Maintenance of clean room area is very expensive. It is a common question that everyone wants to ask that can we switch off our HVAC systems in night or at the time when area is not in use to save the power consumption?
Systems and equipment used in HVAC systems consume a lot of energy. Especially chillers, ventilation fans and heating system consume a lot of electric power. In most of the pharmaceutical manufacturing units, manufacturing does not continue in night then we think about switch off the HVAC system in night when area is not in use. This idea can save a lot of energy and of course money and some of manufacturing units are following this practice.
During switch off the HVAC system all parameters like temperature, pressure differential, particle count and viable count shall be out of limit. No guideline suggests switching off the HVAC system during night when it is not in use. But we can reduce the efficiency of the HVAC system as reduction of air flow rate but everything should be ok before using the area in morning and this process must be validated before its implementation.
During the HVAC efficiency reduction mode there should not be any interference in the clean room area such as entry of the personnel in the area. Both full and reduced performance mode must be validated and re-qualified at regular intervals. A recovery time should be determined for cleanroom areas to recover the area in case of failure of the HVAC system.
This procedure is being followed in some manufacturing units and they reported that they are saving about 25% energy consumed by their HVAC systems.
Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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