Enhancement of the performance of low-efficiency HVAC filters due to continuous unipolar ion emission.
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Our novel concept utilizing continuous emission of unipolar ions, which has been recently proven to enhance the efficiency of facepiece respirators, was applied to conventional HVAC filters. Laboratory study demonstrated that the air ion emission in the vicinity of a low-efficiency HVAC filter significantly improves its performance. For example, the collection efficiency of two commercial HVAC filters challenged with 1孠PSL particles jumped from 5-15% (measured with no ion emission) to 40-90% (when the ion output rate was ~ 1012 e-/sec). The enhancement effect depends on the filter type and, generally, on the distance from the ion emitter to the filter surface. The results were explained as follows. The air ions with high mobility are deposited on the fibers forming a macroscopic electric field, which shield out some incoming unipolarly charged particles due to repelling forces. The field estimate has shown that this explanation is feasible. The enhancement effect seems to have a good potential to be employed in industrial and residential ventilation systems as it enhances the aerosol collection efficiency of a low-efficiency HVAC filter while not affecting its pressure drop.
Aerosol Science and Technology