No thick air in the former power plant

“This is what I call a project of the “fast” variety,” explains Claus Nonninger with a smile on his face. This is how project orders should be executed in the opinion of the CEO of ionair Germany, given that Die Kommunalen Immobilien Dresden approached him as recently as October 2020. “Already on January 6, 2021, the order had been placed.” Mr. Nonninger appears to be happy not only about the quick confirmation of the order but also with regard to this extraordinary project. The power plant in central Dresden, an imposing industrial memorial from the 19th century, was converted into a cultural and meeting center in 2016. This is a fairly new attraction in Central Dresden featuring a unique variety of art and cultural events, theater, and cinema halls. And that isn’t all. Mr. Nonninger: “There is also a range of gastronomy, studios, exhibition premises, and modern workplaces available for lease.”

Measuring with high-quality sensors
A location that is used in various different ways is always a challenge when it comes to indoor air quality, emphasizes Mr. Nonninger. “Good indoor air is composed of several individual elements and ionair ensures good quality and intact indoor air through ionization. “With the Air Quality System in the supply air of a ventilation system, the air quality and hygiene in the ventilated room is improved considerably,” explains Mr. Nonninger, in regard to the benefits of the process. “Annoying odors from the outside or from sources in the room are identified and substantially reduced thanks to the ionization.” What sounds so simple is in fact a combination of various indoor air sensors, which, among other things, monitor the VOC concentration, temperature, and air humidity. The Air Quality System is effective only when they interact with one another. “Five air quality sensors, so-called electronic noses, measure the odor pattern in the outdoor air and extract air and indoor air continuously. The job of the controller, rotary, and the pivotal point is to acquire the measured sensor values and to coordinate them with one another on a continuous basis.” It “knows” for sure at any point in time about the indoor climate, and the central element is also aware of the past. Furthermore, it can forecast the “future” with the help of sophisticated control algorithms and it can calculate optimal parameters for the ionization intensity.

Controlling with high-quality control electronics
It is possible to have effective and secure ionization only with and in an autonomously controlled system. The process for air treatment works with ionization tubes, which fill the air with ions with the help of electric discharge. Such tubes are installed either in the monoblock or in the supply air ducts of buildings, where they are used after the customary air treatment such as filtering, cooling, heating, humidification, and dehumidification. A processor with a sensor adaptation then ensures an optimal mode of operation in the desired room. “For this purpose, suitable sensors, high-quality control electronics, robust control algorithms, powerful ionization generators, and continuous data recording are necessary,” explains Mr. Nonninger. What is absolutely important in this connection is that thanks to the control, primarily unhealthy ozone concentrations that can be smelled do not occur. “If excessive concentrations of ozone occur due to high ozone concentrations in the outdoor air or because of a system malfunction, the ozone monitor sensor will detect it.” The controller adapts the intensity of ionization such that the system continues to work safely and reliably. According to Mr. Nonninger, the project in central Dresden is running in two stages.

To begin with, two trial rooms, which are used by actors, musicians, and for workshops with school classes, are ionized with one system apiece. “After the initial experience during operation, six other systems are intended to follow by the middle of the year, and other areas in the former power plant are planned to be ionized.” Overall then, more than 136,000 m3/h of air shall be ionized. However, that level has not been reached so far, and “we will analyze the indoor air quality very precisely.” This needs time. “We would like to be sure that the quality of indoor air gets enhanced with the ionization.” The analysis and evaluations cannot be completed as soon as the order is confirmed. “And this is as good as it gets,” says Mr. Nonninger once again, with a smile on his face.

About the person:
Claus Nonninger (53) has been the CEO of ionair Germany since July 1, 2020. In this capacity, he is responsible for the expansion and marketing of the ionair brand in Germany. ionair provides odorless, hygienic, and comfortable indoor air. Claus Nonninger is a graduate engineer in mechanical engineering (University of Applied Sciences), and he has specialized for over 20 years in the market launch of new products and technologies, setting up sales hierarchies, and expanding partner and reseller networks. Prior to taking up his position at ionair, he worked at entrepreneur-led SMEs.