An Inside Look at Price’s Product Development Process
Price has been manufacturing products to improve indoor air quality for decades, but the COVID-19 pandemic compelled us to develop new solutions to specifically target airborne particles. With the US government’s recent commitment to educate everyone about the importance of clean indoor air and its Clean Air in Buildings Challenge, we anticipate that the increased focus on air quality is not a trend – it is the new normal.
As part of their clean air initiative, the White House Office of Science and Technology and other federal departments and agencies are advocating that building managers, contractors and business owners create an action plan to improve indoor air quality. Their advice includes improving ventilation, using high-quality air filters and disinfecting indoor air.
Our air purification product development process is anchored in science. Here’s a bird’s-eye view of what developing these science-backed commercial solutions looks like at Price.
We’ve had success exploring and applying different technologies, including MERV 13 and HEPA filtration, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVC) and needlepoint bipolar ionization (BPI). This provides end users with the best options for their needs.
Price Research Center North (PRCN), our research facility in Winnipeg, MB, allows us to verify and optimize product performance through laboratory testing. Our testing capabilities include particle counting and the measurement of energy consumption, airflow rates and air changes per hour (ACH) as well as the evaluation of sound levels with various airflow and installation conditions. This provides engineers with reliable performance data.
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis helps us understand how various spaces and conditions influence product performance. Using CFD, we can simulate particle tracking over time and particle concentration mapping. These CFD simulations are then validated with physical testing. This helps guide real-world applications of air purification products.
Metrics Unique to Air Purification
Developing new air purification products requires a clear understanding of the application. Unlike other commercial air distribution devices, air purification products often describe performance using multiple metrics, including space size, ACH, clean air delivery rate (CADR) and power consumption.
Many of these metrics are misleading because of either noncommercial application assumptions (such as a lower ceiling height) or operating parameters (CADR, for instance, is a residential standard based on maximum fan speed, which is often too loud for classrooms, conference rooms and other noise-sensitive spaces). Ultimately, we choose to focus on space size and ACH since these performance metrics are relevant for commercial spaces and are easy to apply.
Price has air purification solutions to fit every application. Each project requires a unique solution with different considerations, including ACH, noise level, cost, maintenance, lead time and accessibility.
When developing solutions, we consider the following:
- Vertical market, such as schools, offices and healthcare
- Room size, with a “small room” being less than 500 sq. ft. (private offices, small conference rooms and patient rooms), a “medium room” being 500 to 1,500 sq. ft. (most classrooms and larger meeting rooms) and a “large room” being more than 1,500 sq. ft. (open offices, cafeterias and break rooms)
- Project timeline and application, including whether the solution must be portable or if it’s for a retrofit or new construction application and how it satisfies the project space requirements (such as construction options and occupant needs)
|Using this product development process, Price has brought to market several revolutionary air purification products, including the Room Air Purifier (left), Puraflo (center) and Ceiling Air Purifier (right)|
Air purification products make indoor spaces safer against all airborne particles and do so in a cost-effective and nonintrusive manner that benefits all building occupants. For more information about our air purification products, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.priceindustries.com/airpurification/products.