The objective of this study was the development of a new test method for portable indoor air cleaners.
A test rig has been designed and built for the measurement of the initial intrinsic performances of portable indoor air cleaners. Test contaminant concentrations (inert particles, gases, cat allergens and microorganisms) are measured upstream and downstream of the air cleaner under test in order to calculate its filtration efficiency. The air flow rate is also measured and finally the clean air delivery rate (CADR) can be calculated (filtration efficiency multiplied by the air flow rate).
Tests of two different air cleaners have shown very good repeatability. The air flow rates were generally lower than those announced by the manufacturers and the filtration efficiency against gases (toluene) was very low (less than 5 %).
A new test method for the measurement of the intrinsic performances of portable air cleaners, whatever the filtration techniques they use, has been developed and validated. The experimental French standard AFNOR XP B44-200 has been published in May 2011. Once the tests have been carried out, the clean air delivery rate (CADR) can be announced and the intermediate byproducts, when they exist, are identified. The availability of this standard will allow to assess and to compare the air cleaners available on the market. Also, this new method solves the problems met with the use of the existing standardised test methods.
Finally, the experimental French standard XP B44-200 could be used as a basis for the development of an international standard.