in use since the late 1800’s when Niels Finsen began using UV rays to treat disease, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1903.

  • To read HPAC's June cover story on this subject, click here.

Despite this long history, cost can still be a barrier to market adoption. This is why TVA is offering standard incentives for duct-mounted UVGI systems. In other words, that is $30 per ton toward the purchase and installation of UVGI in your business’s HVAC ductwork system.


Short wavelength ultraviolet light (UV-C)

Per the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), UVGI systems must deliver a sufficient dose of UV-C rays to inactivate airborne microorganisms within a 2 ft (0.6 m) minimum irradiation zone down the length of the duct or plenum, providing roughly 0.4 seconds of exposure time in moving air. An irradiation level, Ultraviolet Rating Value (URV) of 13 is the minimum recommended UV intensity level to deliver a sufficient dose to inactivate airborne microorganisms. Properly designed high-intensity systems can achieve 95% disinfection rates.

Duct-Mounted Application

In-duct installation provides for facility-wide airborne pathogen reduction and reduces contaminates settling on surfaces. Installing UV-C lamps in ductwork delivers around-the-clock disinfection. These units do not have seasonal dependence and can operate year-round. 

TVA will be looking for additional COVID-19 fighting measures as we all get used to the new normal after this unprecedented pandemic. If your business is looking to do a project with a specific type of UVGI technology, reach out to your customer service expert and let them know about it today. It could be the newest application TVA incentivizes.

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