The LED industry is undergoing rapid changes, and many manufacturers are working on niche markets. As a more reliable UV sterilization solution, UV CLED is highly regarded by domestic and foreign LED manufacturers.
Huiyi Technology has been focusing on the development and production of deep ultraviolet LED sterilization modules since 2016. While accumulating experience based on the mature market of water purification and sterilization, it is actively exploring new application markets such as white goods.
On September 1, at the 2020 UVC LED Industry Status and Technology Trend Seminar hosted by LEDinside, TrendForce’s Optoelectronics Research Office and co-organized by the Shanghai International Water Treatment Exhibition, Dr. Meng Nan, R&D Director of Huiyi Technology Co., Ltd. focused on “UVC LED’s The theme of "Deep Application" shared the experience and vision of Huiyi's layout of UVC LED.
Dr. Meng Nan, R&D Director of Huiyi Technology
Dose is the key to the success or failure of the sterilization module
Designing and producing generalized sterilization modules according to industry needs is an important business segment of Huiyi. The company also has a relatively deep accumulation in this field.
How to design a good sterilization module? Dr. Meng Nan first pointed out: "The success or failure of UVC LED module design depends on the dose."
Dose refers to the ultraviolet energy received by a unit area in a unit time. At present, 30 millijoules per square centimeter is a hard target for ultraviolet sterilization prescribed by the state. Exposure time and exposure range are two factors that affect the dose, which should be considered when designing the module.
Dr. Nan Meng said that the cost of high-power lamp beads is relatively high. When the overall sterilization module cost is limited, the easiest and feasible way to increase the sterilization rate is to extend the LED lighting time, that is, the irradiation time. Specifically, the water flow can be slightly slowed by changing the module structure while meeting the customer's flow rate requirements. Meng Nan said bluntly: "This is a compromise for the status quo of LED."
The energy of the lamp beads is distributed on the entire plane, and the light energy is too scattered, which will cause waste. How to adjust the light distribution structure to improve light utilization while meeting different illumination requirements is also an important requirement when designing modules.
It is one of the strategies to treat key exposure and full exposure differently. Huiyi generally uses reflection to focus the light on the points of interest for sterilization as much as possible. According to Dr. Meng Nan, the distribution angle of a typical UVC LED light distribution curve is generally 120 degrees. Through the secondary optical design, the emission angle can be reduced to 10 degrees or less.
Meng Nan added that the company's complete module dose design process includes four steps: theoretical calculation, software simulation, radiation testing and dose verification.
Viable products need to meet the three requirements of sterilization rate, lifespan and reliability
On the basis of meeting the sterilization requirements, Huiyi also attaches great importance to the life of LED modules. The service life of the module is mainly determined by the heat dissipation conditions of the LED. The heat dissipation conditions are different. The service life of the LED can vary from hundreds to thousands of hours. High-power LEDs are more sensitive to changes in substrate temperature. Therefore, the heating condition of the LED should be fully paid attention to when designing the module structure.
In addition to the substrate itself, the angle of heat dissipation of the LED itself, the structure other than the substrate should also be considered clearly. Dr. Nan Meng emphasized that the influence of LED temperature and heat dissipation on the sterilization rate cannot be ignored.
Can it constitute a qualified product if it meets the sterilization rate and life standards?
Dr. Nan Meng said that products that meet the sterilization rate and lifespan standards have completed up to 70%. The company invests a lot of energy in structural reliability, and focuses on preventing water leakage and seepage.
Currently, the domestic UVC sterilization standard is lacking, and Huiyi has started to establish a corporate standard for UV sterilization modules. "We believe that meeting the three requirements of bacterial rate, life span and reliability at the same time is a truly viable product."
According to reports, in the past, the module structure design was made up for later, such as increasing the thickness when the pressure resistance was insufficient, or deepening the thread. Huiyi recently cooperated with a 3D modeling software company and began to incorporate the simulation and calculation of the internal hardware and mechanical structure of the module from the early stage of the design.
Next market: home appliances
After achieving many application results in the water market and air purification market, Huiyi sees the prospect of UVC sterilization application scenarios expanding to the consumer market. Dr. Meng Nan said: The company's next strategy market is mainly the home appliance market. White goods, air conditioners, refrigerators, and washing machines are all our efforts.
To adapt to the new market, we must first consider the demands of the scene. What kind of modules does the home appliance market need? Huiyi answered in terms of price, performance and size.
First, considering that the overall profit level of white goods is low, the price should be as low as possible. In terms of performance, in view of the characteristics of air conditioners, refrigerators, and washing machines, it must be integrally sealed, waterproof and moisture-proof. Finally, the volume should be small enough to facilitate integration.
Aiming at the characteristics of the home appliance market, Huiyi has introduced some general-purpose modules that can be directly integrated into the original products. On this basis, the product types are divided according to the power of the lamp beads, so that home appliance manufacturers have a reference.
Meng Nan pointed out that the flexible configuration of universal modules is not only suitable for fixed-point and long-term sterilization scenarios, such as air conditioning sinks, faucet outlets, refrigerator compartments, etc., but also helps control costs. When the budget is sufficient, you can use a few more modules. If the budget is tight, you can set it only at key points.
TrendForce's latest report estimates that the global UV LED market will reach US$991 million by 2023.
Huiyi also has insight that UVC LED sterilization applications are gradually being recognized by the market, and more diversified solutions are needed in the future. The company also has a vision of "UVC Everywhere", which means that UVC can play a role in any field.
As a national high-tech enterprise, Huiyi has applied for dozens of patents in ultraviolet applications and sensor applications. At the end of the speech, Dr. Meng Nan especially emphasized the company's emphasis on patents. "We always insist on originality, and all listed products provide patent protection, so that customers can stay away from intellectual property disputes." (Text: LEDinside Grace)