Electronic Filter Monitoring

News and information about the Neato XV-11 Robotic Vacuum. All discussion and troubleshooting questions go here.

Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » July 22nd, 2012, 8:23 pm

Dryer Sheet Effect on Air Flow

Using internal USB vacuum current, and difference from closed intake 644ma as measure of air flow, a used Pet filter has base line 886ma, and when covered by a new dryer sheet 859ma. This adds up to an 11 per cent drop in air flow from adding the dryer sheet.

A washed or used dryer sheet, with chemicals removed, had no reduction in air flow.
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » February 16th, 2013, 12:47 am

Another Asian Hepa Filter Test

Using the new filter monitor circuit (see Worn Battery Indicator Light http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=16210), air flow is measured as differential vacuum current relative to closed intake, as per cent of an unused original Neato filter.

Unused Hepa Filter: Airflow 95 per cent of maximum.
After cleaning 500 sq yds, airflow 50 per cent of maximum.
The filter is then cleaned with a vacuum pressing the uncovered hose (no attachments, for maximum suction) on the filter. Surface dirt is not the target -- invisible imbedding in the filter is the object, needing reverse flow through the material.
After vacuuming filter: airflow restored partially to 83 per cent maximum flow. That's 87 per cent of the original 95 airflow, pretty good.
This is more in line with previous results for Neato filters and replaces the unusual test reports where the HEPA restored over 100 per cent of its original state.
These filters are much cheaper than factory filters, and if hold up, look like the best choice for this component.
What remains to test is how fully the flow can be restored with repeated restorations over extended use. This will take a few weeks to determine. Springtime. Maybe that's what divides the real filters from the counterfits.

edit: filter is brushed off after each of several runs, but vacuumed only after several.
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » March 13th, 2013, 7:44 pm

Asian Hepa Filter -- 2nd cycle

Area cleaned .. Start Airflow .. End Airflow .. Vacuumed Airflow
--------------- .. --------------- .. ------------- .. --------------------
. 500 sq yds ........ 95% ......... 50 ................ 83
1000 sq yds ......... 83 .......... 45 ................ 77

Doubtful good more than 2000 sq yds. unless stabilizes. 1500 sq ft house done 3 times a week 500 yds/week, one month use. Low unit price must be raised by frequency of replacement. Durability of other filters required for comparison.

[edit] continuing to monitor this filter and will see if measurements over time are consistent and not just instrument error (hobbyist circuits after all). might as well use it till it wears out. Another cycle in about a week.

Also, Neato doesn't necessarily clean less with a slightly more clogged filter; some minimal airflow may be sufficient. Measuring dirt extraction takes way too many resources, such as a consistent supply of dirt to start with. Exactly how Neato can make claims such as "picks up 50 per cent more" is not very clear. No photos of their elaborate testing facility have been seen, or even a description of the methods. Personal experience shows it works, and has the basic equipage to do that sort of thing, air exhaust etc. These studies may help narrow down some of the details.
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » April 8th, 2013, 12:24 am

Asian Hepa Filter -- 3rd cycle
Area cleaned .. Start Airflow .. End Airflow .. Vacuumed Airflow
--------------- .. --------------- .. ------------- .. --------------------
. 500 sq yds ........ 95% ......... 50 ................ 83
1000 sq yds ......... 83 .......... 45 ................ 77
1500 sq yds ......... 77 .......... 35 ................ 65

Some carpet fibers stick very tightly to the filter surface and won't vacuum off. Still may not block fine particles. Theory is hepa filters trap finest particles in a way they cannot be vacuumed out, inherent in that kind of filtering. You don't restore air cleaner filters. Goal is to know when to replace them.

Dyson vacuums have a washable thick sponge hepa filter which receives only fine particles, the rest extracted by centrifuge effects. No room for such in small robots.
Last edited by glnc222 on April 8th, 2013, 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby invenio » April 8th, 2013, 10:12 am

What kind of vacuum did you use to clean the filter off. I was using a battery operated hand vac with the neato standard filter but I found that does not adequately clean Vic's HEPA filter. I have been using a standard plug in 13 amp vacuum to clean Vic's Hepa filter and that seems to really get the particles out of the accordion style filter. I figure this will have a significant effect on airflow at the next start of the run.
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » April 8th, 2013, 12:26 pm

What kind of vacuum did you use to clean the filter off.

Dyson full size, no attachment, hose opening flat on the filter, strong pull sensible reverse air flow.
Every filter different, this one above is cheap. Someone else just reported very long life on Vic's, with washing maybe? Other thread. So much unknown about filters. Next the Pet filter.
Also depends on how much dirt to pick up each time, where and how premises used. Near a coal mine?
[edit] possible the fiber's stuck are some of the filter material itself. hard to say. The pet filter has a distinctly slick surface, similar to Roomba filters.
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby JEfromCanada » April 8th, 2013, 8:16 pm

glnc222 wrote:Someone else just reported very long life on Vic's, with washing maybe? Other thread. So much unknown about filters.


It was I that talked about the long-lasting filter from Vic. And when it was about a year old, I tried placing it into the dishwasher one time. I had been warned not to, as this would interfere with the static-charge inherent in the filter, but I figured, at that age, what could it hurt.

I suppose putting a paper filter through a dishwasher wasn't my best-ever decision, but thank goodness, it remained intact; and I never tried that again.
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Neato XV-11 SW version 3.1.17844, LDS version 2.6.15295, with Pet Brush and Vic's filter (sold)
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby vic7767 » April 8th, 2013, 8:54 pm

I've read on the forum that lots of Neato HEPA filters are being cleaned by using a vacuum cleaner either portable or upright. I invested in a small air compressor from Sears and use that to clean the HEPA filter as well as the internals of the Neato. Of course this cleaning effort is accomplished outside.
Roomba and Neato Mods, come visit: http://www.vic7767.com/

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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » April 8th, 2013, 11:21 pm

using a battery operated hand vac

Battery operated vac's have almost no power, kind of fake in my opinion. Shark has a really small hand vac plugs into the wall, very loud and strong, inexpensive, small to keep convenient near at hand, even in a drawer.

[edit]hope it is clear all these measurements can be done with USB data voltage and vacuum current, properly massaged. But you know what they say about statistics...
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby a4refillpad » April 10th, 2013, 7:44 pm

I use a handheld Dyson with the brush attachment . The pet filter comes out very clean.
current bots: Clebo Arte, Vorwerk VR-100 (one broken one new), Neato XV-25, Neato XV-12, Roomba 564, Evo Mint 2, Roomba 770, Hauzen VC-RE70V, Samsung SR8980, Karcher RC3000, Robomow RL350 (lawnmower)
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » April 29th, 2013, 8:07 pm

Asian Hepa Filter -- 4th cycle
Area cleaned .. Start Airflow .. End Airflow .. Vacuumed Airflow
--------------- .. --------------- .. ------------- .. --------------------
. 500 sq yds ........ 95% ......... 50 ................ 83
1000 sq yds ......... 83 .......... 45 ................ 77
1500 sq yds ......... 77 .......... 35 ................ 65
2000 sq yds ......... 65 .......... 35 ................ 56

Still picking up fairly well. The Ending low number reflects accumulation during use, while the higher second number reflects the permanent clogging with finest particles, not removed by vacuuming the filter (with a full size machine). The filter was only brushed clean every use till vacuumed every 500 sq yds.

Pet & Allergy Filter
Beginning analysis of the Pet & Allergy filter with more precise methods based on vacuum power wattage instead of current. Battery voltage under load differs from the stopped unit.

Blocked intake: Loaded battery voltage 15.779v; Vacuum current .604 Amps; 9.53 Watts
Original Filter: ........................... 15.360v .................. 1.047 Amps; 16.08 Watts
New Pet Filter: ........................... 15.412v .................. 1.087 Amps; 16.75 Watts
Differential wattage relative to closed intake, per cent of Original filter: 110 per cent.

In a few weeks will be able to compare 2000yds data for the Pet filter with the Asian HEPA filter.
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » July 11th, 2013, 4:02 pm

Pet & Allergy Filter results
Pre-vacuuming filter boosted initial air flow. Low traffic, light cleaning load environment affects results.

Area cleaned .. Start Airflow .. End Airflow .. Vacuumed Airflow
--------------- .. --------------- .. ------------- .. --------------------
. 500 sq yds ........ 117% ........ 76 ................105
1000 sq yds ......... 105%........ 59 ................. 92
1500 sq yds .......... 92 ......... 43 ................. 69
2000 sq yds .......... 69 ......... 44 ................. 69

Comparison with Asian Hepa filter
Post-cleaning Vacuumed Airflow
Area Cleaned .. Asian Hepa .. Pet & Allergy
--------------- .. -------------- .. ---------------
. 500 sq yds ......... 83 .............. 105
1000 sq yds ......... 77 ............... 92
1500 sq yds ......... 65 ............... 69
2000 sq yds ......... 56 ............... 69

The minimum airflow needed for pickup isn't known. Starting at 50 per cent is a possible standard for disposal.

Street prices: Original $1.62, Asian Hepa $5, Pet $6.75 (each, in 4-6 pack) includes shipping.
See Robot-Doc.com for highest quality Hepa filters not tested.

[edit] a circuit for displaying these measures using led's in a vent slot, "Filter Airflow Display Mod", is at http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=17188
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » September 11th, 2013, 7:45 pm

Pet & Allergy Filter -- washing

Area cleaned .. Start Airflow .. End Airflow .. Vacuumed Airflow (per cent of Neato Original filter)
0 sq yds ................................................... 110
1000 sq yds ............ 110 ........... 76 .............. 105
2000 sq yds ............ 105 ........... 43 ............... 69
3000 sq yds .............. 69 ........... 51 ............... 76
4000 sq yds .............. 76 ........... 34 ............... 49
After washing the filter ................................... 79 (plain water back flush)
vacuuming each run: running ends 20-30 each time, restored by vacuuming.
5000 sq yds .............. 79 ........... 20 ............... 52 ....after washed: 80

filter quality testing trick
Though impractical here, the quality -- fineness -- of the filter might be tested using two back to back. If the front one is effective it should protect the rear one. Attach to a regular vacuum for high flow with a large supply of dirt to test -- the impractical part. Still no lab instruments.
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » October 7th, 2013, 10:11 pm

Anemometer Measurements

A palm sized $10 fan anemometer reads as low as 70 ft/min, and was applied to the Neato exhaust.
Professional HVAC work uses precision solid state hotwire meters costing $200, for ducts etc. These cheap ones are adequate for home central air maintenance. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008407TNO/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
anemometer.jpg
anemometer readings of Neato air flow

With a new original Neato filter installed exhaust velocity is 1060 ft/min. Exhaust is concentrated in the area between the charging contacts, about 2 square inches, giving a conservative estimate of flow rate at 15 cubic feet per minute at the 100 per cent point on the scale used with the fan power consumption. Maybe a bit more accounting for leakage farther along the grill. [edit] a post on another obscure robot I think mentioned Neato's fan might be rated at 25 cuft/min unobstructed. Consistent with 15 cfm with filter.

Exhaust from a Dyson regular vacuum with head pressed to carpet travels 3200 ft/min, with an area of 4-6 sq inches, up to 135 cubic feet per minute. All these measurements are rough estimates with casual procedures.
This rate is also with a substantial pressure gradient or suction power, compared to a room ventilation fan.
[edit] compare 1200 watts power for a regular vacuum to Neato's 12 watt fan. Not bad for 1 per cent.

Neato exhaust velocity varies as low as 373 ft/min at 20 per cent on the power consumption scale.
As this is 35 per cent of the 100 point on the power scale, not the same 20 per cent on the direct air flow scale, there is some nonlinearity in the fan power. There is also an apparent electrical nonlinearity in that for higher flow rates, lower battery voltages requirer higher than proportional current increases. This may be due to the pulse modulation methods used to regulate the motor, altering power transmitted in each pulse. It also appears to have diminishing returns at the higher direct air flows, with less increase for additional added power.

Nevertheless, the electrical power consumption turns out an adequate measure of the actual air flow and degree of clogging in the filter (due to constant RPM of the fan compared to regular vacuums). What is not known precisely is how air flow changes affect cleaning effectiveness. It still seems to pick up dirt when air flow is down to 20-30 per cent. Filters starting at 60 fall to 30 over the course of a single run. How much dirt is picked up is still the question. Neato doesn't suck dirt up so much as brush it up and capture the suspension. Improved performance on carpet can be due to a larger and faster beater or brush as much as fan power. The Vorwerk model runs the brush 33 per cent faster than Neato's.

The point where vacuuming the used filter does not restore the air flow above 50 per cent seems a good candidate for replacing the filter. Washing improves this, but I'd rather try washing to prevent reaching this level in the first place.

A new series of tests have started with a new filter which will be washed every 500 sq yds besides vacuuming frequently, to see how long the higher air flow levels can be maintained.
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » November 16th, 2013, 10:18 pm

Filter Washing Results
(hydrological reconstitution of particulate barriers)
Code: Select all
Per Cent of Initial Airflow -- Neato Pet & Allergy Filter
               Vacuuming Only          Vacuuming+Washing
               Start       End         Start        End
500  sq yds    100          90          100         103
1000 sq yds     90          79          103          88
1500 sq yds     79          59           88          88
2000 sq yds     59          59           88          75


backflush.jpg
back flush procedure


(drying can be hastened warmed under a lamp, not over 120f; ovens at lowest temp will still warp thermoplastic)

Larger Filter Area Needed

Never filling the bin here would prefer a larger filter area for longer life. I also find the filter clogs up considerably during each run (after which vacuumed). It would appear area can be doubled by assembling two supplied filters as sides of a triangle pointing into the bin. This would be especially important with ultra fine HEPA filters. Will have to see what can be done with supplied filter frames.

doublefilter.jpg

doublefilter2.jpg
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » November 18th, 2013, 2:01 am

doubled filter
Two Asian Hepa Filters combined
doublehepa.jpg

Ariflow New:
Single filter -- electronic 121, anemometer 934 ft/m, 13 cfm
Dual filter ---- electronic 136, anemometer 1152 ft/m, 16 cfm
Increase per cent -- electronic 12%, anemometer 23%

Excessive flow increase would imply reductions in run time from increased fan loads, absent with this. New Pet & Allergy filters went up this far. They quickly clog up to a lower loading.

Several weeks required to measure performance difference, clogging during single runs etc.

Difficult to fit; required a spatula to insert. Best use the double length fan folds. With the proper frame might be easier to make, though can be hard to cut material from the supplied frame. The Neato Pet filter has an interior frame around the filter lacking in these from Singapore, assembly implications not clear.
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby JEfromCanada » November 18th, 2013, 2:33 am

Although these dual filters increase the effective surface area, I have concerns that the airflow, no longer traveling perpendicular to the "V" folds in the filter, will result in more particles being deposited on one side of the "V" fold than the other. This could result in uneven wear on the filter.

Also, with the filters intruding so far into the space, the capacity of the dustbin is dramatically reduced.
Current robots:
Roomba Discovery 4210 (R.I.P. - Freecycled)
Roomba 560 (retired)
Neato XV-11 SW version 3.1.17844, LDS version 2.6.15295, with Pet Brush and Vic's filter (sold)
Neato Botvac 80 SW version 1.1.97, LDS version 2.6.15295, Board SW version 22753
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » November 18th, 2013, 3:40 am

I agree. This triangle job is just to test with some cheap filters on hand, see if anything more is worthwhile. The Pet filter is of a different consistency compared to this tightly packed fluffy sort of stuff. The Pet seems to have a plastic substrate which might be sufficient by itself to stand out when folded out in double length, with no additional supports, assembling the material from two on one frame. This may not be practical for use but will find out whether this is what suppliers should make; issue would only be assembly. Much less reduction in bin space this way, per second diagram above, and should fit much better installing.

If one side of the triangle clogs up first, airflow might redirect to the other side. Just going to find out.
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » November 18th, 2013, 4:10 pm

Running the doubled HEPA filter new reduced run time to 47min from usual 60 triggering a mid-run recharge normally avoided, for a small bit left over. But the air flow remains high throughout the run. Maybe 50 per cent more area more optimal. Lots of complications in these things. Just getting the original design of the machine is noteworthy. Only a few subtleties remain to refine.

[edit] masking tape over 1/4 of the V-tip area will adjust to 1.5 instead of 2.0 x original area for experiments.
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Re: Electronic Filter Monitoring

Postby glnc222 » November 19th, 2013, 5:04 pm

1.5 X Area HEPA filter

[edit]Botvac -- the filters are the same narrow height but twice as wide, for the materials shown below[/b]

Cutting off 1/4 of the V shape and regluing, power reduced only to 126 from 136 2X area. A new Pet filter reads 134. At this level motor voltage drops below 16v and current goes over 1 amp. The run time or battery charge is only a matter of current, and run time is reduced at these levels. About 2ah charge is available to run. A 300ma additional load can reduce the run time 10 per cent or several minutes.

Furnace Filter Material -- 3M Filtrete passive electrostatic

Furnace/AC filters available in different fineness, rated by MRP or MERV ratings, highest sold for allergen extraction. I have concerns the highest can clog up quickly in HVAC use wearing the blower, and lacking allergies use the mid-range. (HVAC - heating, ventilation, air conditioning). Separate HEPA filter units can also be used, designed for the higher level of extraction.
furnace.jpg
electrostatic allergy furnace filter

A medium allergy graded 10 MERV or 1000 filter being tried with Neato. Supplied pleated 20x25" $10, in store brand or 3M branded "micro allergen" filter, stretched out can supply up to 70 flat Neato size pieces 2" x 4 3/8" -- a year's supply for Neato's replacing every week. Doubtful these can be washed due to electrostatic chemicals. Comes with wide fine wire mesh cuts with scissors -- so can be custom pleated if more area desired. Flat easily installs in the bin without glue using a tissue paper retaining/sealing wrap (replaced every time emptied; slit for the frame bottom tabs). The 3M material provides finer filtration than tissue alone. Good for 90 days in HVAC use, so will see how long good in floor care. The non-allergen rated forms are extremely cheap at around $3 for the large sheets.
The Micro Allergen grade with double ply tissue shows air flow measure 99, effectively same as a new original type Neato filter defining the 100 scale level, consistent with longest run times. Issue will be how long it lasts -- if it can last at least a full week of possibly daily use, all it needs. Will take a while to find out.
The material comes glued to a cardboard cross hatch frame but seems to pull off the smaller strips at least; edges must be cut off.
If these work, savings over 5$ Hepa and $8 Pet filters add to a good part of the unavoidable annual battery replacements.
furnaceneato.jpg
furnace filter in Neato with tissue retainer


A double width filter detail http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?p=121061#p121061
Image
Image
Covered with two-ply facial tissue gives airflow ranging from 100 to 50 over a 50 minute run on carpet, and the tissue does almost all the work, replacing every run. My best recommendation after testing all the alternatives.

[edit]Used in several runs totaling over 1000 sq yds replacing tissue each run, shows no reduction in air flow or any discoloration of the filter material. Seems like tissue is doing all the work. Some people used tissue over Neato's official filters, but I found the air flow lower with those when tissued if I recall. I may never have to clip another piece from the furnace sheet. No filter washing (with tedious drying). Still there's not too much dirt in these premises, so limited test. But better than any other one examined. It does reduce the bin volume, which doesn't matter here.
Last edited by glnc222 on November 9th, 2014, 12:54 am, edited 5 times in total.
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