For over 25 years, Czech company Prihoda has been providing engineered fabric ducting and air distribution solutions to commercial and industrial HVAC applications around the world. The company made its entry in Indian market last year and gaining momentum since then. In an interview with Cooling India, Prihoda India’s Director Ulhas Keshavsingh Vatpal talks about what makes Prihoda fabric ducts unique. Excerpts:
From a humble beginning in 1994, Prihoda has become a global providers of fabric ducting and diffusers, designed for transport or distribution of air. Could you brief us on your business activities in India?
We are a medium-large Czech company manufacturing first-class textile ducting and diffusers for air transportation and distribution. We do not manufacture ducting by the meter but provide custom-made solutions. Our work is based on high technical quality and knowledge of airflow. Our company is in the small industrial city of Hlinsko in the middle of the Czechia. From there, and from our subsidiaries in China and Mexico, we send our products to more than 70 countries across the world. We work closely with a network of trained sales agents, who are part of the unit called the “Příhoda Family”. The company, which was established in 1994, is still owned and managed by its founder Zdeněk Příhoda.
Prihoda s.r.o had invested quality time since 2015 in Indian market to understand the market needs, applications and operational challenges etc. After clear understanding they decided to have dedicated office in India to serve the local market in a better way and established Prihoda India on 24th May 2018 in India having head office at Kharghar, Navi Mumbai.
We deliver over 6,000 projects worldwide every year and 99 per cent of these contracts leave on the exact deadline. We work with professional transportation companies and we monitor the consignment until it is delivered to the customer.
Prihoda products are usually acting as both supply air ducting (air transfer) as well as air distribution or diffusion into the occupied zone. We supply both types of system: Positive pressure distribution systems (supply air), and Negative pressure (extract/return air) ducting for exhausting air from rooms.
What about insulation and condensation issues in fabric ducts?
We have around 15 types of fabric and most of the fabrics does not require insulation. Use of permeable fabric eliminates the risk of water condensation on the surface of the ducting and our ducting comes with incorporate insulation inbuilt. We use permeable materials to avoid condensation where supply air temperature is below dew point. However, we only have material of a single permeability value. It is very low and serves just to prevent condensation. Distribution of air is done exclusively using holes (perforation or micro perforation or a combination of both) and adjusted holes (nozzles, pockets). Our product portfolio also includes non-permeable materials, which are often useful in other situations.
Can fabric ducts withstand fire?
We have fabrics with fire resistance properties with Class A, Class B, Class C. Suitable fabric can be used according to use of application. Our unique materials are certified for fire resistance in accordance with EN 13501-1 (in various classes depending on materials) and the American UL 723. Our company has a certified quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001 and an environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001. Prihoda’s fabric diffusers also obtained an Oeko-Tex certificate. The PMI/NMI/PMS/NMS fabrics are certified to European standard EN 13501-1 with excellent results. In this test our fabrics achieve B-s1, d0 classification, which means prevention of spread of fire, minimum smoke production and no burning drops. Glass (NHE) fabrics in fact meet Class A requirements: Classic, Premium and Recycled.
How hygienic are your fabric ducts?
Our textile ducts are only ducting system that can be thoroughly cleaned by washing with an optional use of a disinfection, addition to that our textile duct also comes with Anti-bacterial coating. We utilise a special treatment which guarantees that no bacteria can survive if settled on to our fabric Premium (PMI/NMI) and Durable (NMR). This treatment remains effective after multiple washing. Tests for the European Standards found that after 10 washes there was no reduction in the efficacy of the treatment. This allows us to offer up to 10 years warranty on the basis of our minimal maintenance requirements.
How cost effective are fabric ducts than traditional GI ducting?
The traditional ducting comes with GI sheets, grills, diffusers, insulations, dampers, branching etc. All these can be addressed more effectively with our fabric ducting by comprising all with CFD analysis. Transportation is also comparatively cheap thanks to the low weight of our products and the fact that they can be folded into small boxes.
What is the typical area of application for fabric ducts?
Applications compile of vast area and fields (all indoor) including food, engineering, automotive, chemical and textile industries, warehouses, schools, restaurants, temporary installations, freezing plants, kitchens, sport facilities, fitness centres, swimming pools, supermarkets, cinemas, theatres, TV studios, offices, laboratories, hospitals, clean areas, greenhouses, painting shops, transportation vehicles, stables, chicken hatcheries etc.
What is the installation time and mounting material required?
Our fabric ducting is very easy to install as compare to traditional ducting. All mounting materials are provided along with fabric ducting. Easy representations on YouTube videos and training makes our installer relax and complete the work in stipulated time frame. We can save the overall installation time up to 50 per cent.
What is the Prihoda Art Technology?
Our fabric Prihoda Art Technology gives our textile diffusers a new aesthetic dimension. They can become an interesting part of every interior. We can produce fabric diffusers and air ducting in any Pantone colour, with any pattern, photograph, picture, logo or sign, regardless of how complex they are. Its art and science together in our fabric ducting technology.
What about your unique software for designing the ducting?
Our team of experienced Engineers use in-house customised Air Tailor software which comprises of AutoCAD, Revit and CFD tools to create a custom-made design for air distribution according to the customer’s wishes and the layout of the area. We easily consider unusual requirements a challenge and we propose our product as a solution on those. This helps us to provide Air flow profiles, sound level details and exact view of ducting for better understanding.
How durable are the fabric ducts?
Our textile ducts are available in both permeable and non-permeable options, suitable fabric can be selected depending upon humidity and RH content of surrounding. Our textile ducts are with up to 10 years warranty on fabric material and are washable. The fabric ducting and diffusers can be cleaned perfectly by laundering in a washing machine. The frequency of maintenance depends on the environment and on local hygiene standards. We have executed a detailed procedure for washing and cleaning the diffusers and can recommend suitable products on request.