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1. WO2016105224 - SYSTÈME D'ALIMENTATION EN AIR DE VÉHICULE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

Vehicle air supply system

The invention relates to a vehicle air supply system, in particular in automotive vehicles.

An air supply port has been disclosed in Polish patent application no. P.399472. This known air supply port features inner surfaces of structural components, in particular those of a connector pipe, between the fan and the inlet opening, are covered with a catalytic material coating with catalytic properties for conversion reactions of hydrocarbons contained in the air passing through the ports. The air supply port is designed for an air supply system in automotive vehicles, vehicles for different purposes, working machinery and rooms.

An air treatment unit and an air treatment unit system have been disclosed in Polish patent application no. P.399933. The unit is equipped with a sensor for the pressure inside the duct and/or a sensor for the airflow through the duct, wherein the sensor or sensing unit is connected to the control system of the devices forcing the airflow. The unit purifies the air being passed from toxins and/or pollution and protects the ductwork from energetic losses necessary to overcome the resistance presented by filters installed at the outlets and/or the occurrence of an excessive pressure due to the installation of the filters, which may result in the damage to the ducts due to persistence of a specified level of pressure inside the duct.

A system used for air purification as disclosed in Polish patent description no. PL207010 has a control system of the purifying system, equipped with an air return duct, an air supply duct, a blower circulating the air in the system and a device purifying the air in the system, featuring at least one bedding coated with a catalyst, with which the air being circulated comes into contact, and at least one ultraviolet lamp located close to the bedding in order to light the bedding so as to oxidise organic compounds in the air being circulated. The control system includes input devices to signal the state of the room being conditioned and generate a request signal representing that state, and an element for modulation of operation of the said purifying device in response to the said request signal.

A modular photocatalytic device for air purification, a fan coil unit and the operating manner of the fan coil unit have been disclosed in Polish patent description no. PL207010. The device has a modular enclosure with a position restoring mechanism. The position restoring mechanism is designed to relocate the modular enclosure between the working position, set according to the fan coil unit, and the restored position. The modular enclosure accommodates many bracing structures, each of which features a deposited catalytic coating. At least one ultraviolet lamp is located between these numerous bracing structures. The position restoring mechanism comprises a structure of hinged doors, the structure being restored to ensure access to the modular photocatalytic device for air purifying and an arm supporting the modular enclosure in the working position, the arm being detachable when the enclosure is in the restored position. The catalytic coating is made of titanium dioxide.

An air purification device, which has been disclosed in US patent description no. US7582256, is provided in the form of a wall with an external steel structure, an opening for the admission of the air inside the metal framework to which a plurality of UVA lamps, a photocatalytic filter and an opening for discharging the purified air are fixed. The device comprises the photocatalytic filter for at least one metal grating covered with a film containing titanium dioxide (T1O2), mainly in the anatase phase, in order to maximise the surface of the photocatalyst illuminated by the UVA light.

An apparatus and method for cleaning have been disclosed in US patent application no. US2009010801. The apparatus includes a housing that defines an airflow pathway and a catalytic reactor having a catalyst secured on a porous

substrate that is disposed transverse to the airflow pathway. The catalyst is activated by light or thermally. The catalytic rector comprises a light source directed at the catalyst in the form of particles of the oxide selected from a group including Ti02/Si02, Ti02, Zr02, Ti02/Sn02, Ti02 02/W0 , Ti02, Mo0 /V205, as well as any combination thereof. The catalyst may also contain metal particles located on catalytic particles in an amount of 0.01 wt % to 5 wt %. Also, the apparatus comprises an adsorption matrix upstream of the catalytic reactor, optionally in combination with a heater, and may have a solid particle filter and/or electrostatic precipitator located upstream of the adsorption matrix and the catalytic reactor.

Yet French patent application no. FR2797812 discloses a manner of air purification in a vehicle's passenger compartment, equipped with at least one element selected from a group composed of heating, ventilation and air conditioning located beneath the vehicle's dashboard. The method consists in depositing a photocatalytic layer on the surface of the dashboard provided with vents and exposing the layer to visible or ultraviolet light.

Another French patent application no. FR2838379 discloses a unit for air purification in a passenger compartment, equipped with an air conditioning system composed of an evaporator featuring cocurrent and countercurrent surface. The surface downstream of the evaporator holds a photocatalytic agent and a light source to which the surface is exposed. Whereas a particle filter and an ionizer are located upstream of the evaporator.

A disadvantage of the solutions applied in the current state-of-art is none or low effectiveness of reduction of harmful volatiles which reach the passenger compartment.

The purpose of the invention is to provide a solution which would eliminate the disadvantage and provide air quality improvement inside the passenger compartment.

The essence of the air supply system according to the invention is that inside the system there is a photocatalyst between at least one air intake and at least one supply port.

The photocatalyst is preferably deposited on the inner surfaces of at least one element selected from the group containing the vehicle ventilation/air conditioning system, supply ducts, supply ports, dampers, filters and/or the photocatalyst in the form of an insert, located inside at least one element selected from the group including the ventilation/air conditioning system, supply ducts, supply ports, dampers and filters.

Preferably, the photocatalyst is located in an adapter tied in at least one element selected from the group including the vehicle's ventilation/air conditioning system, supply ducts, supply ports, dampers, filters and/or the photocatalyst located on a bypass tied in at least one element selected from the group including the vehicle's ventilation/air conditioning system, supply ducts, supply ports, dumpers and filters.

Preferably, the system is provided with a reactor with means disturbing the air stream, and more precisely, the reactor being the bypass or adapter equipped with a network of ducts and/or inserts which disturb the airflow.

Preferably, the photocatalyst is deposited on the reactor's inserts made as ceramic, metal, glass or plastic inserts.

Preferably, the reactor is fitted with an optical system, which focuses or disperses the lightning on the device's surface.

Preferably, the photocatalyst is given in the form of a layer of metal oxide nanopowder as well as the combination selected from the group of CuO, Co304, CoOx, NiO, MnOx, Mn02, Mo0 , ZnO, Fe20 , W0 , Ti02, A120 , Ce02, V205, Zr02, Hf02, Dy203, Cr203, Nb2Os; alternatively, selected from the group of Pt, Pd and Rh.

Preferably, the photocatalyst is given in the form of a nanopowder layer of lithium niobate (LiNb03).

Preferably, for the purpose of the light source illuminating the surface with the deposited photocatalyst, there may be an ultraviolet light given as LEDs or a LED lamp, a fibre-optic cable, a cathodic light, an ultraviolet laser or their combination.

Preferably, the reactor used LEDs in the SMD mount technology, with the wavelength λ in the range from 240 nm to 415 nm and the Gaussian distribution of radiation, with the reactor equipped with a transparent optical collimator system featuring an illumination angle of 130°, mounted inside and/or outside the reactor.

Preferably, the reactor houses LEDs in the through-hole technology, with the wavelength λ in the range from 240 nm to 415 nm, with the reactor equipped with an integrated transparent optical system featuring an illumination angle of 30°, mounted inside and/or outside the reactor.

Preferably, the catalyst activation temperature is in range from 120 °C to 500 °C.

Preferably, the system is equipped with an automatic control system for the airflow between the system's inputs and outputs.

The vehicle air supply system effectively reduces organic volatiles in the vehicle's compartment air, resulting in neutral compounds, also including bacteria, viruses and fungi, and as such it improves quality of the air inside the vehicle's compartment.

In contrast to the known state-of-the-art solutions, the application of the system according to the invention effectively reduces impurities in the vehicle's compartment air owing to the provision of proper mixing of the polluted air and the time required for the photocatalytic process to reduce toxins. In particular, the application of the reactor allows for the reduction of harmful substances such as BTX (benzene, toluene and xylenes), which may reach the vehicle's compartment together with the polluted air. Additionally, the presented solution of the air supply system allows for the reduction of microbiological contamination (viruses, bacteria, fungi and other).

The application of a network of ducts and inserts, which disturb the airflow with minimum pressure losses, ensures proper mixing of the polluted air and extension of the time of exposure to the catalytic material, ensuring favourable properties of gas (air) purification, as proven by laboratory tests.

The subject of the invention in the example of embodiment is disclosed in the drawing, wherein Fig. 1 is the vehicle air supply system with a photocatalyst deposited on inner surfaces of supply ports and ducts which supply air to the vehicle compartment, Fig. 2 - the vehicle air supply system with a bypass covered with the photocatalyst, Fig. 3 - the vehicle air supply system equipped with an additional adapter covered with the photocatalyst, Fig. 4 - the vehicle air supply system equipped with filters covered with the photocatalyst, Fig. 5 - the vehicle air supply system with photocatalyst-covered dampers which control the airflow, Fig. 6 - the vehicle air supply system equipped with photocatalyst-covered inserts, Fig. 7 - the vehicle air supply system equipped with ducts controlling and disturbing the airflow.

Embodiment 1

The vehicle air supply system has air intake 1 and recirculation air intake 2, connected by means of ventilation/air conditioning system 3 by inlet ducts 4 with supply ports 5. There is the photocatalyst between air intake 1, 2 and supply ports 5, the photocatalyst being presented in every embodiment as a light source, such as an ultraviolet light in the form of LEDs or a LED lamp, a fibre-optic cable, a cathodic light, an ultraviolet laser or their combinations.

Embodiment 2

The vehicle air supply system has air intake 1 and recirculation air intake 2, connected by means of ventilation/air conditioning system 3 by inlet ducts 4 with supply ports 5. Bypass 6, which is covered with the photocatalyst, is located downstream of ventilation/air conditioning system 3 in the supply duct 4.

Embodiment 3

The vehicle air supply system has air intake 1 and recirculation air intake 2, connected by means of ventilation/air conditioning system 3 by inlet ducts 4 with supply ports 5. Additional adapter 8, which is covered with the photocatalyst, is located downstream of the ventilation/air conditioning system 3 in the supply duct 4.

Embodiment 4

The system presented in embodiment 2 or 3, wherein the reactor constitutes bypass 6 or adapter 8, equipped with a network of disturbing ducts 11 and control ducts 12 of the airflow, created by the system of airflow disturbing elements, i.e. a system of ribs or systems of plates. Additionally, the reactor has inserts 10 with the deposited photocatalyst, made as ceramic, metal, glass or plastic inserts. Alternatively, the reactor is fitted with an optical system, which focuses or disperses lightning on the device's surfaces.

In one of practical embodiments, the inside of the reactor accommodates LEDs in the SMD mount technology, with the wavelength λ in the range from 240 nm to 415 nm and the Gaussian distribution of radiation, with the reactor being equipped with a transparent optical collimator system featuring an illumination angle of 130°.

In another embodiment of the invention, the reactor houses LEDs in the through-hole technology, featuring the wavelength λ in the range from 240 nm to 415 nm, with the reactor being equipped with an integrated transparent optical system featuring an illumination angle of 30°.

Embodiment 5

The vehicle air supply system has air intake 1 and recirculation air intake 2, connected by means of ventilation/air conditioning system 3 by inlet ducts 4 with supply ports 5. Filters 9 covered with the photocatalyst are mounted downstream of ventilation/air conditioning system 3 in inlet duct 4, and therefore the current function of the filters has been supplemented with a new function which consists in photocatalysis-based air purification.

Embodiment 6

The vehicle air supply system has air intake 1 and recirculation air intake 2, connected by means of ventilation/air conditioning system 3 by inlet ducts 4 with supply ports 5. There are dampers 7 controlling the airflow, the same being covered with the photocatalyst, in inlet ducts 4.

Embodiment 7

The vehicle air supply system has air intake 1 and recirculation air intake 2, connected by means of ventilation/air conditioning system 3 by inlet ducts 4 with supply ports 5. Photocatalyst-covered inserts 10 are mounted in inlet ducts 4.

Embodiment 8

The vehicle air supply system as in embodiments one to six, with the difference being that the photocatalyst is given in the form of titanium dioxide (Ti02) nanopowder.

Embodiment 9

The vehicle air supply system made as in embodiments one to six, with the difference being that the photocatalyst is given in the form of lithium niobate (LiNb03) nanopowder.

The catalyst or photocatalyst layer can comprise oxides of metals which are active during CO combustion and organic volatiles; such oxides include CuO, Co304, CoOx, NiO, MnOx, Mn02, Mo0 , ZnO, Fe20 , W0 , Ce02, T1O2, A120 , V2O5, Zr02, Hf02, Dy203, Cr203 and Nb2Os. Also, for the purpose of the catalysts, single oxides of transition metals as well as mixed oxides can be used. The catalysts with oxides of transition metals are effective in both complete and selective oxidisation of organic volatiles. Their catalytic properties are particularly associated with the type of oxygen involved in the oxidisation process.

Catalytic oxidisation of organic volatiles on catalysts with noble metals is susceptible to their structure. The effect of Pt particle size on catalytic oxidisation of various hydrocarbons has been studied thoroughly; generally, larger Pt particles are more active. A smaller impact on catalytic effectiveness of Pt catalysts is exerted by factors such as the type of carrier (aluminium oxide or silica), porosity and acid-base properties of the carrier. Addition of Co 04, Ce02, La3+/Bi3+ promoters added to Ce02-Zr02 results in an increase of activity and thermal stability of Pt and Pd catalysts based on aluminium oxide as used for emission reduction of organic volatiles.

Noble metal-based catalysts, such as Pt and Pd, show a good effect at low temperatures in complete oxidisation of organic volatiles. The application of such catalysts to control organic volatiles in the industry is limited due to the catalysts' cost and sensitivity to poisoning, in particular chlorine and chlorine derivatives. Cerium oxide prepared by the means of combustion, precipitation or thermal decomposition is very active while combusting organic volatiles, due to its ability of oxygen accumulation. Oxidisation of organic volatiles to Ce02 is an example of the process based on the Redox mechanism, in which the supply of oxygen from easily reducible oxide and its re-oxidisation by oxygen is the key stage. The modification of Ce02 with other metal oxides, e.g. by partial replacement of Ce4+ by Zr4+ ions in the lattice network (mixed Ce-Zr oxides), may improve the catalyst's oxygen capacity and thermal resistance as well as increase catalytic activity at low temperatures. An advantage of manganese-based catalysts is the high activity relating to all oxidisation reactions, low cost and low toxicity. Catalysts featuring the perovskite structure demonstrate easiness with changes of Redox properties. The multi-valent nature of MnOx is the reason for which such oxides are a promising candidate in the catalytic oxidisation of organic volatiles, and similarly to the case of cerium oxide, their effectiveness is aided by the additive of other transition metal oxides, such as Ce, Zr and Cu; in some cases, the activity is comparable to, or better than that with catalysts based on noble metals. Very good catalytic qualities are also shown by perovskite structures with the general formula of ABO3, where: A is the rare-earth element, B is the transition metal, due to the activity being comparable to that in catalysts with noble metals in oxidisation reactions, but with the cost of synthesis being considerably lower. The most effective structures of these type include perovskites containing cobalt and manganese, irrespective of rare-earth elements.

Catalytic activity depends on the type of noble metal and changes with respect to the nature of organic volatiles: alkanes, alkenes and aromatic hydrocarbons. Pt and Pd on aluminium oxides are highly active when oxidising benzene and butanol; however, it is more difficult to oxidise ethyl acetate, wherein Pd acts better compared with Pt. Results of the research on oxidisation of benzene, toluene and 1-hexene (single and mixtures with isooctane and CO) using Pt, Pd and Rh/Al203 catalysts deposited on cardierite monoliths have shown that

each of the catalysts demonstrates a different activity depending on whether oxidisation applies to a mixture of hydrocarbons or each component individually. Metals show another sequence of activity with reference to single reactions under conditions of excessive oxygen. The greatest difference is shown by Rh, which is the most active one during oxidisation of hexane and the least active one while oxidising aromatic hydrocarbons. Pt is the most effective one while oxidising benzene, and Pd - toluene. The presence of CO in the mixture considerably inhibits reactions to Pt, to a lower extent to Pd, slightly simulating a process of Rh catalysis, with the sequence of catalyst activity in the presence of CO being Rh > Pd > Pt. Various activity trends of the studied noble metals are explained by forces of adsorption-desorption processes of reagents on the surface of these metals. The use of noble metals, in particular Pt and Pd dispersed in the form of powders on a well-developed γ-Α1203 surface, or in the form of layers on monolithic carriers, is favourable due to the better activity, resistance to deactivation and ability to regenerate. Generally, even though Pd is more effective while oxidising ethyl acetate and toluene, Pt is preferable.