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Thread: PHI Cells

  1. #1
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    PHI Cells

    I recently began experimenting with a UV light appliance from RGF Environmental Group, called a Photo Hydro Ionization Cell. A PHI Cell distances itself from the typical UV light appliance in this way. UV light needs to shine on a surface for extended periods of time in order to kill the target contamination. The reason for this is that UV light loses much of its energy within close proximity of its source. PHI cells on the other hand have a UV light source which still has the same long term effect, but to RGF this is secondary. The primary use of UV light in a PHI cell is to activate what is called a Quad-metallic compound which is the coating on a grid that surrounds the UV bulb. When this occurs, the ductwork and the entire conditioned space that it feeds are flooded with hydro-peroxides, ozonide ions, super oxide ions, and hydroxide ions. This Advanced Oxidation Process kills or sterilizes contaminants on contact at which point the oxidizers themselves revert to harmless hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

    I am totally sold on this product. I've attached before and after photos of a condensate pan that was "cleaned" by this product in just a few weeks. This product has also been shown to kill, Staph, Strep, Bird Flu, mold etc. I wanted to upload the test results but the file is too large. I'll see if I can get it out another way.

  2. #2
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    I'm getting the popcorn ready

  3. #3
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    Does it also do a Barium Sweep of the conditioned space? How many Flux Capacitors does it need to run? I wonder if it will sterilize my lungs too. Imagine, no antibiotics needed ever again! They should use it in airplanes, that way runaway lawyers with multi-drug resistant TB won't contaminate others. Nevermind if it kills the patients too

  4. #4
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    ar4s1
    There are a number of threads on this forum on the PHI cell and it's sister the RCI. Please read these before making additional posts. We have been down these roads before. The bottom line is the product is a questionable use of the PCO technology with some serious negatives (ozone production for one). It is over-marketed (hyped) and the claims of effectiveness are difficult to substantiate.

    rur2d2?

  5. #5
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    Terribly sorry if I broke some type of unwritten protocol there BE. I can say however that as both a military and civilian HVAC technician I have seen, and smelled the results of the PHI Cell. I use one myself, all of my customers are pleased with the results of their overly hyped product and I recently installed a PHI Cell in my parents house after replacing fuel oil tanks that had leaked. I have little doubt that when I return, that odor if not completely gone will be substantially reduced. Think what you like, be skeptical if you must. I have personally experienced in many situations and applications positive results from this product and will continue to endorse it. The photos that I posted SHOW what a PHI Cell is capable of doing.

    Incidentally, I joined this forum to share information with my professional peers, not to be talked down to.

  6. #6
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    ar
    Touche. I apologize if it sounded like I was talking down to you. It is just that we have gone down this road with this product several times before. I would still suggest that you read some of the other threads on these products. There is a lot of good information - pro and con.

    I welcome your personal experience regarding this product and hold more value in that than the marketing hype put out by the company. My objection to your post had to do with the repeat of the marketing claims that we have heard many times before. We can read their literature and website to obtain this information. I have serious doubts about the effectiveness of this product on bird flu, SARS, the common cold, mold, etc.. Every time I have looked into the basis for these claims I have found holes in the substantiation for them. It is this type of exagerated marketing that gives a bad name to all indoor air quality products.

  7. #7
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    "and will continue to endorse it"

    That is why you are dangerous to yourself and your clients. Breathing ozone (and related or more powerful oxidizers) is bad and can be deadly to some. Hawking with fervor ozone generators to be used where people breathe the ozone should be a felony, because it is criminal. Upset at being talked down to? The way I see it, you have more important things to worry about, like the health of your parents.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ar4s1 View Post
    Incidentally, I joined this forum to share information with my professional peers, not to be talked down to.

    Ar2D2........You sound sincere and seem to have only posted your "opinion" for the benefit of others. I AM CERTAIN YOU HAVE THE CREDENTIALS TO SHOW YOU AND THIS "STUDY" ARE LEGITIMATE. AND DEFINITELY NOT TO BENEFIT YOU OR "SOMEONE" ELSE THAT MAY PROFIT FROM THIS POST.

    That would never happen here, or would it?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by breathe easy View Post
    ar
    Touche. I apologize if it sounded like I was talking down to you. It is just that we have gone down this road with this product several times before. I would still suggest that you read some of the other threads on these products. There is a lot of good information - pro and con.

    I welcome your personal experience regarding this product and hold more value in that than the marketing hype put out by the company. My objection to your post had to do with the repeat of the marketing claims that we have heard many times before. We can read their literature and website to obtain this information. I have serious doubts about the effectiveness of this product on bird flu, SARS, the common cold, mold, etc.. Every time I have looked into the basis for these claims I have found holes in the substantiation for them. It is this type of exagerated marketing that gives a bad name to all indoor air quality products.
    Thank you for that BE. That apology speaks volumes as to your character. I have gone back and reread many of the previous threads. One thing that I can say about this forum is that the number of threads posted daily is staggering. Valid points are buried deeply and in a hurry. I will make a point to better research before posting any future threads.

    That being said, I understand that all IAQ products are difficult to market. Most are quite expensive and make some hard to believe claims. I've handed out literature on PHI Cells to countless potential customers so I've seen that difficulty first hand. However when that one customer takes the chance and is thrilled with the decision that they've made, it makes all the leg work worth the effort. And hopefully they will tell two friends, and they'll tell two friends, and so on and so on. Times are changing in our industry, IAQ is becoming a bigger deal as new homes are being built more air tight to conserve energy. The point is, find a product that you feel that you can stand behind as I have and introduce it to your potential customers. Word of mouth is and always has been the most powerful and successful marketing tool.

    To all you young up and comers, and veteran techs as well, find your personal niche' and run with it.

  10. #10
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    ar4s1, you seem more rational than your first post suggested... You hit a sensitive nerve, which is why genesis must be on his second bag of popcorn by now. In that case, I'd like to hear why you feel that you can stand behind that product, as you say, but from a safety perspective. Herbicides, for example, can be very specific and therefore relatively safe by targeting only a particular metabolic pathway only present in some plants. Antibiotics are safe because they target metabolic pathways present only in bacteria. Oxidizers, though, attack anything organic including people... Why do you think your product is safe?

  11. #11
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    pmeunier I am a major fan of photocatalysis and the technology when used correctly. There is just enough TIO2 on the honeycomb of the RCI to call it a catalyst.
    As far as the coil cleaning picture goes that is accomplished with the 254 nm band width on the UV bulb they bare using. The ozone from the bulb comes from its band with exceeds the 254 nm band width and approaches the x-ray band width near the 154nm band width and can be very dangerous to direct eye site and skin contact. Even more so than the standard UVGI light. All testing that I have read on the stuff including the Kansas report all has to do with surface contact. Bio aerosols can stay suspended for up to two hours in a space just from some ones sneezing.
    There is several universities researching what they are doing, and no field testing being done, all in lab controlled situations. But most of them are being funded by the manufacture for the research monies. No third party testing has been shown on actual air quality in a building during its use. The RCI may have some merits , I just don't see where it can be applied in the ASHRAE 62.1 Standards. Look at my Avatar that is a 24x24 in duct in 2000 cfm of air. That is a functioning catalyst rack I installed in a chemical plant to rid the office of VOCs from the manufacturing floor.

  12. #12
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    thanks genesis... that's an interesting picture. I hadn't thought of the special situation you described. I guess that if a product is chosen and installed to minimize ozone and incomplete oxidation byproducts like formaldehyde, that's a lot better than high levels of VOCs. I don't think that's what the RGF product does, though, from the description it floods the living space with oxidants.

  13. #13
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    ar
    I agree with your assessment that IAQ is an important part of the future of the HVAC industry. I do not agree that one can find a product - any product - and recommend this in all situations. There simply are not any panaceas in this business. Far bigger gains in IAQ can be obtained by proper source control, remediation, humidity control, introduction of sufficient fresh air, sealing of the duct system and building envelope, proper filtration, etc. You have to look at IAQ as a system - not as a product.

    It is difficult to market IAQ products. But it is not the price that is the problem. Customers will pay for the right product in the right application. In fact, price often becomes the last consideration (within reason).

    My problem is that so much of the marketing literature is inaccurate and over-hyped. While the RGF literature is a particulary bad piece, it is not the only violator. In fact, I would say most marketers get carried away in their marketing claims.

  14. #14
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    Jim sounds like you are calling for World peace or something. I agree with what you are saying but its just not going to happen in most cases. It sounds good and all, but being in the field for over 20 years tells me to have total control of your environment in your work or living space is a pipe dream. To many variables effect each other. You can follow the code book to a tee, then get a customer with bad allergies or even chemical allergies , the first person they come to after the doctors visits is the HVAC contractor to make the environment tighter ,dryer,humidity free, and particulate free in there minds. All options, all technologies have to be evaluated to see if they will be cost effective in each individual situation, including our product line.
    Time to go home and eat a steak off the grill. Been doing the CIAQ stuff all day I need a break.

  15. #15
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    World peace might be a bit much. I was hoping that we could all hold hands around the campfire and sing koombaya.

    My point was there is a lot more to IAQ than one product. And your point is well taken. Once the consumer calls the contractor it is up to the contractor to be knowledgeable and a problem solver. Those that get it will prosper. Those that don't will not.

    Of course you could liven things up by reposting the article I wrote on RGF last year. Must be in the archives somewhere.

  16. #16
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    All right guys, here's the bottom line. You will never, EVER get everyone to agree on any one thing.

    If any one of you can show me a product that performs to 100% of it's manufacturer's claims 100% of the time, with 0% ill effects to 100% of the people who use it in any given condition or circumstance I will fall in line and back that product. Until that time, for me the product that I will endorse is the PHI Cell. I've worked with it enough to see that it at least does MOST of what is claimed in the situations that I've put it in. Granted this is from RGF, but the claim is that they replicate as closely as they can an IAQ to mirror outdoor air. The major hurdle is the absence of sunlight, lightning and anything else that are natural oxidizers. All stats or shop talk aside, I've worked with this product in some extreme conditions and was impressed with the results.

  17. #17
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    Ar
    You are right we may never persuade you that the PHI cell is not a great product - but it is not about you. It IS about the many people who read this thread and may get the wrong impression.

    You might want to read this article entitled "Alchemy, Indoor Air and the Black Box." www.texairfilters.com/news/3.htm. The article appeared in this month's edition of Air Media magazine. RGF was one of the inspirations for the article.

  18. #18
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    PHI cell

    Do you Ecoquest distributors know what PHI cell is? It's a marketing term for the process of Photocatalytic oxidation or PCO. It's using chemicals in white paint as an oxidizer of VOC's when reacted with UV light. However, Ecoquest is using a full length lamp - a UVV wavelength lamp. It's an ozone lamp. But, let's not focus on that. I want to focus on the fact that PHI (really PCO ) is best utilized with a UVA or UVB wavelength lamp not the full length spectrum lamp used by Ecoquest. So first Ecoquest lamps are using a less effective spectrum of light and a light that creates ozone.

    NOT to mention that there is no such spectrum of light called UVX. It doesn't exist. It's another marketing term.

    I just don't understand why companies have to take advantage of consumers and put a bad rap on the actual science based companies out there.

  19. #19
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    Breatheeasy,

    I just found out I have COPD. It was caused by a combination of things, teflon burn in my lungs 5 yrs ago, 16yrs of smokin butts, 5yrs, smoking drugs etc. Anyway I found out because I lent out all my units for a couple months and was having problems with my stomache and coughing...well the stomache was an ulcer(unrelated) and the lungs was COPD. So anyway. I was cautious about using the unit, despite how much I believe in RCI and it's less oxidation lil bro PHI, anyway, yesterday was the first time in my life I couldn't breath outside. There was an IAQ warning. I am keeping the ozone down but the ammount coming out of the cell isn't bothering me. I even went to someones apartment and was having problems so the RCI was helping a lot, to the point that I spent the day with it, I couldn't do anything else. Anyway I wanted to appologize about trashing you for what you have said about out door ozone mixing with chemicals, It seems more the chemicals than the ozone cuz the ozone was up on the unit for a bit and wasn't bothering me, but outside was bad. We have lots of testimonials to COPD patients but now I am one of em and hopefully I will have the same results. I quit smoking and am going back in a month. so I will let you know if there is an improvement. Then I will try to go without RCI and see what the chart for improvement looks like. I know those aren't good controls but it has got me curious.

  20. #20
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    Kieth, I am an EQ dealer. Ther reason RCI out performs PHI is the ammount of surface exposure, as far as the competition goes according to EQ is that one, PCO is more effective in the presence of ozone. Secondly the UVX is UVA, UVB, And UVC. They don't drown eachother out so you are getting everything that you would with a PCO and then some. Plus it isn't just TiO2 on the matrix. It is also copper, silver, and rhodium which speed up the processes and make it more effective. There is so lil ozone that the cell isn't considered an ozone device...maybe it is you who needs to do some more research. We are unveiling three new RCI products shortly....they are phasing out all ozone based units.

    AR4- email me, my add is in my profile.

    I also want to point out as you(the majority) have said that IAQ doesn't have one solution, yet you still use HEPA everything. You could potentially worsen someones health by enstilling a false confidence in something that doesn't do anything for microbes or even what it says it does. Ours may not get the particles as well but if used together in a "green" house ther would be nothing to interact with and would essentially be the perfect system. I understand everyones health concerns but we aren't going to hurt someone seriously in 3 days of a lil ozone(.o1-.02ppm from the cell since the generator can be turned off for just RCI) exposure. So if it bothers them they wont buy it. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be sold. Since an air handler can only tell you the volume of air it pulls per hour it is proven that you can't get every cubic cm of air through the box per hour yet many of you claim 4 air changes or whatever per hour when in fact it is only volume and in a year wont complete even one true complete change. It is misrepresented greatly but you all have jobs so apparently they have uses and can help, as can our product when used correctly. Ecoquest has been great to me and if anythinI have let them down. However the one thing I will fault them on is their lack of available info. You ever notice that RGF guys are as passionate as EQ guys? Why is that? RGF isn't mlm but you use that as an excuse to ostricize and discredit EQ dealers. They are passionate because even after selling for a short time you see the potential and it is undeniable when it helps you yourself. I bet every one of you has some toxic chemicals in your house that you use to clean with and whatever but you use them still cuz they get the job done and done well. Despite your testing BE, which was just as incomplete as the Uof C report there are many people with dust and particle issues that have found relief with these units after buying austin air Hepa systems and not having good results. Nothing is good for everywhere but RCI and PHI do have their uses where nothing else has worked! Oh and how do you remove submicron particles that don't even move with the air with a filter? Ionization is the only way in that case...guess you better ban the HEPA...see sounds sily.

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