The stringent demands on temperature levels, relative humidity, particulate matter, pressure differential and air renewal, and other parameters make the implementation of HVAC systems a major challenge for pharmaceutical industry projects.
The types of systems typically designed for pharmaceutical, and related systems vary depending on the size of the facility and the requirements it must meet. In HVAC, direct expansion systems for small installations, and indirect expansion systems for larger ones can be used. There is no rule, as it all depends on the conditions required for the environments such as air cleanliness, filtration, pressurization, temperature and relative humidity, number of system air renewals, number of room air movements, etc.
There are some predefined parameters for environmental conditions
The first step in installing air conditioning systems typically used in pharmaceutical and related industries is the customer’s elaboration of user requirements. This is the most important step as it will give all directions for system design. After this step, a conceptual project is elaborated which defines in the building layout which rooms can be served by the same system. At this point there is already a concern about cross contamination through the air distribution system.
The third step is a detailed executive project which should contain executive drawings and equipment selection data, air duct walkway drawings, hydraulic and automation and control network drawings.Once the project stage is completed, the installation of the duct and diffuser networks is usually started which is the longest in the project because it involves the manufacture of the ducts, interference checking and proper adjustments.
Design requirements and care during installation
The main design requirements are – room cleanliness class, pressurization, air filtration, number of air movements per room hour, number of air renewals, ambient temperature and relative humidity and exhaust air filtration. Air ducts should be tested for leaks, as they should ensure that all air flow generated in the air handling units reaches the rooms, ensuring the pressurization of the environments and the maintenance of the conditions required in the rooms. Filter storage should be especially careful because improperly stored filters can be contaminated and / or physically damaged, causing uselessness and loss of the entire lot purchased for installation. A good installation starts with user-provided settings.
Common Problems during installation
One of the main problems during the installation process is the leakage of the air duct network. The ideal process of manufacturing the pipeline network should initially include the assembly, and testing of a bench prototype on site. This action would indicate the eventual existence of flaws in the duct assembly process.
Once the prototype assembly process has been validated, then the entire network may be authorized to be assembled using the same procedures and during assembly, leakage testing shall be performed on the ducts. Another point worthy of attention is the connection between the air distribution system, and the clean room. Storage of absolute filters is another critical point. Your installation also requires special care, and should only be performed by a qualified professional. Any accidental twisting applied to the frame or improper handling may cause leakage.