Technology Takes Over the Great Outdoors

Outdoor Electronic Kiosks


Technology can be found virtually everywhere. We personally rely on it for so many aspects of our lives. And now, places you wouldn’t associate with technology are adopting ways to incorporate it – like zoos and parks. Outdoor technology like digital screens, and kiosks for ordering food, charging your electric car, or paying for parking are showing up everywhere. Touch screen kiosks are used on college campuses, at zoos and in cities to help visitors navigate the grounds.

While some outdoor kiosks like ATMs and parking garage kiosks have partial shelters, most bear the full impact of Mother Nature, making the design, construction and materials of great import. In the southwest, kiosks can be exposed to harsh, dry, desert heat while in the northeast, they deal with bitter winds and freezing temperatures. The extreme climates mean the kiosk needs to be durable, waterproof and sun-proof.

Location Matters


In New York’s five boroughs, you don’t have to go far to find LinkNYC, a communications network looking to replace the pay phone. Each Link provides high speed, free public Wi-Fi, phone calls, device charging and a tablet for access to city services, maps and directions. The kiosk is also equipped with two 55” high definition digital screens used for public service announcements and advertising. LinkNYC machines are located out on the streets of New York, exposed to humidity, wind, snow, and all of the vehicle and building exhaust smogging up the city.

Drive thru menu board kiosks are constantly exposed to blowing dirt, rain, and snow. Since the digital menu boards are outside on hot days with the sun beating down and vehicle exhaust, keeping the intake air free from harsh debris is essential for the ordering systems to operate reliably. The electronic displays must be clean and cool for optimal customer experience and maximizing restaurant profits.

Aside from the outdoor drive-thru kiosks, quick service restaurants have installed self-service kiosks inside many of their restaurants. While the outdoor kiosks contend with weather and car exhaust, the indoor versions manage the greasy indoor air from the fryers, along with dirt and dust customers bring in through opening doors or track in on their shoes. Keeping the kiosks farther from the kitchen can help with the greasy air, but customers will never stop bringing in dirt, dust, and dander that needs to be managed for the kiosk to function efficiently.

Rental car companies have incorporated self-service kiosks, which can be located inside airports, in a parking garage, or even outside in the rental parking lot. A partially enclosed parking garage will mean the kiosk needs to withstand the weather, but also withstand regular exposure to car exhaust and normal buildup of dirt. Enclosures need to protect inner circuitry from the elements and prevent water from pooling anywhere on the unit.

A slope-side ATM not only needs to keep the snow out of its circuitry, but it needs to withstand the fluctuating temperatures of the mountain.

Universal Air Filter’s OSP filters have been keeping interactive kiosks clean, dry and cool for years. The new OSP Series 2 filters deliver the same superior protection manufacturers have relied on but now delivers improved air flow and pressure drop that performs better than current industry standards. Click here to get more information about solutions for protection complex electronics or to contact an air filtration expert.

Filtration Group and Universal Air Filter are committed to making the world safer, healthier and more productive.

Young woman buying a ticket for public transport at the automatic machine.

Convenient options for buying tickets at the station.

Design Considerations for Touch Screen Kiosks    

Electric Vehicles in the Workplace: New Regulations, Cost Savings and Charging Demands

Cities around the world have begun to employ electric buses for their public transportation fleets

2020 Diesel Fuel Regulation

The 2020 new diesel fuel regulations are the biggest change in global fuel regulations since the 1995 total ban on leaded gas. The new diesel regulations are the result of a United Nations IMO subcommittee that sets rules for shipping safety, security and pollution. Beginning in January, 2020, the global sulphur cap on fuel content will be 0.5%, down significantly from 3.5%. Ships will start to move to a different fuel type. And with their consumption around 3 million barrels a day, that move will put them in direct competition for fuel with truckers, railroads, airlines, and owners of heavy equipment. The financial impact of this new regulation along with the environmental impact of their emissions has more companies looking at alternative ways to fuel their vehicles while keeping their businesses running efficiently.

Electric Vehicles to Combat Rising Fuel Costs

Diesel engines are proven durable and efficient, but their consumption of diesel fuel, a blend of petroleum components, can produce some pollutants. A small amount of the fuel exits the engine unburned and these airborne hydrocarbons can form larger particles in the atmosphere when they contact airborne dust and other particles. Electric Vehicles (EV) offer a company cost savings in reduced fuel and maintenance costs. Anti-idling regulations come with penalties – EVs can offer regulatory savings in this area. With zero fuel emissions, the health benefits of electric is yet another reason to switch. Electricity is also considered an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Electricity can be produced from a variety of energy sources, including oil, coal, nuclear energy, hydropower, natural gas, wind energy, solar energy, and stored hydrogen. Plug-in electric vehicles are capable of drawing electricity from off-board electrical power sources (generally the electricity grid) and storing it in batteries. Though not yet widely available, fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to generate electricity onboard the vehicle. EVs aren’t only passenger vehicles either. There are indoor EVs that are forklifts and floor scrubbers. There are outdoor EVs that patrol parking lots and truck merchandise across country.

Electric Vehicles in the Great Outdoors

Outdoor electric vehicles can be anything from forklifts and excavators to a security robot patrolling a parking lot or local bus lines moving people. Every industry is seeing an increase in EV options for every area of their business. FedEx and Amazon are looking at delivery robots. DHL adds new EV cargo delivery vans to its fleet annually. The trucking industry is transforming from diesel fuel-based to electric-powered. And the e-truck market is expected to climb at a 30% compound annual growth rate by 2026 as a result.

Metropolises Adopt Electric Buses

In 2018, 5% of city buses registered in Western Europe and Poland were battery-electric buses. In the US, the number of EV buses is 300 for the whole country. But many cities are starting to step into the electric vehicle game. The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) placed an order for six all-electric 40’ Proterra Catalyst E2 electric buses with 440 kWh battery packs and three 60 kW Proterra plug-in chargers. The buses are set to replace six diesel buses and will eliminate more than 23 million pounds of greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions over the 12-year life of the vehicles.

Electric Vehicles take on Heavy Equipment

New technology can help reduce emissions and improve the daily life for those in the work zone. One company with just that as their goal is Caterpillar. Caterpillar is developing electric forklifts, excavators, and dozers. With Pon Equipment, Caterpillar has recently unveiled a 26 ton excavator with a 300 kWh battery pack. This is the first time an excavator of this size has been converted to battery-electric. The powertrain also includes an almost silent 122 kW electric motor. The design of the excavator is meant to withstand rough movements, and a lot of them. The battery capacity generally produces 5 to 7 useful hours with an overnight charge – just like an average workday. One Norwegian construction company employing these electric excavators estimates a reduction in their CO2 emissions by 52 tons. Another benefit to electric is the reduction to both air and noise pollution – something both employees and passersby can appreciate. If every Norwegian construction company replaced their excavators with an electric one, the emissions result would be the same as if 60,000 cars were removed from the road.

Autonomous Driving Unit

Another company in the EV game is Baidu. Baidu is looking to use technology to dramatically reduce traffic accidents, relieve traffic jams, and improve transportation efficiency. Baidu functions with world-class capabilities in AI, deep learning, big data, advanced hardware, and high def maps. The business side of Baidu forms strategic alliances with car manufacturers, tier one suppliers, insurance companies, and government entities. And the technology side is building all aspects of the company’s capabilities, e.g., sensing, localization, perception, planning, control, operating system, simulation, security and related hardware components. With a goal to commercialize autonomous driving by 2018 and begin mass production by 2020, Baidu’s Autonomous Driving Unit (ADU) is capable of sensing and navigating without human input.

Electric Vehicles in the Form of Security Robots

Reducing crime nearly 100% on loading docks and in warehouse parking lots, Knightscope security robots provide people and license plate detection, eye-level 360o HD video streaming and recording, thermal anomaly detection, live and custom audio broadcast, and remote monitoring. Knightscope security robots are an incredibly effective means to keep your site patrolled and safe. Moving at a speeds around 3 mph, these sophisticated bots even autonomously recharge themselves when needed. The outdoor K5, the indoor K3, the stationary K1, and the forthcoming multi-terrain K7, all offer similar security functions, but for very different external environments. UAF’s moisture-resistant, cleanable filters meet applicable enclosure-level standards like MIL-STD, NEMA, and IP ratings. Functioning in both indoor and outdoor locations means the robots incur exposure to all elements. The precision of this system and its equipment requires crucial protection and advanced filtration solutions. Filters from Illinois’ Universal Air Filter provide Knightscope robots the durability and reliability needed for efficient, continuous operation and performance. UAF’s moisture-resistant, cleanable filters meet applicable enclosure-level standards like MIL-STD, NEMA, and IP ratings. With dust and water mist prevention a necessity, ultra-thin framed filters combine as part of a two stage media solution, while water-repellant, low pressure drop filter media reduces the ingress of airborne moisture and dust without jeopardizing the flow of critical cooling air.

UAF & Outdoor Electric Vehicles

UAF filters can help alleviate maintenance costs and time. The proper filter in your system will keep everything functioning properly. Specifically addressing the issues associated with equipment exposed to weather, Universal Air Filter is creating new air filtration designs that will withstand the harsh environments of these outdoor systems. Utilizing cost-effective designs incorporating sturdy aluminum frames and rugged filter media, UAF is aiming to service equipment and improve performance. To reduce maintenance and prolong the life of outdoor electric vehicles and the filters within it, UAF customers have recognized stock filters can’t always perform as needed. The proper filters deliver proper air flow and improved dirt and dust arrestance.  Improved filter materials also reduce maintenance time and costs.

Electric Vehicles Go Inside

 Industrial mobile robots perform delivery and transportation tasks

Industrial mobile robots perform delivery and transportation tasks

While indoor facilities are looking at EV for similar reasons to outdoor, there is also the added benefit of freeing up employee time to focus on higher level tasks. Indoor EVs have begun to take on tedious tasks like inventory to free employees for customer service and product placement. Indoor EVs are generally considered robots for their smaller stature. They can also be found in just about every industry. The same security robots that patrol parking lots, can also patrol indoor spaces. Forklifts are big equipment used for product movement indoors and out. Other indoor EVs clean floors and deliver medication.

Electric Vehicles Moving Product Indoors

An efficient hospital is constantly delivering medications and laboratory specimens between departments. Automating this task would save employees time for other administrative tasks. To that end, Aethon has created TUG industrial mobile robots that perform delivery and transportation tasks in hotels and hospitals. Providing secure delivery of medications and specimens and even managing heavier loads like meals and linens, TUG moves autonomously and can even see up to an 80% reduction of cost-per-delivery. Travelling at 30 inches per second, TUG auto docks and auto charges. The valve-regulated lead-acid battery technology has a 10 hour run time with intermittent charging. The capacity of the vehicle is 1,000 pounds. Communicating on WiFi or 900MHz, navigation is performed on an internal map of the facility using a laser.

Electric Floor Cleaners

We’ve all seen Roomba and RoboVac, but for commercial cleaning, BrainOS Corporation has taken commercial floor care to a new level. Improving cleaning consistency and coverage, with a cloud-connected operating system for autonomous solutions, Brain safely and successfully powers autonomous commercial robots across industries and environments. Moving at a maximum speed of 2 mph, the run time is as long as 3.5 hours. With both manual and autonomous controls, noise emissions are only 68 dBA. The battery is a 2 x 12V 140Ah AGM and produces a nominal voltage of 24V DC.

Electric Vehicles Taking Inventory

One true tedious task of any retail operation is inventory. A time consuming and draining process, Bossa Nova has developed robots that can autonomously take inventory. Teaming with WalMart, Bossa Nova deployed robots in 50 WalMart stores in 3 different US states. Avoiding obstacles, like people, boxes, shopping carts, the robot can collect terabytes of data and analysis in real time, freeing up employees to place product and assist customers. Real time reports are provided to determine which items require restocking. Bossa Nova robots can move autonomously at almost half  mile per hour. Not only is the machine scanning the store shelves for out of stock items, but for incorrect pricing or labels.

UAF Filters and Indoor Electric Vehicles

With some electric vehicles, the filter is an afterthought or an after the malfunction thought. With a proper fitting filter of the correct media, the damage of no filter can be repaired. While it is always best to consider the filter in the original design plan, Universal Air Filter can help retrofit filters into an existing design. UAF is adept at creating custom shaped filters in the material for your environment. UAF’s experienced team and 3D CAD tools will design a filter perfectly fit to your system’s size, thickness, and material specifications. Within a business week, a prototype will be produced and sent for you to scrutinize in your system.

Meeting the Demands of Charging Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicle Recharging Points are popping up around the globe

Electric Vehicle Recharging Points are popping up around the globe

Not surprisingly, electric vehicles need electricity to keep them moving. Some vehicle’s systems require its battery to be removed and charged externally and some vehicles connect to a charging plate or plug. Charging types are dependent on the size of the vehicle and range in speed and power.

Under Vehicle Charging

There are a few companies currently working to uncover new charging solutions. WiTricity is one company currently exploring under vehicle battery charging for passenger vehicles, Teaming with other progressive companies, WiTricity has formed relationships that have led to the development of a 7.7kW and 11kW charging system. The vehicle parks over a charging plate on the ground that is linked to a small, wall-mounted charging station. The wall-mounted charging station has circuit cards and fans, so a filter is required to keep the wall-mounted enclosure clean.

With electric vehicle batteries getting larger, the charging of them is taking longer to accomplish with 3.3kW of power. Having achieved wireless systems that can operate at higher kW, WiTricity is aiming to get to 25kW or higher. Increasing the power will decrease the amount of time it takes for the vehicle to charge, putting it back to work that much sooner.

Teaming up with companies like Mahle, Honda, and Nissan, WiTricity is a leader in advancing wireless charging, even acquiring Qualcomm Halo’s wireless charging platform earlier this year. Though an early concept, Audi is also researching the possibility of inductive, wireless charging technology along roadways to charge vehicles when driving in addition to static charging while cars are parked.

Charging a City Bus

Many cities across the globe like Shenzhen, in China, have begun to employ electric buses for their public transportation fleets. With electric buses making their way to the roadways, charging them becomes the latest need. Swiss-Swedish company ABB, has developed an infrastructure capable of quickly charging a passenger vehicle as well as a city bus. Offering multiple designs, power, and mounts, ABB covers the various electric bus charging needs. Charging infrastructures for any location and climate, combine with connected services for the flexibility to connect to any charging network, back office, payment platform, or energy management solution. Modular and redundant construction ensures continuous operation while industry-grade components ensure a long lifetime and robust operation. The technology is easily upgraded, making it nearly future proof. Maintenance and power management can be performed remotely. And the stainless steel powder coated cabinets provide durability, even in cold or humid climates. Functioning in a variety of weather and temperatures means the chargers need to be resilient. With the overall system quite sturdy, it is the internal,delicate parts that require protection. UAF Filters & EV Charging stations

UAF Filters & EV Charging Stations

Charging stations have a delicate internal system that keeps the system performing optimally and charging efficiently and quickly. With some charging stations located outdoors, all possible types of weather need to be considered. The charging systems cannot be exposed to water or debris. Filters prevent dust particles and repel water from entering the system. Maintaining optimal temperatures is necessary to consistent performance of any piece of technology. Filters can assist with this as well.

What are the requirements of the Telcordia NEBS standards pertaining to air filters?

 

NEBS GR-63-CORE ISSUE 5

R4-18 [138] All fan-cooled equipment occupying greater the 1U of vertical rack space (45mm [1.75in]) shall be equipped with filters.  Fan filters shall be replaceable with equipment operating. Rectifiers, distribution bays, and sealed equipment with only outside fan cooling do not require filters.

O4-19 [206] It is an objective that fan-cooled equipment occupying 1U of vertical rack space (45mm [1.75in]) or less should be equipped with filters. These air filters should be replaceable with equipment operating. Rectifiers, distribution bays, and sealed equipment with only outside fan cooling do not require filters.

R4-20 [139] All equipment fan filters used in equipment occupying 2U of vertical rack space (90 mm or 3.5 in) or less shall have either a:

  • Minimum dust arrestance of 80%, per ASHRAE Standard 52.1-1992
  • Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV) of 4, per ASHRAE Standard 52.2-2017
  •  

    R4-21[176] All equipment fan filters used in equipment occupying 2U of vertical rack space (90mm [3.5in]) or less shall have either a:

  • Minimum dust arrestance of 65%, per ASHRAE Standard 52.1-1992
  • Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV) of 2, per ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 52.2-2017
  •  

    R4-22 [140] Construction and system fit of equipment fan filters shall prevent any air bypass. Inadvertent leakage that may result from mechanical fits or tolerances, (examples may include spaces between circuit pack face plates, connector or cable matrices, chassis screw or mounting holes, etc.), is not considered bypass.

    NOTE: Polymer filter media must also meet the fire-resistance requirements per Section 4.2.3.1, “Materials, Components, Wire, and Cable Fire-Resistance Criteria.”

    R4-23[141] Construction and system fit of equipment fan filters shall prevent any air bypass. Inadvertent leakage that may result from mechanical fits or tolerances, (examples may include spaces between circuit pack face plates, connector or cable matrices, chassis screw or mounting holes, etc.), is not considered bypass.

    R4-24 [142] Equipment shall have a provision for fan-filter replacement without particulate contaminants from the filter being introduced into equipment. If filters can be changed with fans operating, filter replacement methods that minimize touching the media and/or dislodging captured particulates shall be specified. Filter designs with rigid frames that are withdrawn from the airflow for removal satisfy the intent of this requirement.

    R4-25 [143] The equipment manufacturer shall provide a method for determining equipment fan filter replacement schedules. This guideline shall be included in the product documentation.

    O4-26 [144] If possible, active alarming should be provided to indicate the need for fan filter replacement.

    R4-27 [145] Equipment fan filters shall be single use and not the types that require cleaning.

    O4-28 [194] It is an objective that equipment fan filters utilize recyclable materials.

    Autonomous Security Robots

    Universal Air Filter | Making the world safer, healthier and more productive


    “Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless,” footballer Jerry Smith’s words resonate in every industry. Politicians win campaigns with platforms to improve public safety. Laws are created to promote security. Industries and companies are formed to develop instruments to aid and enhance protection. One California company, Knightscope, is revolutionizing the security industry with highly sophisticated and extremely effective robots.

    As a business owner, imagine you could record all activities in and/or around your facility. You would have video evidence to prevent not only theft, but suspicious activity and even expensive lawsuits. Jerry said it – safety is priceless – and when you consider just a small accident on your campus, the cost of personal injury is only one of the prices you’ll pay. The cost to your company’s reputation is incalculable. With the K5 patrolling your site, you will have eye-level recordings of the events leading up to, including, and following an accident on your grounds, potentially saving your company hundreds of thousands of dollars, and more importantly, your company’s good name.

    Knightscope security robots are an incredibly effective means to keep your site patrolled and safe. With multiple robot design options, any school or business campus, loading dock or warehouse, hospital, or even shopping center can find a system that will work for them. The the outdoor K5, the indoor K3, the stationary K1, and the upcoming multi-terrain K7, all offer similar security functions, but for very different external environments.

    Crime: Cost and Consequence


    Crime has a one trillion dollar negative economic impact on the United States annually. With a violent crime occuring every 24.6 seconds and a property crime occurring every 4.1 seconds, Knightscope is focused on making the US the safest country in the world with their ingenious robot designs. The classic movie typecast of the bumbling, patrolling security guard has been replaced by a sleek, security robot that flawlessly performs monotonous, computationally-heavy tasks with 24/7 consistency.

    Reducing crime nearly 100% on loading docks and in warehouse parking lots, these robots provide people and license plate detection, eye-level 360o HD video streaming and recording, thermal anomaly detection, live and custom audio broadcast, and remote monitoring. Standing just over 5 feet, they can be adorable to those aware of their presence, yet quite intimidating to those unversed in robot security. Moving at a speeds around 3 mph, these sophisticated bots even autonomously recharge themselves when needed.

    Knightscope security robots have already assisted law enforcement in solving numerous crimes. Based on its recorded data, K5 was able to help arrest a parking lot car thief. Using its thermal detection function, K5 prevented a potentially destructive hair salon fire, noticing equipment left on inside a cabinet. With its license plate identification, K1 helped identify a car involved in a hit and run. No medals were awarded the robots, but the recipients of the robots’ assistance could not be more appreciative and supportive.

    Filters Matter


    Functioning in both indoor and outdoor locations means the robots incur exposure to all elements. The precision of this system and its equipment requires crucial protection and advanced filtration solutions. Filters from Illinois’ Universal Air Filter provide Knightscope robots the durability and reliability needed for efficient, continuous operation and performance.

    UAF’s moisture-resistant, cleanable filters meet applicable enclosure-level standards like MIL-STD, NEMA, and IP ratings. With dust and water mist prevention a necessity, ultra-thin framed filters combine as part of a two stage media solution, while water-repellant, low pressure drop filter media reduces the ingress of airborne moisture and dust without jeopardizing the flow of critical cooling air. With UAF filters in place, Knightscope robots can perform continuously and efficiently, protecting your business, employees, or students with little to no disruptions to function, data storage, or efficiency.

    UAF makes it easy for their customers to find the best filter for their systems. With complimentary, round-the-clock prototype service available worldwide via www.uaf.com, design engineers are able to meet critical design, test and evaluate deadlines for air filter media. Requesting a prototype is as simple as contacting UAF. A prototype is produced and shipped within five working days.

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