REGION — Honeywell International is currently installing Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization technology in most SAD 44 school classrooms and work spaces.

The NBI devices are currently being installed in the school’s existing ventilation units, and Superintendent Dave Murphy said most of the installation process should be finished by the time students return from Thanksgiving break.

Bob Marcotte, an engineer for Honeywell International, said the ions are distributed through ductwork and out into the rooms. When the ions reach the rooms they transmit their charges on any dust particles in the room.

Once the NBI devices are implemented, they will create ions (positively and negatively charged particles) and those ions will reduce the amount of dust, particles and odors in the building. They will also attack certain bacteria, mold and viruses.

“Now you have tons of dust particles, with some positively charged and some negatively charged,” Marcotte said. “These really small dust particles of opposite charge will attract together and start clumping together. This process is called agglomeration.”

Through agglomeration these dust particles become large enough to be captured by the school’s filters once they go through the ventilation system. Before, smaller particles were unable to be picked up by the filter system.

“As time goes on, you’re  going to notice a significant reduction in dust in your building,” Marcotte said.

Marcotte mentioned that the schools will have to change the filters an additional one time per year, given the increase in dust.

Another advantage of the having NFBI technology is its pathogen control. Marcotte said the positive and negative ions will break apart mold molecules, viruses and bacteria.

“In the case of mold and bacteria, the ions will kill them,” Marcotte said. “In the case of viruses, the ions will deactivate them.

Other benefits of the devices are reducing odors and cleaning and recirculating indoor air.

Nearly half a million dollars of the school’s COVID-19 relief fund money was used to put in the NBI devices.

“The school feels that the units will provide another layer of protection for our students and staff,” Superintendent Dave Murphy said.

Several school districts statewide are adding ionization units to classrooms, but Murphy believes SAD 44 is one of the only districts in the Oxford County area to be doing it.

A few portable ionization units will be in each SAD 44 schools, too.

The district had to use its coronavirus relief funds by Dec. 31 of this year. The district received the relief money at the end of September.

In October the school board unanimously voted to use the relief funds for NBI devices to be installed in classrooms. At the same meeting, Marcotte did a presentation on the technology to board members. The presentation can be found online by going to “District MSAD44” YouTube channel.





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