Advances in Electrostatic Filter Technology Enables Smart Filter Producing Increase in IAQ, Lowered Energy Cost, and Reduced Waste

L. Rothenberg
Agentis Air LLC,
United States

Keywords: IAQ, Air Filtration, Energy Savings, Smart IOT


In the face of serious and wide-ranging threats presented by airborne pathogens and poor indoor air quality, the common HVAC filter solution does not adequately address these threats. These traditional filters have backpressure that often exceeds the capacity of HVAC systems in which they are installed. This is a significant challenge for the majority of DoD installations for example that have older or underpowered HVAC systems. Building occupants are subject to exposure to pathogens originating from contagious fellow occupants or exposure to particulates (asbestos fibers, ultrafine biproducts from diesel exhaust or wildfires). Additionally, high-backpressure filters also use more energy and require frequent filter changes making them more expensive and environmentally unfriendly. We demonstrate a high MERV-rated filter with an advanced electrostatic filtration that shows low backpressure, is energy efficient, can be tuned to perform at a range of filtration levels depending on demand and can be built from recyclable materials. The result is a “smart green” filter that reduces energy use, increases IAQ and eliminates waste from disposal of dirty filters. Central to this capability is the ability to vary the voltage applied to the ionization stage of the filter. In this study, an electrostatic filter is operated with a variable power source set to adjust the filtration level according to a variety of operating algorithms. The resulting energy use is compared to standard air filters. The technology allows in-duct systems to adjust to a range of filtration levels—from MERV 8 to MERV 15—responding in real-time to current air quality conditions and filtration needs. Developed by technologists at the University of Washington, this technology also reduces replacement filter media cost and maintenance. The presentation presents results of a pilot study conducted at the University of Washington which demonstrated: • Low backpressure that can work with any HVAC system. • Filtration efficiency and power consumption were responsively adjusted in real-time to a range of MERV levels to fit current air quality levels or building occupancy levels. • A 50% to 70 % reduction in energy cost. • Continuous, effective air purification with no performance drop off between media changes. • The ability to effectively filter pathogens and the most dangerous ultrafine particles. • Reduced maintenance and filter media cost. Additionally, the presentation will include recent results from studies that use fully recyclable conductive plastic media for the particle collection phase. These advances in electrostatic filtration will improve the health of building occupants while simultaneously reducing energy use and eliminating waste, especially for buildings with older HVAC systems that can’t implement high MERV rated filters due to their increased backpressure. This state-of-the-art filter can help save lives with the ability to kill the COVID-19 virus in just 15 minutes if turned up to full capacity. We can distribute these filters both domestically and internationally to help fight against harmful pathogens, including COVID-19 and asbestos because clean air is a global issue.