COVID-19 Mitigation on Rigs & Ships

Installation of the Puradigm system. Photo courtesy Mako Industries
Installation of the Puradigm system. Photo courtesy Mako Industries

Steve Lykins, President, Mako Industries, discusses the case for investing in Puradigm COVID-19 mitigation and monitoring technology onboard offshore rigs and ships.

The creation of Mako Industries, a subsidiary of Mako Oilfield Services, is proof that every storm cloud has a silver lining. “Mako Industries is an interesting company that was spawned as a result of Mako Oilfield pivoting as a result of the downturn in early 2020 and Q1 2020,” said Steve Lykins, President, Mako Industries. “We had a substantial force of highly qualified technicians on the oil field side transition into our industrial division, which focuses on HVAC and electrical installations and, with the addition of Puradigm, COVID-19 mitigation and monitoring” in landside facilities, as well as on offshore rigs and ship.

What is Puradigm?
Mako Industries is an authorized reseller and installer of Puradigm, a technology which according to Lykins and documentation from the manufacturer, can eliminate the threat of COVID-19, both airborne and on surfaces. Puradigm’s Active Technology creates High Energy Clusters (HEC) and Bi-Polar Ion Oxidizers that seek out and destroy dangerous pathogens in the air, as well as on surfaces. Puradigm is verified to kill up to 99.99% of the below pathogens in laboratory and real-world testing: viruses, bacteria, mold fungus, VOC’s, mildew and odors.

“Puradigm Technology is one of the most validated COVID mitigation technologies in the market today,” said Lykins. Through a process called photocatalytic oxidation, UV light bounces off of a coated metal material, in this case, a proprietary honeycomb designed for Puradigm, generating and dispersing high energy clusters and oxidizers. High energy clusters attach in the air to airborne pathogens, bacteria and viruses, as well as treat surfaces, too.

“So we attack air and surfaces for not only certainly viruses and bacteria, but also mold, VOCs, these other airborne contaminants,” said Lykins. “This technology has been validated through the University of Florida via a test back in July (2020). We're excited that a lot of our customers, particularly in the offshore arena can be able to have some level of protection.”

Mitigation & Monitoring
While many may not envision an HVAC system at the forefront of the digitalization revolution, COVID-19 has flipped the script on this, too, as virus mitigation is just one part of the puzzle. Continuous monitoring of facilities is a second but equally important piece to ensure 24/7 vigilance, and in this regard Mako Industries offers the Airthinx Air Quality Management System, a system that leans on AI to optimize the health of indoor spaces.

The Airthinx solution includes:

  • Power Sensors, combined with digital signal processing to ensure continuous and accurate measurements.
  • Standalone Connectivity – An independent & self-sufficient connected system that uses 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mesh to connect the device to the cloud without requiring a local network in a plug and play fashion.
  • Scalable – Works right out of the box.
  • Using AI – Using Artificial Intelligence and deep learning, the data analytics engine can identify and classify events such as fire, smoking and mold detection.

“We have a technology called Airthinx. which is an active monitoring system that continuously monitors air quality,” said Lykins. “Even though it does not monitor COVID, per se, it monitors the size of airborne particulate that resembles bacteria and COVID, so you get an indication if you have an event in a particular area.”

An important part of the monitoring package is not simply to detect and address anomalies, but also the data is stored, providing a historical snapshot of the air quality onboard a rig or ship during a given time period. “It's an important process to be able to have not only the mitigation tool with Puradigm but have the Airthinx monitoring to go along with it,” said Lykins.

Time, Power, Space
Space and power on offshore rigs and ships are valuable turf, and Mako Industries connection to the offshore market make it well-suited to take care that the Puradigm system dominates neither. “Predominantly, we either have wall-mounted units or units that are installed in the HVAC system,” said Lykins. “Either way, these are ‘out-of-the-way’ technologies that do not interfere with any type of operation, that integrates directly into the ship ventilation system or into each confined space.”

Power-wise, too, is “very simple” according to Lykins: “It's 120 volts with a 12-volt transformer and has a very low average draw.”

To get the system up and running “we run about one to two weeks for design review, followed by installation,” said Lykins. “We have our technicians which can go out and perform the installation or maintenance services on the technology for the life of the system. The energy source has about a one year lifespan on the cell. Depending on which technology we apply, HEPA filters are integrated into some of the units, which need changed-out.”

While pricing is specific to each project based on a number of factors, in general it is $.12/.15 per square foot for air purification depending on the Bio load and ceiling heights; and $.08 per square foot for monitoring.

Case Study
While Lykins and his team were working through multiple bids in the offshore and maritime markets at the time of the interview, one recent, high-profile land-based installation was inside the Texas State Capitol. “With our distributor partner Eagle disinfectant, we have been installing the system at the Texas state capital, which is a very large complex,” said Lykins. “We're protecting well over 2 million cubic feet of air and purifying that air to protect our lawmakers in the state of Texas. We see that as kind of the gold standard for the state of Texas just to be able to provide that installation for Puradigm.”

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This article has been published in the January/February 2021 edition of Offshore Engineer magazine

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