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Title:
AN ELECTROSTATIC PRECIPITATOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/078614
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An electrostatic precipitator for removing particles from an air stream, the electrostatic precipitator comprising: at least one ionizing electrode configured to charge the particles in the air stream; collectors configured to collect thereon charged particles from the air stream, a housing configured to house the collectors and the at least one ionizing electrode assembled therein and to allow passage of the air stream therethrough; and a washing fluid supply configured to provide washing fluid for washing collected particles off the collectors; wherein each collector comprises a conductive sheet configured to be washable by the washing fluid, the conducive sheet provided with through holes to allow passage of the washing fluid therethrough when the collectors are assembled within the housing.

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Inventors:
SO, Kim Lui (20 Boon Lay Way #01-168 TradeHub 21, Singapore 7, 609967, SG)
Application Number:
SG2015/050433
Publication Date:
May 11, 2017
Filing Date:
November 04, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BLUE SKY ENGINEERING & TRADING PTE LTD (20 Boon Lay Way, #01-168 TradeHub 21, Singapore 7, 609967, SG)
International Classes:
B03C3/78; B03C3/47
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014123202A12014-08-14
Foreign References:
JP2007117968A2007-05-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ONG, Lucille Frances, Kheng Lu (Marks & Clerk Singapore LLP, Tanjong Pagar,,P O Box 636, Singapore 6, 910816, SG)
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Claims:
An electrostatic precipitator for removing particles from an air stream, the electrostatic precipitator comprising:

at least one ionizing electrode configured to charge the particles in the air stream; collectors configured to collect thereon charged particles from the air stream, a housing configured to house the collectors and the at least one ionizing electrode assembled therein and to allow passage of the air stream therethrough; and

a washing fluid supply configured to provide washing fluid for washing collected particles off the collectors;

wherein each collector comprises a conductive sheet configured to be washable by the washing fluid, the conducive sheet provided with through holes to allow passage of the washing fluid therethrough when the collectors are assembled within the housing.

The electrostatic precipitator of claim 1, wherein each conductive sheet provided with through holes comprises one of: an expanded metal sheet, a wire mesh and a perforated metal sheet.

The electrostatic precipitator of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the washing fluid supply comprises a reservoir provided with a fluid heater configured to heat the washing fluid.

The electrostatic precipitator of any preceding claim, further comprising a heater provided in the housing and configured to generate heat for drying the electrostatic precipitator after washing of the collectors by the washing fluid.

The electrostatic precipitator of claim 4, wherein the heater provided in the housing is further configured to heat the collectors for washing of the collectors by the washing fluid.

The electrostatic precipitator of claim 4 or claim 5 when dependent on claim 3, wherein the heater provided in the housing is one and the same as the fluid heater.

7. The electrostatic precipitator of any preceding claim, further comprising a control system configured to activate a cleaning routine of the collectors at predetermined time intervals, the cleaning routine comprising spraying the washing fluid onto the collectors for a period of time.

8. The electrostatic precipitator of claim 4, wherein the cleaning routine further comprises halting passage of the air stream into the housing during the cleaning routine.

9. The electrostatic precipitator of claim 7 or claim 8, wherein the cleaning routine further comprises cutting off power supply to the at least one ionizing electrode and the collectors during the cleaning routine.

10. The electrostatic precipitator of any one of claims 7 to 9 when dependent on any one of claims 4 to 6, wherein the cleaning routine further comprises switching on the heater provided in the housing for a further period of time after spraying the washing fluid onto the collectors for the period of time.

11. The electrostatic precipitator of any one of claims 7 to 10 when dependent on any one of claims 3 to 6, wherein the cleaning routine further comprises switching on the heater provided in the housing prior to spraying of the washing fluid onto the collectors.

12. The electrostatic precipitator of any one of claims 7 to 11 when dependent on claim 3, wherein the cleaning routine further comprises switching on the fluid heater during spraying of the washing fluid onto the collectors.

Description:
AN ELECTROSTATIC PRECIPITATOR

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to an electrostatic precipitator and in particular, to a self-cleaning electrostatic precipitator.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Electrostatic precipitators are particulate collection devices that clean air by removing particles from an air stream using an electrostatic charge. As shown in FIG. 1 (prior art), a conventional plate-type electrostatic precipitator typically comprises a stack of flat metal plates 200 spaced apart from each other to allow the air stream 202 to flow in the spaces there between. At least one ionizing electrode 300 is provided spaced apart from the metal plates 200. Each metal plate 200 serves as a collector 200 for aerosol particles carried in the air stream 202. Each ionizing electrode 300 serves as an electrode for at least one collector 200. When a voltage is applied between the ionizing electrode 300 and a collector 200, air around the electrode 300 in the stream 202 flowing through the space between the collectors 200 is ionized such that aerosol particles in the air stream are also ionized, or charged. Following the electric field created by the applied voltage, the charged particles are attracted to and move towards the collectors 200. The charged particles collect on the collectors 200 to form a layer that stays on the collectors 200. The exiting air stream 204 is thus cleaned from the charged particles that have collected on the collectors 200.

Since flow of the air stream 202 is minimally impeded and electrical energy is applied only to the particulate matter being collected, unlike wet scrubber filtration devices that apply energy directly to the flowing fluid medium, electrostatic precipitators are highly efficient in energy consumption and are highly efficient in removing fine particulate matter such as dust, smoke, oil and other particulate contaminants from the air stream. Electrostatic precipitators may thus be used in power plants, cement plants or kitchen exhaust systems to clean air containing particles such as smoke and oil fumes before discharging cleaned air into the outside environment.

However, it is well known that the efficiency of an electrostatic precipitator falls dramatically once the collectors have been coated with a layer of the collected particles. Cleaning of the collectors is therefore an important aspect in the use of electrostatic precipitators.

When large amounts of particles have accumulated as a layer on the collectors, vigorous washing and scrubbing may be needed to thoroughly clean the collectors because the collected layer may have become very tightly bonded to the collectors. Cleaning the collectors is usually a laborious and difficult process because close spacing between the collectors that is necessary for efficient precipitation gives rise to difficulty accessing the areas to be cleaned. Also, the stack of collectors may not be easily disassembled to facilitate cleaning.

Attempts to facilitate cleaning of the collectors include using special soaking solutions where the entire stack of collectors is removed en bloc from the electrostatic precipitator and soaked in a container of the soaking solution for a period of time, for example overnight, to loosen the layer that has become tightly bonded to the collectors. Other solutions include providing jets of washing fluid such as water or detergent directed at the collectors to spray off the collected layer, where the spray nozzles that are specially designed for this purpose are included as part of a self-cleaning feature of the electrostatic precipitator. However, due to close spacing between the collectors, it is still difficult to effect thorough cleaning of the inner parts of the collectors with externally applied jets of washing fluid.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

According to a first aspect, there is provided an electrostatic precipitator for removing particles from an air stream, the electrostatic precipitator comprising: at least one ionizing electrode configured to charge the particles in the air stream; collectors configured to collect thereon charged particles from the air stream, a housing configured to house the collectors and the at least one ionizing electrode assembled therein and to allow passage of the air stream therethrough; and a washing fluid supply configured to provide washing fluid for washing collected particles off the collectors; wherein each collector comprises a conductive sheet configured to be washable by the washing fluid, the conducive sheet provided with through holes to allow passage of the washing fluid therethrough when the collectors are assembled within the housing. Each conductive sheet provided with through holes may comprise one of: an expanded metal sheet, a wire mesh and a perforated metal sheet.

The washing fluid supply may comprise a reservoir provided with a fluid heater configured to heat the washing fluid.

The electrostatic precipitator may further comprise a heater provided in the housing and configured to generate heat for drying the electrostatic precipitator after washing of the collectors by the washing fluid.

The heater provided in the housing may be further configured to heat the collectors for washing of the collectors by the washing fluid.

The heater provided in the housing may be one and the same as the fluid heater.

The electrostatic precipitator may further comprise a control system configured to activate a cleaning routine of the collectors at predetermined time intervals, the cleaning routine comprising spraying the washing fluid onto the collectors for a period of time. The cleaning routine may further comprise halting passage of the air stream into the housing during the cleaning routine.

The cleaning routine may further comprise cutting off power supply to the at least one ionizing electrode and the collectors during the cleaning routine.

The cleaning routine may further comprise switching on the heater provided in the housing for a further period of time after spraying the washing fluid onto the collectors for the period of time. The cleaning routine may further comprise switching on the heater provided in the housing prior to spraying of the washing fluid onto the collectors.

The cleaning routine may further comprise switching on the fluid heater during spraying of the washing fluid onto the collectors.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES

In order that the invention may be fully understood and readily put into practical effect there shall now be described by way of non-limitative example only exemplary embodiments of the present invention, the description being with reference to the accompanying illustrative drawings.

FIG. 1 (prior art) is a schematic illustration of the working principle of electrostatic precipitation.

FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of an exemplary embodiment of an electrostatic precipitator according to the present invention during electrostatic precipitation.

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of the electrostatic precipitator of FIG. 2 having a first exemplary embodiment of a washing fluid system.

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of the electrostatic precipitator of FIG. 2 having a second exemplary embodiment of a washing fluid system.

FIG. 5 is a photograph of a first exemplary collector comprising a conductive sheet provided with through holes in the form of an expanded metal sheet.

FIG. 6 is a photograph of a second exemplary collector comprising a conductive sheet provided with through holes in the form of a wire mesh.

FIG. 7 is a photograph of a second exemplary collector comprising a conductive sheet provided with through holes in the form of a perforated metal sheet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Exemplary embodiments of the electrostatic precipitator will be described with reference to FIGS. 2 to 4 below in which the same reference numerals are used to denote the same or similar parts.

As shown in FIG. 2, the electrostatic precipitator 10 for removing particles from an air stream 100 comprises collectors 20 configured for collecting charged particles thereon. At least one ionizing electrode 30 is provided between adjacent collectors 20 in order for a voltage to be applied between the collectors 20 and the at least one ionizing electrode 30. In use, the at least one ionizing electrode 30 generates an electric field and ionises the air around the ionizing electrode 30 which causes particles in the air stream 100 to become charged particles that are attracted to the collectors 20. The charged particles migrate to the collectors 20 and collect on the collectors 20 to form a layer of collected particles on each collector 20.

The electrostatic precipitator 10 also comprises a housing 90 configured to house the collectors 20 and the at least one electrode 30 therein. The housing 90 is configured to allow passage of the air stream 100 therethrough, and thus may be configured to be placed within an air path through which the air stream 100 is passed normally passed, or the housing 90 may be configured to form part of any cleaning device, for example such as an air cleaner, dust collector, fume chamber or kitchen exhaust hood, as may be desired.

Each of the collectors 20 comprises a conductive sheet 20 configured to be washable by a washing fluid 66, the conductive sheet 20 being provided with through holes to allow passage of the washing fluid 66 therethrough when the collectors 20 are assembled in the housing 90, as shown in FIG. 3. Examples of a conductive sheet provided with through holes 20 include an expanded metal mesh (FIG. 5), a woven wire mesh (FIG. 6), a perforated metal sheet (FIG. 7) and the like. The electrostatic precipitator 10 also comprises a washing fluid supply 60 that is configured to provide the washing fluid 66 for washing the collected particles off the collectors 20. In a preferred embodiment, at least one outlet of the washing fluid supply 60 comprises a spray nozzle configured to spray the washing fluid 66 onto the collectors 20. Configuring each collector 20 to be in the form of a conductive sheet provided with through holes 20 allows the washing fluid 66 to wash not only the collectors 20 that are nearest to outlets of the washing fluid supply 60, but also allows the washing fluid 66 to pass through the through holes of each collector 20 so as to reach and wash all the collectors 20 in the electrostatic precipitator 10. In this way, all areas of all the collectors 20 can be effectively and thoroughly washed and cleaned by the washing fluid 66 sprayed therethrough.

The electrostatic precipitator 10 preferably comprises a control system (not shown) configured to activate a cleaning routine at predetermined time intervals. The cleaning routine comprises turning on the washing fluid supply 60 and spraying the washing fluid 66 onto the collectors 20 for period of time so as to remove the collected particles from the collectors 20.

Preferably, during the cleaning routine, passage of the air stream 100 through the housing 90 and the collectors 20 is halted. In addition, power supply to the at least one ionizing electrode 30 and the collectors 20 is preferably cut off for the duration of the cleaning routine.

As shown in FIG. 3, the washing fluid supply 60 may simply comprise a water main. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 4, the washing fluid supply 60 may comprise a reservoir 62, such as a water tank 62, and a pump 64 configured to pump the washing fluid 66 from the reservoir 62 to the collectors 20. In one embodiment, the reservoir 62 is provided with a fluid heater 80 to heat the washing fluid 66 so that hot washing fluid 66 is sprayed onto the collectors 20 for more efficient washing of the collectors 20. This is particularly useful when the electrostatic precipitator 10 is configured for cleaning air streams containing oily fumes as oil collected on the collectors 20 is more readily dissolved or removed with hot washing fluid 66.

Although the fluid heater 80 has been depicted as being immersed in the washing fluid 66 in the reservoir 62 in FIG. 4, it will be understood that the fluid heater 80 may alternatively be located outside of the washing fluid 66 in the reservoir 62, such as when the fluid heater 80 comprises one or more infrared heating tubes.

Optionally, the electrostatic precipitator 10 may also comprises a heater 70 provided in the housing 90. The heater 70 provided in the housing 90 is configured to be switched on after the collectors 20 have been washed with washing fluid 66 so that heat generated by the heater 70 dries the collectors 20 and the ionizing electrodes 30 and any other parts of the electrostatic precipitator 10 that have been wet by the washing fluid 66. Switching on the heater 70 provided in the housing for a period of time may thus be incorporated into the cleaning routine described above as a final step after washing of the collectors 20 with the washing fluid 66 has been completed.

In addition to being switched on to dry the electrostatic precipitator after washing of the collectors 20 with the washing fluid 66, the heater 70 provided in the housing 90 may also be switched on to heat the collectors 20 for washing, for example, just prior to spraying the washing fluid 66 onto the collectors 20. This is particularly intended for when the electrostatic precipitator 10 is provided with the reservoir 62 and the fluid heater 80 for washing the collectors 20 with heated washing fluid 66. Heating the collectors 20 minimizes cooling of the washing fluid 66 upon contact with the collectors 20, in order to maintain cleaning efficiency of the heated washing fluid 66. In some embodiments, the heater 70 provided in the housing 90 may be one and the same as the fluid heater 80 described above when provided outside of the washing fluid 66 in the reservoir 62. Besides providing a heater 70 in the housing 90 for drying the electrostatic precipitator 10 after washing, drying may additionally or alternatively be performed by ventilation drying means, such as by using a fan or channelling dry air into the electrostatic precipitator 10.

By configuring the electrostatic precipitator 10 to comprise collectors 20 comprising conductive sheets provided with through holes 20, washing of the collectors 20 can be effectively performed in situ without requiring the collectors 20 to be removed or disassembled from the housing for washing, and without requiring the entire electrostatic precipitator 10 to be removed for cleaning. The present invention not only simplifies construction of the electrostatic precipitator 10 and reduces its production and maintenance costs, the simplicity and speed of in situ cleaning also allows washing of the collectors 20 to take place far more frequently when compared to prior art cleaning methods. The present electrostatic precipitator 10 is thus able to continually function at a high level of collection efficiency at a minimal operating and maintenance cost. This makes it especially suited for use in applications such as industrial kitchens of restaurants and commercial facilities to remove oil and smoke aerosol particles from cooking fumes in the kitchen exhaust before discharging the kitchen exhaust into the atmosphere. Since these kitchens are in frequent and heavy use, the electrostatic precipitator 10 needs to operate continually at high efficiency, it is important not to allow accumulation of a greasy layer on the collectors 20 as it is well known that long accumulated oil and smoke residue are particularly difficult. Thus, configuring the electrostatic precipitator 10 with collectors having through holes 20 that can be readily washed in situ allows the collectors 20 to be cleaned very frequently, on a daily basis if necessary, when the kitchen has closed for the day. Whilst there has been described in the foregoing description exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the technology concerned that many variations in details of design, construction and/or operation may be made without departing from the present invention. For example, the washing fluid 66 may be of any suitable type, and more than one type of washing fluid may be used to wash the collectors 20. For example, the washing fluid 66 may comprise water or water with a detergent or one or other cleaning agents. Furthermore, a first cycle of the cleaning routine may include a detergent in the washing fluid, while a second cycle of the cleaning routine may use clear water as the washing fluid to remove residual detergent from the collectors.