Exclusive Interview: Sonali Dutta & Rahul Aeron, Bry-Air Asia

Datacentre needs protection against corroding because of the acidity and pollutants in the air. BRY–Air is involved in making air purifiers for Datacentre. Sonali Dutta, VP, Corporate Affairs & HR, Bry-Air Asia and Rahul Aeron, Asst VP, Sales, DRI which is a subsidiary of Bry-Air, discuss the need for cleaning the Datacentre environment and the air purifier they’ve evolved for the purpose

Can you give an overview of how your organisation has evolved through the decades in the field of air purification?

Sonali –  This is a private group of 4 companies. BRY– Air and DRI are two companies in the group. The other two companies are comparatively smaller. But all the companies deal with some aspect of indoor air. We are basically working with air-related technologies. From the market perspective, BRY– Air products mostly go into the industrial space viz., pharmaceutical, lithium battery manufacturers, food processing, electronics, plastics, etc. DRI products mostly go into commercial spaces such as AC buildings of enterprises, healthcare, hospitality, auditoria, commercial spaces, etc. Our philosophy is to continuously innovate. We have forwarded 120+ patent applications internationally, out of which 43 have been granted.

Our benchmarking is with international organisations, not with domestic organisations. Our products are exported to 85 countries including the Western world. DRI products are going to Europe, especially to Germany, which is the centre of engineering excellence, to Japan, to North and South America. We have offices all over the world.

It started as an American venture. BRY– AIR US is about 55 years old. In India we’re about 35 years old. We don’t have a joint venture anymore, but we acquired the global name from them. They have purchased the royalty programme back from us, so they pay us the license fee to use the BRY–AIR name. And they buy all our equipment from us.

Rahul –  As a company, we’re focused more on indoor air quality, on the air quality in an air-conditioned space. In the beginning of the 1990s, our products were focused on ventilation and energy-saving related to them. However, since then, the definition and the needs of the indoor air quality has changed and hence, our products have also accordingly evolved.

Which are your major products from the technological perspective?

Rahul– Apart from indoor air quality, we deal with RH (Relative Humidity) Management, which is important to the growth of bacteria, molds, and viruses. The third aspect of our work is about energy saving. We try to evolve good indoor air quality products without compromising on the energy cost. Fresh air units, dedicated energy systems, heat recovery units are some of the products in this area. Besides we also make air purification systems.

You use sustainability in your technologies. And are your innovations in– house and are investing in R&D as well?

Rahul– The definition of sustainability is also very wide. When we talk about technology for air purification, the basics remain the same, which is to filter the air. If you use filter, the energy cost will go up. The more the pollution is, the more filtration you have to do. Hence, it needs more energy. So it’s very difficult to define sustainability.  All our innovations are in– house and we do a lot of investment in R&D.

We have focused on gas-based cleaning more, which is very important in industrial purification. The gases that emit from factories are harmful not only for humans but also for machines which can get corroded. We have labs and R&D centres in Gurgaon, where we test the gas cleaning mechanism.

Sonali–  In Gurgaon Phase III and IV we have lab centres. We have 8 labs for different kinds of testing and these are all of the international standards. We can say that some of these labs don’t exist in the private sector world over. Usually, such labs exist only in the universities and in government establishments. But we have invested in them because such labs don’t exist in the universities.

Do you collaborate with research centres in universities?

Sonali–  Yes, we collaborate with the universities abroad also, but we have a large R&D team here, comprising of at least 25–30 people.  We are engaged in building the technology to recover the energy to reuse it to purify the air. Here, We’re talking about the centralised air purification system.

Our products also go to Datacentres. If the Datacentre corrodes, a large volume of business is lost.

Rahul– If you go to Noida, it is all open sewage, which emits methane gas. When it reacts with water, it forms acids, which corrode the Datacentre.

Sonali– They get sucked in from outside. Just as humans need pure air, machines also need pue air, because the atmosphere is such. The more sensitive the machines, the more you need these air purifiers. Datacentres are very vulnerable and you need these air–purifiers for them.

Nowadays the sensors equipped with new emerging techs are coming up, which can detect the pollution level, acid level etc in the air etc. How much are you into this technology?

Rahul– We use this technology. When the air quality is good that purifier doesn’t have to work fats, its speed can be reduced or completely shut down, depending upon the air quality reading. For this, we use those sensors to give a smart command to the purifier machine, to operate at a particular efficiency level. This saves energy. If the level of corroding gases goes up as read by the sensor, it would start the machine at the required efficiency level.

Sonali– It’s the same with air conditioners. As Indians, we don’t need 18 degrees all the time. So this whole idea is to use what is needed. Our entire strategy is to use energy-saving purifiers smartly.

Rahul– Another aspect of our centralised air purifier is that it automatically reads when there is some clean air outside, it sucks it in and it also cleans the indoor air and flushes out the unclean air. It is very effective for centralised air-conditioned buildings.

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