US 3483672 A
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Dec; 16, 1969 H. JAHNKE 3,483,572
MEANS FOR ESTABLISHING AN ELECTROSTATIC FIELD IN AN INHABITABLE ENCLOSURE Filed Feb. 26, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig. I
Dec. 16, 1969 H. JAHNKE 3,483,672
MEANS FOR ESTABLISHING AN ELECTROSTATIC FIELD IN AN INHABITABLE ENCLOSURE Filed Feb. 26, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 In van far:
United States Patent 3,483,672 MEANS FOR ESTABLISHING AN ELECTROSTATIC FIELD IN AN INHABITABLE ENCLUSURE Herbert Jahnke, Unterthingau, Allgau, Germany, assignor to Constantin Grat Von Berckheim, Bergstrasse,
Germany Filed Feb. 26, 1968, Ser. No. 708,207 Claims priority, application Germany, Feb. 27, 1967,
Int. Cl. 1563c 3/02 US. Cl. 55---146 21 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An arrangement for establishing an electrostatic field in a room bounded by a ceiling, a floor and side walls. The ceiling, floor and side walls are connected to ground potential. A plurality of discrete electrode plates are suspended from the ceiling adjacent to but with spacing from one another and from the ceiling and the side wall, and these electrode plates are connected to a positive potential. With this arrangement a substantially uniform electrostatic field is obtained.
Background of the invention The present invention relates to the establishing of electrostatic fields, and more particularly to an arrangement for establishing an electrostatic field in an enclosed space. Still more specifically the invention relates to an arrangement for establishing an electrostatic field in a space which is bounded by a peripheral wall including a ceiling and a floor.
For various reasons, including health considerations and the removal of dust, it has been proposed to establish or increase an electrostatic field in rooms. This proposal is applicable to residential dwellings, to public rooms and to commercial rooms alike. Arrangements for carrying out the proposal are already known and consist of a source of high D.C. potential and a so-called ceiling electrode which usually is provided in form of a large plateshaped electrode member having a total area corresponding substantially to the area of the ceiling from which it is suspended. The electrode is, in other words, a continuous member which is so large that it covers substantially the entire ceiling but it does not contact the side walls of the room. Customarily such an electrode, which of course is electrically insulated from the ceiling, is connected to the positive pole of the source of electrical energy whereas the ceiling, the side wall and the floor of the room are connected to ground. This results in the establishment of an electrostatic field between the ceiling electrode and the floor of the room. Unfortunately, this field is not uniform inasmuch as it is strongest at the edges of the ceiling electrode. It is, however, desired that the field be as uniform as possible for the reasons known to these who are conversant with this field.
Where large rooms, and correspondingly large ceilings are involved, the provision of the ceiling electrode as a single member is sometimes impractical from a point of view of transportation and mounting. It is therefore known to subdivide the ceiling electrode into individual plate-shaped electrode members which are then so mounted on the ceiling that they abut one another with their edges so as to provide a continuous electrode surface whose electrical continuity is uninterrupted throughout the entire surface area.
It has already been pointed out that the establishment of a non-uniform electrostatic field, which is strongest in the region of the ceiling-electrode edges, is not desirable. One of the reasons is that the particulate contaminates,
such as dust, contained in the air within the room are of course electrically charged and become deposited on the ceiling electrode. Thus, the arrangements of this type provide the additional benefit of acting as electrical precipitators. Again, however, the precipitation action is dependent upon the characteristic of the electrostatic field which is developed. Where, as is known from the prior art, the electrostatic field is strongest in the region of the edges of the ceiling electrode, the deposition of dust takes place primarily on the marginal Zones of the ceiling electrode whereas the major surface area of the ceiling electrode, located inwardly of these marginal zones, attracts little or no dust and thus contributes little or nothing to the removal of dust from the room atmosphere. In this con nection it has also been found that the electrostatic field which develops between the ceiling electrode and the ceiling from which it is suspended is considerably strongerbecause of the closer proximity of the electrode to the ceilingthan the field which develops between the electrode and the floor of the room. As a result, dust is primarily accumulated on the upper or concealed side of the electrode. This is highly disadvantageous, it being understood that the accumulated dust must be removed from time to time because it inhibits proper functioning of the arrangement. Such removal can be more readily accomplished on the underside of the ceiling electrode, that is the side which faces the interior of the room. It is much more diificult, and in some installations next to impossible, to remove accumulated dust from the upper side of the ceiling electrode, that is the side which faces the ceiling.
It is thus evident that arrangements of the type here under discussion are in need of improvement so as to overcome the aforementioned disadvantages. Accordingly, it is a general object of the present invention to provide such improvements.
A more particular object of the invention is to provide an arrangement of the type under discussion wherein a substantially uniform electrostatic field is provided throughout a room in which the arrangement is installed.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a composite sealing electrode consisting of a plurality of electrode plates which can be mounted on and removed from the ceiling independently of one another for facilitating mspection, cleaning, repair and replacement of individual plates without disturbing the remaining plates.
A further object of the invention is to provide such electrode plates which are expendible so that, rather than requiring expensive and time-consuming cleaning operations which are necessary, particularly if the accumulated particulate material is of sticky or oily characterthe individual electrode plates can be discarded and replaced with inexpensive new ones.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become obvious hereafter.
Summary of the invention In accordance with one feature of my invention I provide an arrangement for establishing an electrostatic field in an enclosed space bounded by a peripheral wall connected to ground potential and including a ceiling portion, such arrangement including a plate electrode connected to a positive potential and being carried by the ceiling portion electrically insulated therefrom. In accordance with my invention the plate electrode is constituted by a plurality of discrete electrode plates which are arranged adjacent to one another but are spaced from each other and from the peripheral wall. By so arranging the individual plate electrodes I obtain a substantially uniform electrostatic field throughout the room provided with my novel arrangement.
The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.
Brief description of the drawing FIG. 1 is a vertical section through a room embodying my invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical section through an individual plate electrode and mounting assembly therefore, as utilized in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a top-plan view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 2.
Description of the preferred embodiments Discussing now the drawing in detail, and firstly FIG. 1 thereof, it will be seen that a room is bounded by a peripheral wall including a bottom wall 2, side walls 3 and a ceiling 4. The entire peripheral wall, including the ceiling, is connected to ground potential. However, instead of connecting these walls to ground potential, or in addition thereto, the floor 2 may have disposed thereon or embedded therein a floor electrode 5 which is illustrated in dashed lines because it is optional.
Mounted on the ceiling 4 are electrically insulating mounting members 6 which will subsequently be de scribed in more detail and to which individual plate or panel electrodes 7 are releasably secured.
The construction of one embodiment of the plate electrodes 7 is shown in FIG. 1 and is still more clearly visible in FIGS. 2 and 3. Each of the plate electrodes 7 may consist entirely of an electrically conductive material, such as metal. Advantageously, however, these plate electrodes are inexpensive enough so as to be expendable under the circumstances outlined earlier. For this reason they may, as illustrated in FIG. 2, consist of a light and inexpensive material such as synthetic plastic material, cardboard or another material having the desired characteristics. This material may either be impregnated in suitable manner so as to become electrically conductive or it may have electrically conductive particles embedded therein. On the other hand it may simply constitute a support, as illustrated in FIG. 2, and may have its underside and, if desired, also its upper side coated or covered with a thin electrically conductive metallic layer or foil 9.
FIG. 1 shows that the individual electrode plates 7 are so mounted on the ceiling 4 that they are spaced from one another as well as from the side walls 3. The spaces between the adjacent electrode plates 7 are indicated by reference numeral and this spaced mounting of the electrode plates results, in effect, in a distribution of the increased field strength observed at the edges of the electrode plates, over the entire area of the room. In other words, the strength of the electrostatic field will still be greatest at the margin zones of each of the individual electrode plates 7. This is a phenomenon which my present invention cannot change. However, there are now many marginal portions and they are distributed over the entire ceiling area, as opposed to prior-art constructions where the ceiling was covered by a single or a composite electrode having electrical continuity so that only the marginal zones adjacent the side walls 3 provided the increased field strength. In the arrangement according to the present invention, however, such increased field strength prevails at the marginal zones of each of the individual electrode plates 7 and the electrostatic field which is obtained in this manner is substantially more uniform than what is known heretofore.
The mounting assemblies for mounting the individual electrode plates 7 on the ceiling 4 are most clearly shown in FIG. 2. It will be seen in this figure that an elongated first portion 6 of electrically insulating material is mounted on the ceiling (compare FIG. 1) which can be accomplished in any desired manner. The downwardly projecting end portion of the portion 6 has mounted thereon one of the electrode plates 7. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 the mounting arrangement for mounting each electrode plate 7 on one of the portions 6 consists in providing a recess in the downwardly extending end portion of the portion 6 which is of substantially spherical configuration and which receives a second portion in form of a split radially expansible ball-shaped member 8. The member 8 can be radially expanded by threading a screw or bolt 18 thereinto, the latter constituting still a third portion, and FIGS. 1 and 2 show that the screw or bolt extends through the respective electrode plate 7 from the underside towards the upper side thereof. As the screw or bolt 18 is tightened, that is as it is threaded deeper into the member 8, the latter expands radially into frictional engagement with the wall portions bounding the substantially spherical recess. This arrangement, which amounts to a ball-and-socket joint, makes it possible to position the electrode plate 7 in desired manner by tilting the member 8 in its socket, and thereupon to fix the electrode plate 7 in the selected position by tightening the screw or bolt 18. Both the screw or bolt 18 and the member 8 are assumed to be electrically conductive and the individual electrode plates 7, or their electrically conductive layers 9 in the illustrated embodiment, are electrically conductively connected with one another. For this purpose a conductor 12 is connected to a screw 11 which is threaded into the portion 6 and makes conductive contact with the electrically conductive member 8. The latter, of course, in electrically conductive connection with the associated electrode plate 7 or its conductive layer 9 via the screw or bolt 18. The conductor 12 connects all of the electrode plates 7 in the same manner and is in turn connected to a source of electrical energy 13 whose other pole is connected via a conductor 14 to ground and/or to the floor electrode 5 if the same is provided. As a protective measure the individual electrode plates 7, or their conductive layers 9 if such are provided, may be connected with the conductor 12 or with one another via high-ohmic resistors 12a. This is of course known and need not be further described.
I have found that it is sufficient to provide only a single mounting arrangement for each of the electrode plates 7. For this purpose it is merely necessary that the mounting arrangement be connected to the associated electrode plate 7 centrally of the same so that the electrode plate is balanced. This serves to reduce the manufacturing costs of the arrangement and also the installation expenses.
Of course, it is desirable that the mounting arrangement be kept free of dust to the maximum feasible extent. For this purpose I prefer to provide a shield means 15 which is electrically conductive and which is conductively connected with the electrode plate 7 or, in the illustrated embodiment, with the conductive layer 9 thereof. The shield means 15 surrounds, as clearly shown in FIG. 2, the portion 6 with spacing and over part of the height thereof. Advantageously, the shield means 15 will extend to substantially half the height of the portion 6 and it serves to reduce the field strength in the vicinity of the portion 6, thus counteracting deposition of the dust or similar particulate material in this region.
I have already indicated that I prefer the electrode plates 7 to be light and inexpensive so that they can be discarded when they become soiled, rather than requiring cleaning. A particularly light and inexpensive construction for this purpose can be achieved by making the electrode plates 7 from thin and inexpensive material and reinforcing them against deformation and bending. This latter can be accomplished by providing ridges or similar projections in the material of the electrode plates themselves, and one possible embodiment is illustrated in the drawing where the marginal portions 16 are bent upwardly and inwardly. FIG. 2 shows this very clearly. Further reinforcement can be provided by utilizing a frame member 17 which may have the construction most clearly evident in FIG. 3 but may be of any other configuration. This frame member may also be of inexpensive light material and in the illustrated embodiment it is the frame member 17 which carries the radially expansible ballshaped member 8. The edge portions of the frame member 17 extend underneath the upwardly and inwardly turned marginal portions 16 of the plate member 7, as is clearly visible in FIG. 2, and are clamped by these marginal portions which latter have some resilience. This greatly facilitates connection of the frame member 17 to the electrode plate 7. Of course, the electrode plate 7 is provided with an aperture through which the screw with bolt 18 can extend from the underside of the electrode plate 7 and into the member 8 so that the same can be radially expanded when necessary. It is important in the illustrated embodiment that the screw or bolt 18 be accessible for manipulation from the exposed side, that is the underside of the electrode plate 7 so as to facilitate ready connection and disconnection of the electrode plate from the portion 6.
It will be appreciated, of course, that various modifications can be made without in any way departing from the intent or scope of the invention. Thus, the connecting arrangement consisting of the members 8 and 18 can be eliminated and the simple snap-action type of coupling can be provided. This may be of any well known type and may either permit tilting of the connected electrode plate 7 to a desired position, as is possible with the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, or it may not permit such adjustment. Another possible coupling arrangement may be of a pushbutton type wherein a button to be pushed is accessible at the exposed or underside of the electrode plate 7 and actuates a release mechanism provided on the portion 6. The actual coupling effect would of course be a snap-action type of coupling. Again, it is not absolutely necessary that the member 18 be accessible from the exposed side of the electrode plate 7. Rather, it could be so provided that with it only the frame 17 and the member 8 are connected to one another so that the frame 17 could be adjusted in its position with respect to the portion 6 by loosening or tightening the screw or bolt 18 in the absence of the electrode plate 7. The electrode plate 7 would then be snapped onto the frame 17 later, and would be removed for replacement by reversing this process whereas the frame 17 would remain coupled to the portion 6 at all times.
It will be appreciated that with the present invention the individual electrode plates 7 can be mounted on and moved from the ceiling 4 separately and at will without affecting any of the adjacent plates 7. Thus, only those plates 7 need be removed for cleaning or for replacement with new plates which have received a particularly heavy accumulation of particulate material whereas the other plates can remain in position until they themselves have accumulated the maximum permissible amount of particulate material.
It will be appreciated that the considerable increase in the overall length of available marginal zones, in the region of which the field strength is highest as explained before, results in increased removal of dust and other particulate material from the room atmosphere. It will also be appreciated that the spacing of the electrode plates 7 from one another makes it possible to readily clean the otherwise concealed upper side of each of the electrode plates 7, assuming now that the spacing is sufficiently large to permit access to the upper side without demounting the individual electrode plates and further assuming that the electrode plates are not of the disposable type. Of course, the invention provides for mounting of the electrode plates 7 in such a manner that they can be readily removed in any case and at any desired time.
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:
1. In an arrangement for establishing an electrostatic field in an enclosed habitable space bounded by a peripheral wall connected to a ground potential and including a ceiling portion, and a plate electrode connected to a potential and being carried by said ceiling portion electrically insulated therefrom, the improvement consisting in said plate electrode comprising a plurality of discrete electrode panels each having a major surface facing the interior of said space, said panels being arranged adjacent to but with spacing from one another and from said wall, whereby to obtain a substantially uniform electrostatic field throughout said space; and a plurality of mounting assemblies each associated with one of said electrode panels, each of said mounting assemblies including one electrically conductive portion carried by said ceiling portion and connected to said potential and an other electrically conductive portion conductively secured to the respective electrode panel and releasably connecting the same to said one electrically conductive portion, whereby each of said electrode panels may be mounted on and removed from said ceiling portion independently of the other electrode panels.
2. In an arrangement as defined in claim 1, wherein said electrode panels are disposable and each comprise a thin supporting layer of sheet material.
3. In an arrangement as defined in claim 2, wherein said sheet material is a synthetic plastic material.
4. In an arrangement as defined in claim 2, wherein said sheet material is cardboard.
5. In an arrangement as defined in claim 2, wherein said sheet material is electrically non-conductive, said electrode panels further comprising a cover layer of electrically conductive material carried by said sheet material.
6. In an arrangement as defined in claim 5, wherein said sheet material has a first side facing towards said ceiling portion and a second side facing away therefrom, and wherein said cover layer is provided on said second side.
7. In an arrangement as defined in claim 6, wherein said cover layer is also provided on said first side.
8. In an arrangement as defined in claim 7, and further comprising an electrically conductive frame structure located at said one side overlying said cover layer and being conducted to said electrode panel for stiffening the same.
9. In an arrangement as defined in claim 7, wherein each of said mounting assemblies further includes an elongated electrically insulating portion having a connected end secured to said ceiling portion projecting therefrom and a free end, said one electrically conductive portion being provided on said free end and said first side facing said electrically insulating portion; and further comprising electrically conductive shielding means provided at said first side of said electrode panel and surrounding said electrically insulating portion with spacing and extending from said free end towards said connected end, said shielding means being conductively connected with said cover layer.
10. In an arrangement as defined in claim 2, and further comprising stiffening means provided on the respective electrode panels.
11. In an arrangement as defined in claim 10, wherein said stiffening means comprises a profiled portion of said supporting layer.
12. In an arrangement as defined in claim 10, wherein said supporting layer comprises marginal circumferential portions, and wherein said marginal circumferential portions are bent to said one side of said supporting layer and constitute said stiffening means.
13. In an arrangement as defined in claim 10, wherein said supporting layer comprises marginal circumferential portions bent to said one side of said supporting layer; and wherein said stiffening means comprises a frame structure located at said one side of said supporting layer and engaging said marginal circumferential portions thereof.
14. In an arrangement as defined in claim 13, wherein said marginal circumferential portions are inclined inwardly towards one another and are resiliently deflectable, and wherein said frame structure overlies said one side of said supporting layer and comprises sections clampingly engaged by said resiliently deflectable marginal circumferential portions.
15. In arrangement for establishing an electrostatic field in an enclosed habitable space bounded by a peripheral wall connected to a ground potential and including a ceiling portion, and a plate electrode connected to a positive potential and being carried by said ceiling portion electrically insulated therefrom, the improvement consisting in said plate electrode comprising a plurality of discrete electrode panels each having a major surface facing the interior of said space, said panels being arranged adjacent to but with spacing from one another and from said Wall, whereby to obtain a substantially uniform electrostatic field throughout said space; and a plurality of mounting assemblies each associated with one of said electrode panels, each of said mounting assemblies including an electrically insulating first portion carried by said ceiling portion, an electrically conductive second portion carried by said first portion and connected to a positive potential, and an electrically conductive third portion conductively secured to the respective electrode panel and releasably connecting the same to said second portion, whereby each of said electrode panels may be mounted on and removed from said ceiling portion independently of the other electrode panels.
16. In an arrangement as defined in claim 15, wherein each of said mounting assemblies is connected with the respective electrode panel substantially centrally of the latter so that the same is mounted on the associated mounted assembly in balanced condition.
17. In an arrangement as defined in claim 15, wherein said first portion is provided with a substantially spherical socket, said second portion being configurated as a radially expansible ball member received in said socket and constituting a ball joint with the same; and wherein said third portion engages said electrode panel and said second portion and is operative for effecting radial expansion of the same at the will of a user into tight frictional engagement with said first portion, to thereby enable arresting of said second portion in said socket in a desired angular position.
18. In an arrangement as defined in claim 17, wherein said electrode panel has a first side facing toward the associated mounting assembly and said ceiling portion and being concealed by the latter, and a second side facing away from both; and wherein said third portion is a screw member extending from said second side through said electrode panel into engagement with said second portion and being operable from said second side for effecting expansion of said second portion.
19. In an arrangement as defined in claim 15, wherein said second and third portions matingly engage one another.
20. In an arrangement as defined in claim 19, wherein said second and third portions engage one another with snap action.
21. In an arrangement as defined in claim 19, wherein said second and third portions frictionally engage one another.
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HARRY B. THORNTON, Primary Examiner DENNIS E. TALBERT, JR., Assistant Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.