Greenheck’s AMPLIFY™ with Northern Light® is a high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) overhead fan that is designed to boost occupant comfort, improve IAQ, and mitigate the spread of airborne pathogens (including the virus that causes COVID-19) in commercial and industrial buildings. The innovative ventilation approach wowed our judges as the unit earned the 2022 Commercial Comfort Product of the Year in the IAQ/Ventilation category.

Featuring powerful, non-ozone generating UV-C bulbs installed inside the fan blades, AMPLIFY with Northern Light’s patented design combines the air-cleaning benefit of upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) with the air circulation capabilities of an overhead fan. The result is a unique system that is more effective than traditional air-cleaning technologies at disinfecting and distributing clean air in large, occupied spaces, such as school gymnasiums, warehouses, and more.

Available in 6.5- to 16.5-foot diameters with performance up to 44,000 cfm, AMPLIFY with Northern Light is designed to provide comfortable circulation and effective air disinfection over floor areas as large as 5,000 square feet. Plus, every AMPLIFY with Northern Light fan includes the same features as Greenheck’s other AMPLIFY overhead fan products, including a lightweight, easy-to-install design; highly efficient direct drive motor and VFD; and universal mount.

In March 2020, Greenheck engineers began researching ways to mitigate the spread of airborne pathogens after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. Greenheck explored a variety of air-cleaning technologies over the next several months and conducted thorough scientific literature reviews in order to determine which technologies should be further pursued. During this process, numerous scientific studies were found that demonstrated the effectiveness of upper-room UV-C lighting systems — also known as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation systems (UVGI) — for inactivating and mitigating the spread of airborne pathogens ranging from tuberculosis and influenza to SARS-CoV-2.

“Additional studies have shown that ceiling fans can increase the effectiveness of upper-room UVGI devices by more than 60% when used together due to the improvement in air mixing and distribution provided by the fans,” said Dan Tolles, senior application engineer, Greenheck. “These studies convinced us that there was strong scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of an overhead fan with integral UV-C lighting, so we began development on AMPLIFY with Northern Light during the summer of 2020.”

In addition to the internal research and development, Greenheck also relied upon third-party testing to help validate the design of AMPLIFY with Northern Light. To determine the virus inactivation efficacy of the Northern Light system, Greenheck’s European partner, Denmark-based manufacturer Nordicco, authorized the Danish Technological Institute (DTI), an independent research organization, to conduct full-scale testing of the AMPLIFY with Northern Light system. DTI’s results demonstrated rapid inactivation of aerosolized MS2 virus (a virus with a similar genome to the COVID-19 virus) in a large, real-world application with more than 95% of the virus being inactivated after 30 minutes. As a result, DTI concluded that the AMPLIFY with Northern Light system is “the most efficient system for disinfection and distribution of large air volumes while occupants are present in the room.”

Featuring powerful, non-ozone-generating UV-C bulbs installed inside the fan blades, AMPLIFY with Northern Light’s patented design combines the air-cleaning benefit of upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) with the air circulation capabilities of an overhead fan. Video courtesy of Greenheck

AMPLIFY with Northern Light offers numerous features, including:

  • An uplight design that directs UV-C light away from occupants and into the upper-room, where air is being circulated by the fan, minimizing UV radiation exposure for safer system operation;
  • Blue indicator lights that project onto the ceiling when UV-C lights are in use versus competitor products with no operation indicators;
  • Interchangeable UV-C irradiation dampers that physically reduce the size of the opening in the fan blade for UV-C light to shine through, effectively reducing the UV-C radiation intensity by as much as 95%, to customize UV output for effective yet safe pathogen inactivation in any space;
  • Plug-and-play wiring installation for UV-C lighting components, fan power, fan communications, and fire system integration ensures fast, easy installation and peace of mind that the unit operates as intended. In addition, the maintenance and replacement of UV-C components is easy to manage;
  • A single power supply connection for fan and UV-C lighting lowers installation costs when compared to other UVGI solutions as only one electrical circuit is required. Maintenance is also simplified as only one electrical circuit needs to be disconnected to ensure the fan and UV-C lights are off, and there’s no need to disconnect or unwire anything to replace lightbulbs;
  • UV-C bulbs and ballasts can be locally sourced through electrical or lighting suppliers for easy replacement and maintenance; and
  • A wireless tablet controller allows for flexible, remote operation of the fans and UV-C lights, including automatic shutdown of the UV-C lights after a programmed amount of run time.

The Judges Have Spoken

The panel of judges appreciated the ingenious thinking that went into the AMPLIFY unit.

“This was the most innovative product type of all those that were entered,” said one judge. “The Greenheck fan addresses a critical and current concern for building occupants [virus mitigation] in a creative and sustainable manner that will also improve comfort and potentially reduce energy consumption of existing HVAC systems.”

Another judge appreciated the manufacturer’s desire to marry two worthwhile technologies into one product.

“By combining two established HVAC technologies (HVLS fans and UV-C), Greenheck showed this not only provides a cleaner indoor air environment but is also energy efficient.”