Did you think, “Yeah, right” when you read the headline? Well, read on – we have the engineering and the anecdotal evidence to back it up.
For many years, our customers have been reporting that their filter media last a lot longer after the Ecogate system installation. This is not quite intuitive – Ecogate reduces the total air volume going into the dust collector, but not the amount of dust. What gives?
For a technical explanation of this phenomenon, we turned Mike Althouse, the Director of Filtration Technology at Schenck Process. The key, Mike says, is the velocity at which the dirty passes through the filter medium.
Dust collector diagram. Image courtesy of Schenck Process.
Filter media are generally selected based on the air-to-cloth ratio – the volumetric flow rate of air through the dust collector’s inlet duct divided by the total cloth area in the filters. The result is in units of velocity.
This velocity determines how deep into the filter medium the dust gets – the higher the velocity, the deeper the dust. The deeper the dust goes, the harder it is to remove it during cleaning.
Cleaning the filters too frequently can actually shorten the filter life – every time the filter is cleaned, the fabric is stretched. This stretching is wear and tear that eventually necessitates the filter being replaced.
For optimal performance and filter life, it is therefore important to clean thoughtfully – only when it’s actually necessary. For example, cleaning based on the measured filter differential pressure is better than cleaning based on a fixed schedule.
Changing the filters in a dust collector. Image courtesy of Schenck Process.
By monitoring machine activity at all times and providing air flow to machines that need it on-demand, Ecogate ensures machines have good ventilation while always maintaining appropriate transport velocities in the ducting. Most of the time, the air velocity at which dust passes through the filter media is reduced, which decreases the wear & tear on the filter medium and therefore extends the filter life.
This, of course, is in addition to saving an average 68% on the power needed to run the dust collection system, as well as a host of other benefits.
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Acknowledgements: big thanks to Mike Althouse from Schenck Process for technical consultation for this article.