UV-C Sterilization Project

Antibiotic-resistant microbes are increasing in strength and in number. The rates of change themselves are also increasing. Society should be worried.

We began researching ultraviolet sterilization methods, and after settling on a wavelength of about 280nm, we had a lab design and produce a prototype array for us. (We have a few extra arrays if you are feeling experimental.)

The business end of our UV-C LED array.

Our array is driven by 20-28 volts DC, and requires a constant current of 125mA. At the moment, we are driving the array with our favorite DC power supply, but we intend to design a dedicated constant-current LED driver to integrate into the next iteration.

Covering the array with a box, and zapping food, toothbrushes, and anything else not bolted down.

UV-C encompasses wavelengths that tend to be almost completely absorbed by our atmosphere, and that’s a good thing as UV-C can cause cancer, blindness, and other major health issues. It also happens to be perfect for killing microbes.

As we became interested in the technology, we began seeing plenty of small devices for sterilizing small tools such as nail salon equipment. Don’t buy any type of UV-C equipment that you can see into the sterilization chamber. Such devices can hurt you, and are ripe for eventual lawsuits. Our next iteration will include a kill-switch that shuts down the device if it isn’t properly closed (similar to how a microwave oven shuts off if you arbitrarily open the door while it is running).

We are seeing a lot of patent applications in the field, and I expect the area to grow tremendously. We’re going to mount one to a Roomba and let it continuously zap our floors once we finish building a protective/restrictive cover for it….

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