Cleanrooms are utilized in electronics, semiconductor, aerospace, pharmaceutical, automotive, optical, medical device, and food processing facilities where air cleanliness is required to prevent defects in high-tech or high-value products. Compared to general commercial space, cleanrooms typically use 5 to 50 times the energy for the same area. One key reason is the high volume of conditioned and filtered air required to make the room air cleaner, which is measured in room-average particle concentration.
The technology in this study uses real-time continuous particle sensors as feedback signals to automatically adjust fan speed. The system can modulate fan speed and provide the correct amount of airflow into the cleanroom to prevent over-supply and save energy. In typical manufacturing cleanrooms, the unoccupied state (evenings and weekends) is approximately two times longer than the occupied state (operational work hours), and particle generation (from personnel, equipment, and process) is much lower during the unoccupied state. Limited components and parts are required to apply the technology in this study into the design of a new cleanroom or to integrate the technology into existing cleanroom fan systems.