Patent Number: 6,167,107

Title: Air pump for particle sensing using regenerative fan, and associated methods

Abstract: The invention includes a particle sensor with a particle counter. A regenerative blower pulls ambient air into a flow within the particle counter, and a laser illuminates the flow to generate laser radiation indicative of particles within the flow. A detector detects the laser radiation; and particle sensing electronics counts particles within the flow at a preselected volumetric flow rate, e.g., 1 CFM. Preferably, the particle counter includes a plurality of pressure sensors; and a blower speed voltage controller adjusts the speed of the blower according to signals from the pressure sensors to achieve the preselected volumetric flow rate. The regenerative blower permits use of a high efficiency exhaust filter to filter air exhausted from the blower. An airflow path between the particle counter and the regenerative blower preferably has at least one bend between the particle counter and the blower to increase compactness of the system. An aerosol manifold can be connected for fluid communication with an inlet of the particle counter such that the regenerative blower draws air from the manifold at the preselected volumetric flow rate. The manifold samples ambient atmospheric air at a second CFM rate, e.g., 3 CFM, that is greater than the preselected volumetric flow rate. A turbomolecular pump can replace the regenerative blower for high pressure differential particle sensing environments.

Inventors: Bates; Thomas (Westminster, CO)

Assignee: Particle Measuring Systems, Inc.

International Classification: G01N 1/22 (20060101); G01N 15/02 (20060101); G01N 1/24 (20060101); G01N 1/26 (20060101); G06M 011/02 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2017