Van Hool, the Belgian headquartered independent manufacturer of buses, touring coaches and industrial vehicles, has introduced its Van Hool CAPS (Clean Air Purifying System) to its EX and TX coach range. Van Hool CAPS provides active cleaning of used interior air. Each CAPS filter element uses three different technologies, all aimed at destroying bacteria and viruses that may be present in the air to be recycled in a coach.
Last Spring, Van Hool introduced a number of solutions, under its Future-Proof programme, to maximise the safety and hygiene of driver and passengers on board their touring coaches in these times of Covid-19 pandemic. Van Hool’s aim with this is to enable its touring coach company customers to resume their professional activities as quickly as possible, in a responsible manner. All equipment from the Future-Proof programme is available on new touring coaches, but it can also be retro-fitted in vehicles that have already been delivered.
The Future-Proof Coach programme has been offering the following solutions:
- HVAC software adaptation: reprogramming of the HVAC, to use fresh exterior air as far as possible (80 to 100% depending on type);
- Passenger dividers: flexible screening between each row of seats;
- Driver divider: flexible screening of the driver’s compartment;
- Dispensers: integrated alcohol dispensers at the two entrances;
- Tape over seat: restricting the number of seats.
Van Hool CAPS (Clean Air Purifying System)
The company is going one step further, by providing active cleaning of the used interior air, using Van Hool CAPS. This unique system provides a better solution than passive filtering (class G3 filters, for example, have virtually no impact on viruses and bacteria).
Van Hool’s engineering department worked out this solution for the full Van Hool touring coach range, for both the European and North American market, in close cooperation with Sanz Clima (Spain) with their SECURE AIR 3 system, leader in HVAC systems for buses, coaches and industrial vehicles.
In contrast to HVAC software optimisation, where as much fresh exterior air as possible is allowed into the vehicle (80 to 100% depending on the type of vehicle), Van Hool CAPS works on used interior air. This is because, unlike fresh exterior air, this air may contain aerosols with bacteria and germs such as those of Covid-19. Active cleaning with Van Hool CAPS is the perfect solution to remove these so-called pathogens.
Van Hool CAPS uses active filtering at the start of the interior air recycling. Depending on the type of Van Hool vehicle, the intake of the interior air to be recycled is fitted with four or six filter elements. Every Van Hool touring coach comes with powerful recycling as standard, with the capacity to refresh the volume of air in the interior in less than one minute.
Each CAPS filter element uses three different technologies, all aimed at destroying bacteria and viruses that may be present in the air to be recycled. An electrostatic filter captures dust particles, bacteria and virus particles and destroys these using a high electrical voltage (ionisation). The air is then sterilised using a UV-C lamp. Viruses and bacteria are deactivated. At the same time, photocatalysis takes place. This is a chemical process whereby viruses and bacteria are dissolved due to the action of absorption of UV-C light. Van Hool CAPS does not require any specific maintenance. The filter elements only need to be replaced after 8,000 hours and the equivalent of 500,000 km.
Van Hool CAPS can be ordered ex-works for all new touring coaches, but can also be retrofitted into existing vehicles. The retrofitting of the whole system only takes one day. The job can be done in the Aftersales structures of Van Hool Koningshooikt or Van Hool France. Customers can also contact Van Hool accredited (Premium) Service Partners in Europe. The Van Hool CAPS will also be offered shortly for all new and existing Van Hool TX and TDX touring coaches. Prices to follow.