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OPTICAL DETECTION OF PROGRESSIVE FILTER SOILING

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012391D
Publication Date: 2003-May-03
Document File: 4 page(s) / 155K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A system and method for detecting soiling of a filter is disclosed. The system and method uses optical detection and monitoring of soiling of an electrostatically enhanced filter and alerts the user when the filter should be cleaned or replaced.

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OPTICAL DETECTION OF PROGRESSIVE FILTER SOILING

Abstract

         A system and method for detecting soiling of a filter is disclosed. The system and method uses optical detection and monitoring of soiling of an electrostatically enhanced filter and alerts the user when the filter should be cleaned or replaced.

Background

         It is generally known to use filters (such as electrically-enhanced filters) to remove particles from various systems in a vehicle (e.g., air ventilation for engine, for passenger compartment, etc.). Such known filters soil at different rates, depending on the operation of the vehicle or the materials introduced to it. Such known filters are typically periodically checked for possible cleaning or replacement or merely periodically replaced.

         However, such known "scheduled" maintenance methods have several disadvantages including: time and expense for periodic maintenance, access to filters may be difficult, and the like. Also, such scheduled replacements may cause the filter to be charged too early (which increases costs) or too late (which reduces supply air quality and volume, increases fan use, etc.).

         Electrostatically-enhanced filters, for example, include a relatively coarse filter material whose filtration efficiency is enhanced by upstream ionization of airborne particles and often by the application of an electrostatic voltage between ionization anode and filter material. During use, a grid close to the filter material, or the walls of the duct surrounding the filter material, become progressively more soiled. In conventional filters, this would lead to a progressive and measurable increase in the pressure drop across the filter, thereby reducing the airflow. It is known to measure this pressure drop as an indicator of filter soiling (i.e., because such filters are conventionally changed only when the airflow becomes too low). However,

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electrostatically-enhanced filters are made of coarse material and the pressure drop remains low during their useful life. They should nevertheless be changed well before they become clogged with dust, to prevent them becoming a source of odor and fragmented particles and deteriorating the quality of the supply air. Accordingly, it would be advantageous to provide.

Description

A primary feature of the present invention is to detect soiling of a filter.

         Another features of the present invention is to provide optical detection of soiled filter that overcomes the above-noted disadvantages.

         Another feature of the present invention is to provide optical filter detection so that filters are changed or cleaned when they are soiled, when they have become clogged by dust, or the like.

         According to a preferred embodiment, a system and method...