AU2004233510A1 - Sterilising Hand Dryer And Method - Google Patents

Sterilising Hand Dryer And Method Download PDF

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Publication number
AU2004233510A1
AU2004233510A1 AU2004233510A AU2004233510A AU2004233510A1 AU 2004233510 A1 AU2004233510 A1 AU 2004233510A1 AU 2004233510 A AU2004233510 A AU 2004233510A AU 2004233510 A AU2004233510 A AU 2004233510A AU 2004233510 A1 AU2004233510 A1 AU 2004233510A1
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Australia
Prior art keywords
housing
airflow
drying
air
heating
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AU2004233510A
Inventor
Richard H. Rubin
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Alpha Technologies Corp Ltd
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Alpha Technologies Corp Ltd
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Priority to AU2004233510A priority Critical patent/AU2004233510A1/en
Priority claimed from EP05810578A external-priority patent/EP1827650A4/en
Publication of AU2004233510A1 publication Critical patent/AU2004233510A1/en
Assigned to ALPHA GLOBAL HOLDINGS PTY LTD reassignment ALPHA GLOBAL HOLDINGS PTY LTD Request for Assignment Assignors: PANACHE GLOBAL HOLDINGS PTY LTD
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02ATECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02A50/00TECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE in human health protection, e.g. against extreme weather
    • Y02A50/20Air quality improvement or preservation, e.g. vehicle emission control or emission reduction by using catalytic converters

Description

0 Sterilising Hand Dryer And Method z 0 Field Of Invention The present invention relates to hand dryers used for drying wet hands, and also to a method of drying wet hands with such a hand dryer.
Background of the Invention After hands are washed with water, the hands need to be dried. In domestic homes, absorbent cloth towels are used to dry the hands, however, in public places such as public toilets, restaurants and particularly in medical areas such as hospitals and medical clinics, the use of such cloth hand towels would pose a risk of spreading bacteria from one user to the next.
In response to this problem, the prior art includes a number of hand drying apparatus that emit a stream of warm airflow to dry the hands. It was initially assumed that the use of such hand drying apparatus is more hygienic than hand towels, because it avoids the need, in public places, for the hands to touch the potentially germ-laden hand towels.
It has been found, however, that these prior art hand drying apparatus are actually ineffective in minimising the exposure of the washed-hands to bacteria. The reason is that the warm airflow from these prior art hand drying apparatus is, itself, laden with airborne bacteria.
Many of the micro-organisms in the airflow are not killed by the heating element of the hand dryer. Moreover, the warm air from the hand dryer is an ideal environment for the bacteria to multiply. Consequently, these live bacteria are directed onto the user's hands. Indeed, it is found that such hot air blowers in the prior art can actually increase bacteria levels by up to 500%.
Although hand dryers appear to be more hygienic, instead, the reality is that they can often be a source of spreading bacteria and germs. For instance, in a public toilet, the ambient air is laden with bacteria from the activities of multitudes of people visiting the toilet. Subsequently, the hand dryer in the toilet sucks up the ambient bacteria-laden air, and directs that same air straight onto the user's freshly washed hands, amidst a stream of bacteria-conducive warm air.
0 o 5 Moreover, many people do not leave their hands in the warm airstream for long enough to completely dry their hands. As a result, the warm moist environment on the user's hands is S ideal for the bacteria, that has been blown onto the hands by the dryer, to multiply rapidly.
z oThus, even though such prior art hand drying apparatus have found widespread acceptance in public facilities, such as public toilets, there is resistance to using these apparatus 0 in the medical field such as in hospitals and medical clinics, and also childcare centres and in the food industry. For instance, when a surgeon, prior to surgery, washes his hands with anti-bacteria liquid or soap, it would be futile if the surgeon's hands were to be re-infected with bacteria, if the surgeon were to dry his wet hands in the warm airflow of a prior art hand drying apparatus.
oAttempts have been made in the prior art to enable hand drying apparatus to produce a sterilised stream of warm air. A major area of development in this field has focused on using ultraviolet (UV) radiation in an attempt to kill the bacteria in the airflow. Contrary to expectations, however, it has been ascertained that the UV radiation performs poorly in the task of killing the bacteria in the airstream.
Firstly, it must be remembered that, even if the UV radiation were to kill a large portion of the bacteria, the fact is that the remaining bacteria in the airflow can still reach the user's hands, and begin multiplying in a matter of minutes.
Secondly, some microbiologist are of the view that the UV radiation does not actually kill the bacteria, but merely sterilizes the bacteria, in that sense that the UV merely stops the bacteria from breeding or multiplying. If this is true, then it would mean that the warm airflow, from UVequipped hand-dryers, would still contain an unhygienic level of live bacteria.
Thus, prior art hand drying apparatus are often not favoured for use in medical applications where the strictest standards of sterilisation of hands is critically important, particularly in the area of surgery, and in the medical treatment of open wounds.
Therefore, as an alternative to warm-airflow hand drying apparatus, there are those who champion the use of disposable, paper hand towels as a solution which promises a better level of hygiene for drying washed hands. The manufacturers of some paper handtowels claim that some paper towels have less bacteria in them compared to the bacteria-laden airflow from hand drying apparatus.
The fact remains, however, that even disposable, paper handtowels can contain, or eventually acquire or accumulate bacteria prior to being used for drying the hands. For instance, paper towels which are stored in a rack in a public toilet may become bacteria-laden after being it that environment for several hours or days. Moreover, paper towels definitely pose a problem of waste disposal of the used towels, and the used towels themselves pose a health risk in public areas. There is also the contribution to the unwanted destruction of forests for wood-pulp. It is 0 therefore considered that disposable hand towels are an imperfect solution in the aim or goal of z drying hands in a substantially or 100% germ-free environment.
¢€3 An object of the present invention is to overcome or at least ameliorate one or more of 0 the above problems in the prior art, or to provide an improved alternative.
A preferred object of at least one aspect of the present invention is to provide a sterilising hand-drying apparatus that emits a stream of heated air that is preferably 100% bacteria-free, or N at least is able to substantially approach that goal of a 100% bacteria-free, heated airstream for drying wet hands. This level of sanitisation is particularly important for surgical applications. In this regard, tests conducted by or for the inventor have shown that some ultraviolet-equipped hand drying machines, currently on the market, do not kill 100% of the bacteria in the emitted airflow.
Another preferred object of another aspect of the present invention is to provide a sterilising hand-drying apparatus that contributes, in part, to achieving the goal of a sterilising hand-drying apparatus that emits a stream of heated air that is preferably 100% bacteria-free, or at least is able to substantially approach that goal of a 100% bacteria-free, heated airstream for drying wet hands.
Summary of Invention It is appreciated that the present invention has several aspects, and it is not required that each and every aspect of the present invention has to address, solve, ameliorate or provide an improved alternative to each and every one of the problems in the prior art.
According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a sterilising handdrying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus including: a housing; heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; 0 5 outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and z airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inlet- S means via the heating-means to the outlet-means; wherein the apparatus is provided with bacteria-entrapment-means through which, in use, 0 the airflow passes, and wherein the bacteria-entrapment-means, in use, is adapted to trap and retain therein a ¢Cf substantial portion of bacteria in the airflow, such that the airflow leaving the bacteriaentrapment-means is more sterile than when entering the bacteria-entrapment-means.
0 Preferably, the bacteria-entrapment-means is adapted to kill a substantial portion of the bacteria that is trapped and retained therein.
Preferably, the airflow leaving the bacteria-entrapment-means has numerically fewer bacteria than the airflow entering the bacteria-entrapment-means.
Preferably, the airflow leaving the bacteria-entrapment-means is fully or at least substantially bacteria-free.
Preferably, the airflow leaving the bacteria-entrapment-means is between 97% and 100% free of bacteria particles.
Preferably, the bacteria-entrapment-means intercepts the airflow before the airflow reaches the heating-means.
Preferably, the inlet-means includes at least one main entrance through which all the airflow that is emitted from the hand-drying apparatus has to pass initially through this main entrance In an exemplary embodiment, the at least one main entrances may be located totally inside the housing.
Preferably, the at least one main entrance is located in an entrance into the airflowgeneration-means such that all air entering the airflow-generation-means passes through this at least one main entrance.
The airflow-generation-means may be contained in a casing and wherein said at least one main entrance may be located on the casing.
Preferably, the at least one main entrance is located on the housing of the apparatus, and wherein all other entrances into the housing, apart from said at least one main entrance, are sealed so that, in use, air can only enter the housing through said at least one main entrance.
0 o 5 Preferably, the inlet-means includes one or more secondary entrances arranged in series with the main entrance through which the airflow passes sequentially one after another.
0 z Preferably, the main entrance is separated from its next nearest entrance in the series by a substantial space that contains sufficient air to satisfy the air intake requirements of the airflowgeneration-means in terms of volume of air per unit time.
0 Preferably, the at least one of the secondary entrances is located on an external surface of the housing, and accessible by the user from outside of the housing.
Preferably, each of said secondary entrances is provided with said bacteria-entrapment- S means.
oPreferably, the main entrance is provided with said bacteria-entrapment-means.
Preferably, said bacteria-entrapment-means includes a fibrous, dense filter material that is sufficiently dense to intercept and entrap a substantial portion of germ particles in the airflow.
Preferably, the filter material is a non-woven fibre.
The filter material may have a weave of approximately 150 microns.
Preferably, the filter material is impregnated with a germ-killing substance that kills the bacteria entrapped and retained therein.
Preferably, the bacteria-entrapment-means includes a filter-replacement mechanism that is able to automatically replace the filter material in use with replacement filter material.
The filter-replacement mechanism may replace the filter material in use with replacement filter material periodically after a period of time.
Alternatively, the filter-replacement mechanism may replace the filter material in use with replacement filter material progressively in a continuous or intermittent manner.
Preferably, the filter material is in the form of a sheet-like strip.
Preferably, the filter material is conveyed by a motorised reel-mechanism.
Preferably, the apparatus is provided with an electric control circuit that supplies electrical power to the apparatus, and preferably the electric control circuit is provided with a cut-off mechanism that disables the supply of electrical power when the housing is opened so as to minimise risk of the user being electrocuted when opening the housing.
Preferably, the cut-off mechanism includes a two-state switch which enables the supply of electrical power only when in the first state, and wherein an actuator is provided within the housing that maintains the switch in the first state when the housing is closed, and which activates the switch into the second state when the housing is opened to thereby disable the supply of electrical power to the apparatus when the housing is opened.
0 o 5 Preferably, the cut-off mechanism includes a resiliently-mounted switch which enables the supply of electrical power only when depressed, and wherein a cut-off-mechanism-activator z is provided within the housing and arranged so as to depresses the switch when the housing is closed, and to lift off the switch when the housing is opened thereby to disable the supply of electrical power to the apparatus when the housing is opened.
0 The resiliently-mounted switch may be mounted on a base-mounting to which a hood of the housing is removably attachable, and the cut-off-mechanism-activator is mounted on an interior surface of the hood.
N Alternatively, the cut-off-mechanism-activator may be mounted on a base-mounting to which a hood of the housing is removably attachable, and the resiliently-mounted switch is mounted on an interior surface of the hood.
Preferably, the cut-off-mechanism-activator is in the form of a depressor that activates the cut-off mechanism when in contact therewith.
Preferably, the base-mounting is adapted to be fastened to an upright mounting surface, such that the hand-drying apparatus is able to be installed onto the upright mounting surface by attaching the housing to the base-mounting.
Preferably, the hand-drying apparatus is provided with a timer-control-circuit to regularly auto-activate the airflow-generation-means for a predetermined period of time so that the handdrying apparatus effectively sterilises part of the ambient atmosphere surrounding the handdrying apparatus.
Preferably, the timer-control-circuit auto-activates the apparatus without concurrently activating the heating-means.
Preferably, the timer-control-circuit auto-activates the apparatus while concurrently activating the heating-means.
Preferably, the timer-control-circuit is provided with light-sensor-means and only autoactivates the apparatus only the light-sensor indicates that there is ambient light.
Preferably, the apparatus is provided with hand-sensor-means which detects the presence of hands in the vicinity of the outlet-means and is adapted to activate the airflow-generationmeans and the heating-means when hands are so detected, and wherein the timer-control-circuit only auto-activates the apparatus when the hand-sensor-means detects that there is no presence of hands in the vicinity of the outlet-means.
Preferably, the apparatus is provided with a fragrance-material that is a source of fragrance so that the fragrance infuses into the airflow.
According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of S producing a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air from a sterilising hand-drying apparatus S for drying hands, the method including: using airflow-generation-means to move air swiftly as an airflow; 0 heating the air with heating-means so that the airflow is useable for drying hands; providing the hand-drying apparatus with bacteria-entrapment-means through which, in use, the airflow passes; and N using the bacteria-entrapment-means, in use, to trap and retain therein a substantial portion of bacteria in the airflow, such that the airflow leaving the bacteria-entrapment-means is more sterile than when entering the bacteria-entrapment-means.
According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a sterilising handdrying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus including: a housing; heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inletmeans via the heating-means to the outlet-means; wherein the apparatus is provided with an electric control circuit that supplies electrical power to the apparatus, and wherein the electric control circuit is provided with a cut-off mechanism that disables the supply of electrical power when the housing is opened so as to minimise risk of the user being electrocuted when opening the housing.
According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a baseplate to which a hood of a housing of a sterilising hand-drying apparatus is adapted to be removably attached, 0 5 wherein the hand-drying apparatus is provided with an electric control circuit that (Ni supplies electrical power to the apparatus, z and wherein the baseplate is provided with a cut-off mechanism that disables the supply of electrical power to the electric control circuit when, in use with the hood attached to the baseplate, the housing is opened so as to minimise risk of the user being electrocuted when 0 opening the housing.
According to a fifth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a sterilising hand- S drying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus including: a housing; heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inletmeans via the heating-means to the outlet-means; wherein the hand-drying apparatus is provided with a timer-control-circuit to regularly auto-activate the airflow-generation-means for a predetermined period of time.
According to a sixth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a timing circuit component adapted to regularly auto-activate airflow-generation-means in a sterilising handdrying apparatus for a predetermined period of time, the sterilising hand-drying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus including: a housing; heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and C 5 said airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inlet-means via the heating-means to the outlet-means; 0 z wherein the timer-control-circuit is adapted to regularly auto-activate the airflowgeneration-means for a predetermined period of time.
0 According to a seventh aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of sterilising ambient atmosphere around a sterilising hand-drying apparatus that is adapted to produce a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the method including: N providing the hand-drying apparatus with a timer-control-circuit that is adapted to regularly auto-activate the airflow-generation-means for a predetermined period of time; and using the timer-control-circuit to auto-activate the sterilising hand-drying apparatus periodically for a predetermined period of time, wherein the hand-drying apparatus includes: a housing; heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inletmeans via the heating-means to the outlet-means.
According to a eighth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of fragrancing ambient atmosphere around a hand-drying apparatus that is adapted to produce an airflow of heated air for drying hands, the method including: providing the hand-drying apparatus with a timer-control-circuit that is adapted to regularly auto-activate the airflow-generation-means for a predetermined period of time; providing the apparatus with a fragrance-material that is a source of fragrance so that the fragrance infuses into the airflow; and using the timer-control-circuit to auto-activate the hand-drying apparatus periodically for a predetermined period of time, which effectively causes the fragrance in the airflow to fragrance the ambient atmosphere around the hand-drying apparatus; wherein the hand-drying apparatus includes: 0 0 5 a housing; heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; z inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is 0 emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inlet- Smeans via the heating-means to the outlet-means.
oAccording to a ninth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a sterilising handdrying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus including: a housing; heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inletmeans via the heating-means to the outlet-means; and filter material adapted to filter the airflow; wherein the apparatus includes a filter-replacement mechanism that is able to automatically replace the filter material in use with replacement filter material.
According to a tenth aspect of the present invention, there is provided an auto filterreplacement mechanism adapted to automatically change filter material of a sterilising handdrying apparatus.
According to a eleventh aspect of the present invention, there is provided a sterilising hand-drying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus including: a housing; heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; 0 5 inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; z outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inlet- 0 means via the heating-means to the outlet-means; wherein the inlet-means includes at least one main entrance through which all airflow in the apparatus must pass through said at least one main entrance, and N wherein the at least one main entrance is located in an entrance into the airflowgeneration-means such that all air entering the airflow-generation-means passes through this at least one main entrance which is filtered.
Drawings 0
Z
In order that aspects of the present invention might be more fully understood, e¢3 embodiments of each aspect of the present invention will be described, by way of example only, 0 with reference to the accompany drawings, in which: IFigure 1A is a bottom perspective view of an embodiment of a sterilising hand-drying C apparatus, shown with one of its filter assemblies depicted in exploded view the embodiment is ¢€3 N shown as it would be viewed from below when mounted on an upright surface, such as a wall; Figure 1B is an upper perspective view of the same embodiment of Figure 1A, except with the apparatus shown opened up to reveal its internal components within the housing; Figure 1C shows a front view of a baseplate for the embodiment of Figures 1A and 1B, and shown as it would appear face on when mounted on an upright surface, such as a wall; Figures 2A and 2B show side views of the embodiment of Figure 1A, with Figure 2A showing the apparatus with the closed housing, and Figure 2B showing the same apparatus with the housing opened up. Certain internal components are shown in Figures 2A and 2B using dotted lines. (Details of most of the internal components inside the hood, however, have been omitted from Figures 2A and 2B for the sake of clarity); Figure 3 shows an exploded view of a filter assembly (or cartridge) of a main filter used with the main aperture in the embodiment of Figure 1A; Figure 4 is a bottom perspective view of the fan-casing that is seen in Figure 1B, except that here the fan-casing is shown separately to reveal its underside and the heating elements; Figure 5 is a simplified block diagram of electrical circuitry elements of an embodiment of the hand drying apparatus; Figure 6A illustrates a see-through perspective view of a further modified embodiment which has a filter-replacement mechanism that continuously or intermittently feeds a sheet-like filter material across an aperture in the housing; and Figure 6B is a modification of the embodiment of Figure 6A.
Figures 6A and 6B have been drawn with minimum detail, only showing details of embodiments of a filter-replacement mechanism. For the sake of simplicity, other internal details of the dryer have been omitted from Figures 6A and 6B.
In the drawings of different embodiments, like elements have been shown with like reference numerals, merely for ease of understanding the various embodiments.
0 z Description of Embodiments e¢3 0 Referring to the accompanying drawings, Figure 1A shows a sterilising hand-drying I apparatus in the form of hand dryer 1. The hand dryer 1 is adapted to produce an airflow or e stream of substantially sterilised, heated air 200C for drying hands. In the exemplary S embodiment, the operational range of the heated air is around 55 to 65 degrees Centigrade.
The hand dryer 1 has a housing which includes a main hood 10 and a base-mounting in the form of baseplate 11. The baseplate 11 is best seen in Figures 1B and 1C.
In Figure 1B, the hood 10 is mounted to the baseplate 11 by hinges 12.
The hinges 12 are designed such that the hood 10 can be detached or removed from the baseplate 11. This enables the hand dryer 1 to be installed in the simple two-step process, firstly, mounting the baseplate 11 to an upright surface such as a wall, and secondly, attaching the hood 10 to the hinges of the baseplate 11. The baseplate 11 is secured to the wall with screws 13, bolts or other appropriate fastening mechanism.
Figure 1A shows the hood 10 arranged in a closed position, which is the arrangement when it is in use.
Figure 1B shows the hood 10 arranged in an opened position.
In both Figures 1A and 1B, the orientation of the dryer 1 has been drawn as it would be when mounted on a wall.
In a commercial embodiment, the hood 10 is locked to the base-plate 11, and requires a special key 16A to unlocked the lock 16B, as seen in Figures 1A and lB.
Air-Flow As an overall summary, when the dryer 1 is operated to dry a user's hands, air from the ambient environment is sucked into the housing, and heated, and then expelled. The flow of this airflow is notionally depicted by arrow 200A in Figure 1A, then arrow 200B in Figure 1B, and finally arrow 200C in Figure 1A. Of course, the actual flow of the air in the dryer 1 is much more complex and turbulent, and so the arrows 200A, 200B, 200C are a simplification.
Air Heater z The dryer 1 is provided with heating-means in the form of a heating element 300. The heating element 300 is located at an opening of the fan-casing 400 (not visible) in Figure 1B, and ¢€3 is shown more clearly in the separate bottom perspective view of the fan-casing 400 in Figure 4.
0 The heating element 300 includes a grid of wires or plates adapted to be heated up electrically when the dryer 1 is emitting the hot airflow.
C€ The heating element 300 is positioned inside in the housing 10, 11, and is used to heat up S the airstream 200B so that when the air is sufficiently warm to dry the user's hands.
Inlet-Means The dryer 1 has an inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing 10, 11 and travels to reach the heating element 300.
In the embodiment, the inlet-means is regarded as region or passage through which the air travels to reach the heating element 300.
As can be seen in Figure 1B, the inlet-means encompasses quite a range of components and features in the embodiment of Figure lB.
To begin with, the inlet-means includes a secondary filter assembly 420A, 420B, 420C through which air enters the housing.
The inlet-means also include the cavernous interior of the housing 10, 11. The air flows through the secondary filter assembly 420A, 420B, 420C into the interior of the cavernous interior of the housing 10, 11.
The inlet means also includes a main-entrance 410D located in the side of the fan-casing 400, and into this main-entrance 410D is inserted a main-filter assembly 410A, 410B, 410C.
An exploded view of the main-filter assembly 410A, 410B, 410C is shown in Figure 3.
Outlet-Means The dryer 1 has an outlet-means through which the air, after being heated by the heating element 300, is emitted as a heated airflow that is used for drying hands.
In the embodiment, the outlet-means is regarded as region or passage through which the air travels from the heating element 300 until it is expelled from the dryer 1.
In Figure 1A, the heating element 300 is located inside a projecting opening 14 on the front of the hood 10. Hence, in the exemplary embodiment, the outlet-means is rather short in z overall distance, compared to the distance the air has to travel in the inlet-means. The heated air that flows past the heating elements 300 almost immediately exits the housing through the C€3 opening 14.
0 The opening 14 has a grille 15 which prevents the user's fingers from reaching the hot parts of the heating element 300.
S Fan In Figure 4, the airflow 200A, 200B, 200C in the dryer 1 is created by airflowgeneration-means in the form of a rotating fan 401. The fan 401 is in the form of a rotor that revolves inside the fan-casing 400. Inner portions of the circular fan 401 can be seen in Figure 4.
The generally circular shape of the fan-casing 400 accommodates the circular fan 401. The rotation of the fan 401 is operated by a motor 430, in Figure lB. In the example, the motor is a 125 watt, 7500 rpm universal motor. The casing of the motor is sealed to avoid bacteria entering the airflow in the fan-casing 400 via any gaps in the casing of the motor 430.
The rotating fan 401, in its fan-casing 400, is adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow, entering into the housing via the initial secondary aperture 420D and its secondary filter assembly 420A, 420B, 420C, then through the cavernous interior of the housing 10, 11, and then through the main aperture 410D and its main-filter assembly 410A, 410B, 410C until the airflow reaches the heating elements 300. Then, the air flow or air current, generated by the fan 401, is expelled from the housing as a heated air flow that is able to be used for drying hands.
Bacteria-Entrapment By way of background, it is noted that bacteria is actually comprised of extremely minute, microscopic particles. In the prior art, where ultraviolet (UV) radiation is used, the bacteria particles are exposed to the UV radiation, with the intention of killing the bacteria.
Firstly, it is questionable whether many prior art apparatus, which use UV radiation, actually manage to kill most of the bacteria in a swiftly moving air stream. For instance, some microbiologist are of the view that UV radiation does not actually kill the bacteria in the airflow, C 5 but merely sterilizes the bacteria, in that sense that the UV merely stops the bacteria from S breeding or multiplying.
z Secondly, in the prior art, even if the UV radiation succeeds in killing some of the bacteria in the swiftly moving airstream (which is questionable), the fact remains that the UV- ¢€3 irradiated bacteria particles still remain within the airstream. Therefore, it is likely that the warm 0 air, that is expelled from prior art UV-equipped hand dryers, contains a mixture of living and dead UV-irradiated bacteria particles. Those remaining live bacteria particles are directed onto the user's hands, where they can subsequently multiply.
The present embodiment is in direct contrast to these two above features in the prior art, because the dryer 1 of the present embodiment is provided with bacteria-entrapment-means. In other words, a means for trapping the bacteria particles so that the air which is emitted from the dryer 1 is actually free from the bacteria particles.
This is a conceptual difference between the present invention and the prior art. In the prior art, the focus is merely on killing the bacteria, whereas in an aspect of the present embodiment, the focus includes an emphasis on actually physically entrapping the bacteria particles so that the particles cannot reach the outlet of the dryer 1.
In the present embodiment, in Figure 3, the bacteria-entrapment-means of the main-filter assembly 410A, 410B, 410C includes a filter material 410B that is a fibrous, dense filter material which is sufficiently dense to intercept and entrap a substantial portion of the bacteria particles in the airflow. The fibres act as a physical obstacle to the passage of the bacteria particles.
In the embodiment, it is found that the filter material 410B ideally needs to be replaced around once per month, given its regular use, for instance, in a typical public toilet facility, since there would be a build-up of bacteria particles in the filter material.
Filter Material In the exemplary embodiment, the filter material is a melded, non-woven fibrous material. This is because it is found that woven materials are less suitable, with their tighter weave, which tend to restrict airflow more than non-woven fibrous materials.
The filter material in the embodiment of Figure 1A is a non-woven, needle-felt, polyester fibrous pad of material, which has the following characteristics: Weight (gsm) ISO 9073-1: 1989 Thickness (mm) 1.4 mm to 1.8 mm ISO 9073-2: 1995 Tensile Strength (N/50mm): ISO 9073-3: 1989 0 Machine Direction 165 z Cross Machine Direction 155 Air Permeability (1/sec/m 2 2,500 ISO 9230 20 cm 2 /200Pa 0 The filter material is a melded polyester fibrous matrix that has a totally random weaving matrix, or random lay. Thus, the bacteria particles in an airstream, that pass through this fibrous S matrix, have to pass through a tortuous flow-path to navigate through the random, fibrous matrix, thus increasing the likelihood of each bacteria particle impacting and being entrapped by or on one of the fibres.
It is often a compromise between choosing the denseness or thickness of the filter, since an increase in these parameters will more effectively capture the bacteria particles, but, at the same time, will slow down the air flow through the filter, which can cause the fan-motor to overheat. Therefore, some experimentation may be required to find the appropriate denseness of filter material used with the particular powered motor and fan for a given embodiment, if it is desired to achieve the preferred object of 100% bacteria-interception. For instance, with a more powerful fan that produces a stronger airflow, a denser and/or thicker filter material may be used.
In experiments, trials were performed with 50 gsm weave, as well as 100 gsm, 200 gsm fibres. For example, it was found that a fibrous matrix of a 50 gsm material adequately entrapped bacteria particles, but the 50 gsm fibrous material was found not to provide sufficient airflow to the fan 401. Therefore, some degree of experimentation will be required to arrive at the appropriate weave of the filter material, because this will depend on the air-intake requirements of the particular power and capacity of the fan that is being used.
The main filter material 410B traps and retains, in the filter, a substantial portion of bacteria particles in the airflow. Thus, the airflow leaving the main filter 410B is more sterile than when it enters the filter 410B.
In the above paragraph, the word "retains" indicates that a substantial portion of the bacteria enters, but is unable to leave the filter. In other words, the airflow leaving the main filter 410B has numerically fewer particles of bacteria than the airflow entering the same main filter 410B.
A feature of the present embodiment, that has been verified by independent microbiological testing, is that the airflow leaving the filter 410B is fully 100% bacteria-free or at least substantially bacteria-free. In other words, the bacteria particles have not merely been inactivated or killed, but have been physically removed from the airflow to a substantial degree.
O An experimental model of the embodiment was tested in the male washroom of an industrial factory, in which aerial contamination with different micro-organisms was verified to be present. The airflow emanating from the dryer 1 was found to be between 97% and 100% free 0 of bacteria particles or pathogens, with an average reduction of between 97.5% and 98.9%. Thus, the bacteria-entrapment-means of the embodiment is able to trap and retain 100%, or substantially close to 100% of the bacteria in the airflow, such that the airflow leaving the bacteria-entrapment-means is, or substantially close to 100% bacteria-free.
It would be evident, therefore, that the embodiment of the present invention which can achieve 97% to 100% bacteria-free hand drying would be arguably more hygienic for drying hands than even disposable paper towels. For instance, the model which achieves 100% bacteriaremoval would be suitable for use by surgeons prior to attending to surgery.
Thus, in this aspect of the invention, the embodiment of the dryer 1 is provided with a means of entrapping and retaining the actual bacteria particles, so as to prevent the bacteria from leaving the dryer in the warm airflow 200C. This is conceptually different to air filters, used in prior art dryers, which merely filter out larger particles such as dust and grit, and which are not adapted or even intended to entrap the bacteria on a scale sufficient to remove, for example, 97% to 100% of the bacteria particles. Thus, any prior art that recites merely an "air filter" should not necessarily be treated, prima facie, as a prior disclosure of a bacteria-entrapment-means unless it teaches the actual entrapment of the bacteria particles.
A broad premise of the embodiment is that, in order to kill the bacteria effectively, the bacteria particles have to entrapped. This is a different approach to those prior art sterilising dryers that attempt to kill the bacteria while the bacteria is entrained in the swiftly moving airflow, without first trapping and retaining the bacteria particles. In experiments, it has been found that such prior art systems are far less effective at removing bacteria from the airflow, compared to experimental embodiments of the present embodiment which, firstly, entrap the bacteria, and then secondly kill the entrapped bacteria which is held motionless in the filter.
Bacteria-Killing Substance In the preferred embodiment, the filter material 410B is impregnated with a bacteriakilling substance that is able to kill the bacteria entrapped and retained therein. Thus, a 0 o 5 substantial portion of the bacteria, that is trapped and retained in the filter, is also killed in the filter. (If there were no anti-bacterial material in the filter, the entrapment of bacteria particles O would lead to an bacterial-infestation in the filter material).
z oThe anti-bacteria material may be in the form of liquid, gel or even solid, provided it performs the role of killing the bacteria that is entrapped in the filter.
0 In practice in the embodiment, the bacteria-killing substance is sprayed onto the fibrous filter material within an alcohol-based liquid spray. When the alcohol evaporates, the bacteriakilling substance remains on the fibrous, random matrix.
N It is appreciated that any number of anti-bacterial materials or liquids can be used to kill the bacteria particles that are entrapped in the filters 410B, 420B. In the present embodiment, the substance is manufactured by Healthguard Corporation of Campbellfield, Victoria, Australia, bearing product code: AFA-BK, 9-260.
Location of the Main Filter The inlet-means of the dryer 1 includes at least one main entrance in the form of a main aperture 410 D that is the main and only entrance for air to enter the fan-casing 400 (except for perhaps unforeseen air leakage into the fan-casing).
In Figure I B, this main aperture 410D is obscured because the main filter assembly 410A, 410B, 410C is shown inserted into this main aperture 410D in the fan-casing. The main aperture can be seen in the exploded perspective view of Figure 4.
This main filter-assembly 410A, 410B, 410C intercepts the airflow before the airflow reaches the heating element 300. The main aperture 410D is the point in the airflow where all the airflow in the dryer will pass through. Here, bacteria particles are entrapped and thus stopped from entering the fan-casing 400. Preferably, the rest of the casing is sealed such that air cannot enter, for instance, through the motor casing 430.
The main entrance 410 D has a main filter assembly. Figure 3 shows an exploded view of parts of the main filter assembly 410A, 410B, 410C. A fibrous pad of filter material 410B is sandwiched between two interlocking filter holders 410A, 410C. Each of the filter holders 410A, 410C has a coarse mesh that is sufficient to hold the filter material 410B in place.
In the embodiment, the main aperture 410D, and the associated main filter assembly 410 A, 410B, 410 C is located totally inside the housing 10, 11.
In the embodiment, the main aperture 410D is located on the fan-casing 400. The main aperture 410D is in an opening in the fan-casing 400, such that all air that enters the fan-casing S 400 has to pass through this final filter 410B.
z In other modifications, there may be more than one or more main apertures 410D located on the fan-casing 400, but in such modified embodiments it is still required that all air entering 0 the fan-casing 400 has to pass through these one or more main apertures 410 D found in each of these more than one main apertures in the fan-casing.
The notion of a "main entrance" is that all the airflow that is emitted from the dryer has to pass initially through this main entrance. In the embodiments, an opening would be considered to be a "main aperture" or "main entrance" if literally all the airflow in the dryer, at some point, pass through that aperture or entrance. By placing an effective bacteria-entrapping filter on the one or more main entrances, it ensures that all airflow in the dryer is intercepted by a bacteriaentrapping filter.
If this were not the case, it would mean that bacteria may enter the airflow via gaps in the housing 10, 11.
In the present embodiment, even if bacteria were to enter through gaps in the housing 11, the location of the main filter 410B on the fan-casing, being the only entrance leading into the fan-casing, ensures that this main filter 410B has an opportunity to intercept all bacteria that enters the fan-casing 400.
In the embodiment of Figure lA and IB, the main entrance 410D is located in an entrance leading into the airflow-generation-means, or in other modifications its actual location can be modified, provided that all air entering the airflow-generation-means passes through this final entrance.
Embodiments can include these variations: i) the main aperture is located on the hood 10 of the housing itself, provided that, in such cases, all other entrances into the housing, apart from this main entrance, are sealed. For instance, any gaps in the housing, such as found between the hood 10 and the baseplate 11, should be sealed when the hood is closed. This sealing can be achieved for example by tightly fitting rubber strips. This ensures that, in use, air can only enter the housing through the main entrance or entrances. It also ensures that all air that enters the fan-casing 400 has to pass through this main aperture on the hood; ii) the main aperture (or main apertures) is only located on the fan-casing, such that all airflow entering the fan-casing has to pass through this main aperture. This is the situation of 0 the embodiment of Figure 1 A; and
Z
iii) main apertures are located on the fan-casing as well as on the housing. In such an ¢€3 instance, all other gaps in the housing are sealed in use, so that all airflow passthrough the dryer 0 must pass through these main entrances.
IAnother factor in designing the embodiment is that, when the main aperture is the main and only opening into the fan-casing 400, it cannot be accessible from the outside of the dryer 1.
N, For instance, the main aperture 410D into the fan casing 400 cannot be accessible from the outer surface of the hood 10, otherwise it would offer unauthorised users to have access into the moving parts and the electrically-wired parts of the hand dryer apparatus 1. It would also offer vandals an opportunity to insert harmful matter into the motorised parts of the apparatus, and even squirt water into the fan and motor. All these possibilities would pose a danger to users of the dryer 1.
Secondary Filter or Filters In the embodiment of Figure 1A and 1 B, although this main filter assembly 410A, 410B, 410C, which captures and retains bacteria particles, has been found to provide superb reductions in the bacteria-count, it is preferable for the inlet-means to include one or more secondary entrances arranged in series with the main aperture through which the airflow passes sequentially one after another.
In the embodiment, a secondary filter is one that performs a role of reducing the amount of bacteria in the airflow, but not all of the airflow passes through the secondary filter. For instance, in the embodiment, when there is no sealing of the gaps between the hood 10 and the baseplate 11, some airflow can enter the dryer 1 through these gaps. That is the reason why, in the embodiment, the external filter 410B is regarded as a "secondary filter".
However, if the gaps in the housing could be sealed in use, for instance with rubber 0rings, such that all air that enters the housing must pass through the filter 410B, then in that instance, the external filter 410B would then be regarded as a "main filter", and the aperture 410D would be regarded as a main entrance.
In other modifications, the number of main entrances or main filters can be varied.
o 5 Maintaining Airflow ci 0 z Each of the secondary entrances is provided with a bacteria-entrapment-means. It stands to reason that having more than one filter increases the overall combined thickness of filter material that the bacteria has to pass through, thus increasing the likelihood of the bacteria being 0 entrapped by the filter material.
In the embodiment of Figure lA and IB, the air that enters the housing 10, 11 eventually reaches the heating elements 300 after it passes through a series of apertures. The initial aperture en3 420D is obscured in Figure lA, since this aperture 420D is shown with the secondary filter assembly 420A, 420B, 420C in exploded view, indicating how the three parts of the filterassembly fit into this aperture 420D.
The coarse mesh of filter holders 420A, 420C are useful for filtering our large dust and other particles. Other embodiments can have more than three layers comprised in the secondary filter assembly.
The filter material 420B of this initial aperture 420D stops a substantial number of the bacteria particles entering the inlet-means of the dryer. In practice, however, not all bacteria particles are entrapped by this secondary filter 420B, and moreover, further bacteria can enter the dryer 1 through gaps in the housing 10, 11. Therefore, the main filter 410B is used to entrap any bacteria that manage to elude entrapment in the initial secondary filter 420B.
It is logical that the greater the thickness of filter material that the airflow has to pass through, the greater the likelihood that the airflow-borne bacteria will be entrapped. However, it is not a viable solution simply to increase the thickness of the main filter 410B found on the internal fan-casing 400. This is because the operation of the fan 401 requires a certain input or throughput of air as part of the operational parameters of the fan. If the main filter 410B were simply to be thickened, then it could lead to a lower rate of air entering the fan-casing, which would most likely lead to overheating and degradation of the mechanism of the fan, and can even cause the fan motor to catch fire.
Therefore, rather than simply increasing the thickness of the main filter 410B, it is preferable to have two or more filters in series, so as to effectively increase the amount of filter material through which the airflow has to pass. In the embodiment, the secondary filter 420B is in series with the main filter 410B because the airflow passes through each of these filters, one after the other, in sequence, or in series, as it were.
C 5 By way of background, the fan assembly 401 acts as an air-pump that the sucks air from within the housing 10,11 into the pump. To maintain the rate of airflow produced by the fan 401, 0 there must be a sufficient body of air for the fan to suck in. This is why the housing 10, 11 is z provided with a sizeable interior, so that a sizeable body of air can be located proximate to the ¢€3 fan assembly. This is also why the main aperture 410D and the main filter assembly 410A, 410B, 0 410 OC are separated from its next nearest entrance in the series, namely the initial secondary aperture 420D and its filter assembly 420A, 420B, 420C, by a substantial space in the housing that contains sufficient air to satisfy the air intake requirements of the fan 401 assembly, in terms S of volume of air per unit time.
Benefit of Series Of Filters In the embodiment, even though the main filter 410B and assembly 410A, 410B, 410C are located totally within the housing, at least one secondary entrance 420D may be located on an external surface of the housing 10, so as to be accessible by the user from outside of the housing. Figure 1A shows the assembly 420A, 420B, 420C of the secondary filter in exploded view, indicating that its components can be accessed and replaced from outside of the housing In the embodiment of Figure 1A and 1B, which has an inner main filter 410B and an external secondary filter 420B, it is found that the external filter 420B traps most of the dust and large particulate. This leaves the main inner filter 410B to be used mostly for entrapping the bacteria particles.
In experimental tests, it is found that, with the secondary filter 420B alone, the dryer 1 is capable of achieving around a 79% reduction in bacteria particles in the airflow that is emitted from the dryer. It is believed that this loss of efficiency is because some bacteria enters the housing 10,11 through the fine gaps between the edge of the hood 10 and the baseplate 11.
However, with the combination of the main filter 410B plus the secondary filter 420B, experimental tests show the dryer 1 is capable of reaching the preferred goal of 100% removed of the bacteria particles from the emitted airflow 200C, or at least substantially close in the range of around 97%.
In those variations where the main filter is on the surface of the hood 10, and where this is the only filter, the preferred 1000%o bacteria reduction can still be achieved, provided that all other gaps or entrances into the housing are sealed in use. For instance, the gaps between the C 5 housing 10 and the base plate 11 can be fitted with rubber gaskets, so that a seal is created when the hood 10 is closed and pressed against the baseplate 11.
O In such embodiments, the filter holders 420A, 420C can also be used to hold a wad of material that contains a fragrance. In other embodiments, the secondary filter can carry both a fragrance-carrier, as well as a filter material impregnated with anti-bacteria, killing material.
0 Filter Replacement In the present embodiment, the filter actually entraps the bacteria particles and kills the entrapped particles. Consequently, the filter can, over a period of time, become clogged with bacteria particles. Hence, in the embodiment of Figure lA, it is advisable for the filter or filters to be replaced each month.
In actual practice, it is possible that the person, who is responsible for maintenance of the dryer, may forget to replace the filters as frequently as required for optimum operating conditions. If the filter is not replaced, such that it becomes clogged, this may cause damage to the motor. For instance, the motor can overheat because the clogged filter allows less air to reach the motor that the motor requires to keep from overheating.
Hence, in modified embodiments in Figures 6A and 6B, the bacteria-entrapment-means includes a filter-replacement mechanism that is able to automatically replace the filter material, in use, with replacement filter material.
In the embodiment of Figure 6A, the filter-replacement mechanism includes a spoolmotor 700. In Figure 6A, the filter material is in the form of a loop of sheet-like filter material 440B that travels around and around the spools 710 in a manner similar to a conveyor-belt.
The sheet-like filter material 440B traverses across an aperture (not shown) in the hood of Figure 6A, so as to act as a filter for that aperture. Thus, over a period of time, as the filter material 440B moves across the aperture, the filter material in use is replaced with replacement filter material periodically after a period of time.
The movement of the spool-motor 700 is controlled by a micro-processor control circuit which controls the timing and motion of the spool-motor. The motor 700 can move the filter material 440B either continuously or intermittently. For instance, the motor can move the filter material once every month, so that the filter material which covers the aperture in effectively replaced each month. Alternatively, the motor 700 can move the filter material 440B progressively with a constant, very slow motion. This enables a greater amount of filter material C 5 to participate in the filtering process. Assuming this filter material 440B is also replaced often, say, once a month, it would mean that this form of cycling filter would have less likelihood of z being clogged.
The embodiment is provided with a guide to ensure that the filter material is held taut C€3 against the aperture.
0 Figure 6B shows another variation, in which the sheet-like filter material 450B is formed like camera roll-film which rolls from one spool to the next, eventually coming off the first spool 710 A, at which point the air would pass un-filtered into the housing 10, 11. This means that the S user, who is responsible for maintenance, has to change the filter on time before the filter has totally spooled onto the second spool 710B. The advantage of this variation, however, is that the filter is unlikely to be clogged to the degree that would lead to damage and overheating of the fan-motor 430.
It is noted that Figures 6A and 6B have been drawn briefly, only to show details of embodiments of a filter-replacement mechanism, and for the sake of simplicity, other internal details of the dryer, such as the fan-casing etc., have been omitted from Figures 6A and 6B.
Safety Features In the embodiment of Figure 1A, the internal main filter assembly 410A, 410B, 410C of Figures 1B and 3 can only be replaced by opening up the housing to reveal the inner components within the housing.
As a general comment which pertains to hand dryers of this art the step of opening up the body or housing of a hand dryer, by a user untrained as an electrician, can increase the risk of the user being electrocuted.
In the embodiment of Figure 1A, the dryer 1 has an electric control circuit which supplies electrical power to the dryer 1. The electrical control circuit is provided with a cut-off mechanism that disables the supply of electrical power when the housing is opened so as to minimise risk of the user being electrocuted when opening the housing.
In Figure 1 B, the cut-off mechanism is in the form of a resiliently-mounted switch 501 which enables the supply of electrical power only when depressed.
Figure 2A shows the embodiment of present embodiment with its hood 10 in a closed state, while Figure 2B shows the same with the hood 10 in an open state. In this open state of Figure 2B, the user is able to access the internal components, and particularly is able to change the internal main filter 410B.
z To remove the risk of the user being electrocuted, the interior of the hood 10 is provided with cut-off-mechanism-activator or an actuator in the form of an upstanding post 502. From comparing Figure 2A with Figure 2B, it is evident that, when the hood is closed, the switch 501 0 is depressed by the tip of the post 502. Whereas, then the hood is opened, the tip of the post 502 lifts off the switch 501, thereby disabling the supply of electrical power to the dryer 1.
The switch 501 is located and mounted on the baseplate 11. The hood 10 of the housing is removably attachable to the baseplate 11. The post 502 is mounted on an interior surface of the hood.
In an alternative embodiment, the depressor (post) may be mounted on the baseplate, while the switch may be mounted on an interior surface of the hood.
The feature of the cut-off mechanism contributes, at least in part, to achieving the goal of a sterilising hand-drying apparatus that emits a stream of heated air that is preferably 100% bacteria-free. This is because it allows for an internal filter 410B that can be replaced by a user, without risk of electrocution when exposed to the internal components. Hence, it provides a safer environment where a series of filters can be housed in the dryer.
Installation Of The Dryer In the embodiment of Figure lA, the base-plate 11 is fastened to a wall, for example. The dryer 1 can be installed onto the wall by attaching the housing 10 to the base-plate 11. This means that, in practice, if the dryer 1 is defective, the user can disconnect the hood 10 from the base-plate 11, and connect a defect-free replacement hood The electrical cut-off switch 501 means that there is an increased level of safety when the user opens up the hood 10, and either installs or removes the hood and its included assembly of components. The cut-off switch 501 ensures that the apparatus 1 cannot become electrically live until the hood is closed. A commercial benefit of this feature is that the dryer 1 can therefore be maintained by those who are not qualified electricians. Generally there may be cost savings on the maintenance of these drying apparatus, and there may also be substantial savings when the apparatus is used in countries where the absence of live electricity in the opened-dryer would avoid the requirement of a qualified electrician to install the unit.
Also, in construction of large buildings, such as hotels or hospitals, it is possible for the baseplate to be installed initially by an electrician to connect the wiring to the mains power, and S then for another person to later on attach the hood 10 with its attached components e.g. 400, 430.
z Another advantage of the ability to separate the assembly of the hood 10 from the base plate 11 is that, rather then a repair technician having to repair the dryer 1 on location, the user 0 can simply detach the hood assembly 10, with its components, and replace it with a new hood.
Then, the defective hood can be taken away for repair. This means the repairman need not spend excessive time at the location where the dryer is installed. Also, the user experiences less down- S time, and the user may replace the hood with its components without assistance.
In the embodiment of Figure lA and IB, the dryer 1 is connected to an external source of electricity by a terminal block 500. The terminal block facilitates connection of the electric control circuit of the dryer 1 to the external mains power supply.
In Figure 1B, the electrical control circuit of the dryer 1 has a plug 503 that is able to plug into the terminal block 500 in order to connect to the mains power source.
Sensors In Figures lA and IB, the dryer 1 is provided with a sensor-means, in the form of a detector-sensor 600.
The detector-sensor 600 detects the presence of hands in the vicinity of the projecting opening 14 on the front of the hood 10. When hands are detected, the detector-sensor 600 activates the rotating fan 401 and the heating element 300. Thus, when a user places his hands beneath the opening 14, the dryer 1 automatically activates and starts drying the user's hands.
In the embodiment, the detector-sensor 600 includes an infra-red sensor.
Sanitising The Ambient Atmosphere By way of review, the dryer of Figure 1 has the capacity to remove bacteria particles from the air that is sucked into the housing 10, 11, and to expel it with all or substantially all of the bacteria particles removed. Thus, if the fan 401 were to be activated periodically, such a modified embodiments of the dryer 1 can function as atmospheric bacteria-removal apparatus.
For example, if the dryer 1 of the present embodiment were to be activated every 30 minutes, or 0 o 5 hour, or some other appropriate interval, the air in the public toilet, for instance, can be regularly purified of a substantial portion of its airborne bacteria.
z To achieve this, the modified apparatus 1 is provided with a timer-control-circuit to regularly auto-activate the fan 401 for a predetermined period of time.
Thus, periodic automatic activation of the apparatus 1 effectively sterilises part of the 0 ambient atmosphere surrounding the hand-drying apparatus. For example, the timer-controlcircuit may activate for 3 minutes every half hour.
In such a modified embodiment, the detector-sensor 600 can also detect the absence of S hands. When the detector-sensor 600 detects that there is no presence of hands in the vicinity of the opening 14, it is able to auto-activate the dryer 1 to operate in the air-purifying mode with heating the air flow. This is the ensure that the dryer 1 does not blow cold or unwarmed air onto hands that are placed below the opening 14. Thus, the timer-control-circuit can activate the apparatus 1 at regular intervals or intermittently to sterilise the ambient atmosphere surrounding the apparatus 1.
This feature that enables the hand dryer to have the added function of sterilising the ambient air is useful particularly in seasons during the year when there are a greater occurrence of airborne diseases. For instance, it is particularly useful during influenza season.
This feature also enables the dryer to act as an air-freshener, when a scented material is also held by the filter holder. For instance, a pad of fragrance or perfumed substance can be included between the filter holders 410A, 410C, 420A, 420C. When used in conjunction with the timer control circuit, it means that the ambient air of a washroom or public toilet environment can be automatically and periodically infused at regular intervals with a fragrance.
When using the apparatus 1 as a means of sanitising the ambient environment air and/or adding fragrance to the ambient air, it is preferred that the heating-element 300 not be activated, otherwise for example the temperature of the washroom could increase unnecessarily or to the point of discomfort for the users.
Alternatively, in some embodiments, the heating-element 300 is can still activated during this automatic activation by the timer control circuit. It is found that having the heater operating during this automatic cycle does not excessively heat up the ambient air.
Thus, some embodiments of the invention can function as a combined air-fragrancer, sterilised hand dryer, and ambient air sanitiser.
In a further embodiment, the timer-control-circuit is provided with light-sensor-means 504, and can optionally be constrained such that the timer-control-circuit only auto-activates the C 5 apparatus, for the purposes of ambient air sanitising and/or fragrancing, only when the lightsensor-means indicates that there is ambient light. In other words, this function will not auto- 0 activate, for example, when the washroom or toilet is in total darkness. This could apply to a z case where a washroom is only used during the daytime, and there is no need for the apparatus to be operating continually through the night.
0 Further Alternatives The embodiments have been advanced by way of example only, and modifications are possible within the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
In other embodiments, the components of the fan casing 400 and the fan motor may be fastened to the base plate 11, rather than inside the hood In other embodiments, the air stream 200C can be emitted into a drying chamber, rather than directly to the ambient environment surrounding the dryer 1.
The shape of the post 502 and the cut-off mechanism can be varied to achieve the similar function. For instance, the cut-off mechanism could be incorporated at the hinge 12. The embodiment is not limited to a particular appearance of cut-off mechanism, as long as the cut-off occurs when the hood is opened up.
The number of filters can be varied, particularly depending on the power of the motor being used.
The style of motor or fan can be varied.
Any discussion of prior art in this specification is not to be taken as an admission of the state of common general knowledge of the skilled addressee.
The above specification contains description relating to a number of aspects of the present invention.
EDITOIAL NOTE: THERE~ ARE ONLY 29 IPAGE5 Of THERE 15 NO P~AGE

Claims (79)

1. A sterilising hand-drying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially 7Z sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus including: Sa housing; C¢€ heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the V) heating-means; ¢Cc outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and Sairflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inlet- means via the heating-means to the outlet-means; wherein the apparatus is provided with bacteria-entrapment-means through which, in use, the airflow passes, and wherein the bacteria-entrapment-means, in use, is adapted to trap and retain therein a substantial portion of bacteria in the airflow, such that the airflow leaving the bacteria- entrapment-means is more sterile than when entering the bacteria-entrapment-means.
2. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein the bacteria-entrapment-means is adapted to kill a substantial portion of the bacteria that is trapped and retained therein.
3. Apparatus of claim 1 or 2 wherein the airflow leaving the bacteria-entrapment-means has numerically fewer bacteria than the airflow entering the bacteria-entrapment-means.
4. Apparatus of any one of the preceding claims wherein the airflow leaving the bacteria- entrapment-means is fully or at least substantially bacteria-free.
Apparatus of any one of the preceding claims wherein the airflow leaving the bacteria- entrapment-means is between 97% and 100% free of bacteria particles.
6. Apparatus of any one of the preceding claims wherein the bacteria-entrapment-means intercepts the airflow before the airflow reaches the heating-means.
7. Apparatus of any one of the preceding claims wherein the inlet-means includes at least 0 one main entrance through which all the airflow that is emitted from the hand-drying apparatus has to pass initially through this main entrance O z
8. Apparatus of claim 7 wherein the at least one main entrances is located totally inside the en3 housing. t)
9. Apparatus of claim 8 wherein the at least one main entrance is located in an entrance into en the airflow-generation-means such that all air entering the airflow-generation-means passes S through this at least one main entrance.
Apparatus of claim 9 wherein the airflow-generation-means is contained in a casing and wherein said at least one main entrance is located on the casing.
11. Apparatus of claim 7 wherein the at least one main entrance is located on the housing of the apparatus, and wherein all other entrances into the housing, apart from said at least one main entrance, are sealed so that, in use, air can only enter the housing through said at least one main entrance.
12. Apparatus of any one of claims 7 to 11 wherein the inlet-means includes one or more secondary entrances arranged in series with the main entrance through which the airflow passes sequentially one after another.
13. Apparatus of claim 12 wherein the main entrance is separated from its next nearest entrance in the series by a substantial space that contains sufficient air to satisfy the air intake requirements of the airflow-generation-means in terms of volume of air per unit time.
14. Apparatus of claim 12 or 13 wherein at least one of the secondary entrances is located on an external surface of the housing, and accessible by the user from outside of the housing. Apparatus of any one of claims 12 to 14 wherein each of said secondary entrances is provided with said bacteria-entrapment-means.
S
16. Apparatus of any one of claims 7 to 15 wherein the main entrance is provided with said bacteria-entrapment-means. O Z
17. Apparatus of any one of the preceding claims wherein said bacteria-entrapment-means S includes a fibrous, dense filter material that is sufficiently dense to intercept and entrap a substantial portion of germ particles in the airflow. tr
18. Apparatus of claim 17 wherein the filter material is a non-woven fibre. (Ni
19. Apparatus of claim 17 wherein the filter material has a weave of approximately 150 O microns.
Apparatus of claim 17 wherein the filter material is impregnated with a germ-killing substance that kills the bacteria entrapped and retained therein.
21. Apparatus of any one of the preceding claims wherein the bacteria-entrapment-means includes a filter-replacement mechanism that is able to automatically replace the filter material in use with replacement filter material.
22. Apparatus of claim 21 wherein the filter-replacement mechanism replaces the filter material in use with replacement filter material periodically after a period of time.
23. Apparatus of claim 21 wherein the filter-replacement mechanism replaces the filter material in use with replacement filter material progressively in a continuous or intermittent manner.
24. Apparatus of claim 21 wherein the filter material is in the form of a sheet-like strip.
Apparatus of claim 24 wherein the filter material is conveyed by a motorised reel- mechanism.
26. Apparatus of any one of the preceding claims: wherein the apparatus is provided with an electric control circuit that supplies electrical power to the apparatus, and wherein the electric control circuit is provided with a cut-off mechanism that disables the supply of electrical power when the housing is opened so as to minimise risk of the user being electrocuted when opening the housing. O z S
27. Apparatus of claim 26 wherein the cut-off mechanism includes a two-state switch which enables the supply of electrical power only when in the first state, and wherein an actuator is O provided within the housing that maintains the switch in the first state when the housing is tf) closed, and which activates the switch into the second state when the housing is opened to S thereby disable the supply of electrical power to the apparatus when the housing is opened. O
28. Apparatus of claim 26 wherein the cut-off mechanism includes a resiliently-mounted switch which enables the supply of electrical power only when depressed, and wherein a cut-off- mechanism-activator is provided within the housing and arranged so as to depresses the switch when the housing is closed, and to lift off the switch when the housing is opened thereby to disable the supply of electrical power to the apparatus when the housing is opened.
29. Apparatus of claim 28 wherein the resiliently-mounted switch is mounted on a base- mounting to which a hood of the housing is removably attachable, and the cut-off-mechanism- activator is mounted on an interior surface of the hood.
Apparatus of claim 28 wherein the cut-off-mechanism-activator is mounted on a base- mounting to which a hood of the housing is removably attachable, and the resiliently-mounted switch is mounted on an interior surface of the hood.
31. Apparatus of claim 29 or 30 wherein the cut-off-mechanism-activator is in the form of a depressor that activates the cut-off mechanism when in contact therewith.
32. Apparatus of claim 29 or 30 wherein the base-mounting is adapted to be fastened to an upright mounting surface, such that the hand-drying apparatus is able to be installed onto the upright mounting surface by attaching the housing to the base-mounting.
33. Apparatus of any one of the preceding claims wherein the hand-drying apparatus is provided with a timer-control-circuit to regularly auto-activate the airflow-generation-means for a predetermined period of time so that the hand-drying apparatus effectively sterilises part of the ambient atmosphere surrounding the hand-drying apparatus. O Z
34. Apparatus of claim 33 wherein the timer-control-circuit auto-activates the apparatus without concurrently activating the heating-means.
Apparatus of claim 33 wherein the timer-control-circuit auto-activates the apparatus tIn while concurrently activating the heating-means. (Ni S
36. Apparatus of any one of claims 33 to 35 wherein the timer-control-circuit is provided with light-sensor-means and only auto-activates the apparatus only the light-sensor indicates that there is ambient light.
37. Apparatus of any one of claims 33 to 36 wherein the apparatus is provided with hand- sensor-means which detects the presence of hands in the vicinity of the outlet-means and is adapted to activate the airflow-generation-means and the heating-means when hands are so detected, and wherein the timer-control-circuit only auto-activates the apparatus when the hand- sensor-means detects that there is no presence of hands in the vicinity of the outlet-means.
38. Apparatus of any one of the preceding claims wherein the apparatus is provided with a fragrance-material that is a source of fragrance so that the fragrance infuses into the airflow.
39. A sterilising hand-drying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus substantially as hereinbefore described and illustrated with reference to the accompanying drawings. A method of producing a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air from a sterilising hand-drying apparatus for drying hands, the method including: using airflow-generation-means to move air swiftly as an airflow; heating the air with heating-means so that the airflow is useable for drying hands; providing the hand-drying apparatus with bacteria-entrapment-means through which, in use, the airflow passes; and 36 using the bacteria-entrapment-means, in use, to trap and retain therein a substantial portion of bacteria in the airflow, such that the airflow leaving the bacteria-entrapment-means is more sterile than when entering the bacteria-entrapment-means.
O S
41. A method of claim 40 wherein the hand-drying apparatus is in accordance with any one of claims 1 to 39. Vt
42. A method of producing a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air from a sterilising S hand-drying apparatus for drying hands, the method substantially as hereinbefore described and illustrated with reference to the accompanying drawings.
43. A sterilising hand-drying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus including: a housing; 0 Z heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; Soutlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is in emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inlet- means via the heating-means to the outlet-means; wherein the apparatus is provided with an electric control circuit that supplies electrical power to the apparatus, and wherein the electric control circuit is provided with a cut-off mechanism that disables the supply of electrical power when the housing is opened so as to minimise risk of the user being electrocuted when opening the housing.
44. Apparatus of claim 43 wherein the cut-off mechanism includes a two-state switch which enables the supply of electrical power only when in the first state, and wherein an actuator is provided within the housing that maintains the switch in the first state when the housing is closed, and which activates the switch into the second state when the housing is opened to thereby disable the supply of electrical power to the apparatus when the housing is opened.
Apparatus of claim 43 wherein the cut-off mechanism includes a resiliently-mounted switch which enables the supply of electrical power only when activated, and wherein a cut-off- mechanism-activator is provided within the housing and arranged so as to activate the switch when the housing is closed, and to deactivate the switch when the housing is opened thereby to disable the supply of electrical power to the apparatus when the housing is opened.
46. Apparatus of claim 45 wherein the resiliently-mounted switch is mounted on a base- mounting to which a hood of the housing is removably attachable, and the cut-off-mechanism- activator is mounted on an interior surface of the hood. 38
47. Apparatus of claim 45 wherein the cut-off-mechanism-activator is mounted on a base- mounting to which a hood of the housing is removably attachable, and the resiliently-mounted switch is mounted on an interior surface of the hood. O
48. Apparatus of claim 46 or 47 wherein the cut-off-mechanism-activator is in the form of a depressor that activates the cut-off mechanism when in contact therewith. tr
49. Apparatus of claim 46 or 47 wherein the base-mounting is adapted to be fastened to an upright mounting surface, such that the hand-drying apparatus is able to be installed onto the upright mounting surface by attaching the housing to the base-mounting.
A baseplate to which a hood of a housing of a sterilising hand-drying apparatus is adapted to be removably attached, wherein the hand-drying apparatus is provided with an electric control circuit that 0 Z supplies electrical power to the apparatus, Sand wherein the baseplate is provided with a cut-off mechanism that disables the supply ¢€3 of electrical power to the electric control circuit when, in use with the hood attached to the baseplate, the housing is opened so as to minimise risk of the user being electrocuted when S opening the housing. (Ni C,
51. A baseplate of claim 50 wherein the sterilising hand-drying apparatus is in accordance with any one of claims 44 to 49.
52. A baseplate of claim 50 or 51 wherein the hand-drying apparatus is in accordance with any one of claims 1 to 25, or any one of claims 33 to 39.
53. A sterilising hand-drying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially 0 sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus including: a housing; 0 Z heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; Oinlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; O outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is in emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and n airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inlet- means via the heating-means to the outlet-means; 0 O wherein the hand-drying apparatus is provided with a timer-control-circuit to regularly auto-activate the airflow-generation-means for a predetermined period of time.
54. Apparatus of claim 53 wherein the timer-control-circuit auto-activates the apparatus without concurrently activating the heating-means.
Apparatus of claim 53 wherein the timer-control-circuit auto-activates the apparatus while concurrently activating the heating-means.
56. Apparatus of any one of claims 53 to 55 wherein the timer-control-circuit is provided with light-sensor-means and only auto-activates the apparatus only the light-sensor indicates that there is ambient light.
57. Apparatus of any one of claims 53 to 56 wherein the apparatus is provided with hand- sensor-means which detects the presence of hands in the vicinity of the outlet-means and is adapted to activate the airflow-generation-means and the heating-means when hands are so detected, and wherein the timer-control-circuit only auto-activates the apparatus when the hand- sensor-means detects that there is no presence of hands in the vicinity of the outlet-means.
58. Apparatus of any one of the claims 53 to 57 wherein the apparatus is provided with a fragrance-material that is a source of fragrance so that the fragrance infuses into the airflow.
59. A timing circuit component adapted to regularly auto-activate airflow-generation-means in a sterilising hand-drying apparatus for a predetermined period of time, the sterilising hand-drying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially 0 Z sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus including: Sa housing; ¢€3 heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the S heating-means; ¢€3 Cc outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and Ssaid airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inlet-means via the heating-means to the outlet-means; wherein the timer-control-circuit is adapted to regularly auto-activate the airflow- generation-means for a predetermined period of time.
A timing circuit component of claim 59 wherein the hand-drying apparatus is in accordance with any one of claims 54 to 58, or any one of claims 1 to 32.
61. A method of sterilising ambient atmosphere around a sterilising hand-drying apparatus that is adapted to produce a stream of substantially sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the 0 Z method including: Sproviding the hand-drying apparatus with a timer-control-circuit that is adapted to e¢3 regularly auto-activate the airflow-generation-means for a predetermined period of time; and using the timer-control-circuit to auto-activate the sterilising hand-drying apparatus S periodically for a predetermined period of time, e¢3 e¢ wherein the hand-drying apparatus includes: a housing; Sheating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inlet- means via the heating-means to the outlet-means.
62. A method of sterilising ambient atmosphere wherein the hand-drying apparatus is in accordance with any one of claims 54 to 58, or any one of claims 1 to 32.
63. A method of fragrancing ambient atmosphere around a hand-drying apparatus that is 0 adapted to produce an airflow of heated air for drying hands, the method including: providing the hand-drying apparatus with a timer-control-circuit that is adapted to O regularly auto-activate the airflow-generation-means for a predetermined period of time; providing the apparatus with a fragrance-material that is a source of fragrance so that the fragrance infuses into the airflow; and O using the timer-control-circuit to auto-activate the hand-drying apparatus periodically for trn a predetermined period of time, which effectively causes the fragrance in the airflow to fragrance rfl the ambient atmosphere around the hand-drying apparatus; wherein the hand-drying apparatus includes: 0 O a housing; heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; inlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inlet- means via the heating-means to the outlet-means. 63. A method of fragrancing ambient atmosphere wherein the hand-drying apparatus is in accordance with any one of claims 54 to 58, or any one of claims 1 to 32.
64. A sterilising hand-drying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially 0 sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus including: a housing; 0 Z heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; Oinlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the en3 heating-means; O outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is in emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; en3 e airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inlet- S means via the heating-means to the outlet-means; and O filter material adapted to filter the airflow; wherein the apparatus includes a filter-replacement mechanism that is able to automatically replace the filter material in use with replacement filter material.
Apparatus of claim 64 wherein the filter-replacement mechanism replaces the filter material in use with replacement filter material periodically after a period of time.
66. Apparatus of claim 64 wherein the filter-replacement mechanism replaces the filter material in use with replacement filter material progressively in a continuous or intermittent manner.
67. Apparatus of claim 64 wherein the filter material is in the form of a sheet-like strip.
68. Apparatus of claim 67 wherein the filter material is conveyed by a motorised reel- mechanism.
69. Apparatus of any one of claims 64 to 68 wherein the filter material includes bacteria- entrapment-means through which, in use, the airflow passes, and wherein the bacteria-entrapment-means, in use, is adapted to trap and retain therein a substantial portion of bacteria in the airflow, such that the airflow leaving the bacteria- entrapment-means is more sterile than when entering the bacteria-entrapment-means.
Apparatus of claim 69 wherein sterilising hand-drying apparatus is in accordance with any one of claims 2 to 20, or any one of claims 26 to 38. 0 S
71. An auto filter-replacement mechanism to change filter material of a sterilising hand- drying apparatus, 0 Z wherein the filter-replacement mechanism is in accordance with the filter-replacement o mechanism recited within any one of claims 65 to 69. en3 tt') C€) en3 en, ci,
72. A sterilising hand-drying apparatus adapted to produce a stream of substantially 0 sterilised, heated air for drying hands, the apparatus including: a housing; 0 Z heating-means positioned in the housing for heating of air useable for drying hands; Oinlet-means through which the air, in use, enters the housing and travels to reach the heating-means; O outlet-means through which the air, in use, after being heated by the heating-means, is in emitted as heated air useable for drying hands; and n airflow-generation-means adapted to move the air swiftly as an airflow from the inlet- S means via the heating-means to the outlet-means; 0 O wherein the inlet-means includes at least one main entrance through which all airflow in the apparatus must pass through said at least one main entrance, and wherein the at least one main entrance is located in an entrance into the airflow- generation-means such that all air entering the airflow-generation-means passes through this at least one main entrance which is filtered.
73. Apparatus of claim 72 wherein the airflow-generation-means is contained in a casing and wherein said at least one main entrance is located on the casing.
74. Apparatus of claim 72 wherein the at least one main entrances is located totally inside the housing.
Apparatus of claim 72 wherein the at least one main entrance is located on the housing of the apparatus, and wherein all other entrances into the housing, apart from said at least one main entrance, are sealed so that, in use, air can only enter the housing through said at least one main entrance.
76. Apparatus of any one of claims 72 to 75 wherein the inlet-means includes one or more secondary entrances arranged in series with the main entrance through which the airflow passes sequentially one after another.
77. Apparatus of claim 76 wherein main entrance is separated from its next nearest entrance in the series by a substantial space that contains sufficient air to satisfy the air intake requirements of the airflow-generation-means in terms of volume of air per unit time.
78. Apparatus of claim 76 or 77 wherein at least one of the secondary entrances is located on an external surface of the housing, and accessible by the user from outside of the housing. O
79. Apparatus of any one of claims 72 to 78 wherein the sterilising hand-drying apparatus is in accordance with any one of claims 1 to 7, or any one of claims 26 to 38. C€n DATED 30TH NOVEMNER 2004 PANACHE GLOBAL HOLDINGS PTY LTD BY ITS PATENT ATTORNEY ROGER SYN CO. FELLOW OF THE INSTITUTE OF PATENT AND TRADE MARK ATTORNEYS OF AUSTRALIA
AU2004233510A 2004-11-30 2004-11-30 Sterilising Hand Dryer And Method Abandoned AU2004233510A1 (en)

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Applications Claiming Priority (11)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2004233510A AU2004233510A1 (en) 2004-11-30 2004-11-30 Sterilising Hand Dryer And Method
EP05810578A EP1827650A4 (en) 2004-11-30 2005-11-30 Improved sterilising filter arrangement, apparatus & method
AU2005312333A AU2005312333A1 (en) 2004-11-30 2005-11-30 Improved sterilising filter arrangement, apparatus and method
CN2005800474492A CN101389395B (en) 2004-11-30 2005-11-30 Improved sterilising filter arrangement, apparatus and method
PCT/AU2005/001803 WO2006058370A1 (en) 2004-11-30 2005-11-30 Improved sterilising filter arrangement, apparatus & method
TW094142087A TW200626100A (en) 2004-11-30 2005-11-30 Improved sterilising filter arrangement, apparatus & method
JP2007543652A JP2008521520A (en) 2004-11-30 2005-11-30 Improved sterilization filter device, sterilization device, and sterilization method
US11/720,369 US20080253754A1 (en) 2004-11-30 2005-11-30 Sterilising Filter Arrangement Apparatus & Method
SG200907936-9A SG158095A1 (en) 2004-11-30 2005-11-30 Improved sterilising filter arrangement, apparatus & method
ZA200705296A ZA200705296B (en) 2004-11-30 2007-06-29 Improved sterlising filter arrangement, apparatus & method
JP2011126338A JP2011196682A (en) 2004-11-30 2011-06-06 Improved sterilizing filter apparatus, sterilizing apparatus and method

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WO2013071492A1 (en) * 2011-11-15 2013-05-23 Bai Jiyong Hand dryer with replaceable three-dimensional air sterilization filter screen structure
WO2013149285A1 (en) * 2012-04-02 2013-10-10 Air Sanz Holdings Pty Ltd Air purifying apparatus, method & system
EP2957205B1 (en) * 2013-02-13 2021-12-01 Ffuuss 2013, S. L. Hand-dryer
CN103861411B (en) * 2013-02-18 2017-07-18 广州赛佛科技有限公司 A kind of bionic air-purifying method and its special bionic lung device
EP3034151B1 (en) * 2014-12-19 2020-04-29 Sidel Participations, S.A.S. An air filter unit
CN105951401B (en) * 2016-06-30 2019-06-18 无锡小天鹅股份有限公司 Dryer
KR20180094742A (en) * 2017-02-16 2018-08-24 서울바이오시스 주식회사 Deodorizing device inclduing suction fan and refrigerator including the same
CN110042616A (en) * 2018-01-17 2019-07-23 青岛海尔洗衣机有限公司 A kind of control method and washing machine of washing machine
CN109751724B (en) * 2018-12-27 2021-06-22 青岛海尔空调电子有限公司 Air conditioner control method with bipolar ion generation module and air conditioner

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JPH10290767A (en) * 1997-04-17 1998-11-04 Funai Electric Co Ltd Hand dryer
US6776824B2 (en) * 2002-01-11 2004-08-17 Sheree H. Wen Antiviral and antibacterial filtration module for a vacuum cleaner or other appliance

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CN101389395B (en) 2012-02-08
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Free format text: IN VOL 22, NO 3, PAGE(S) 289 UNDER THE HEADING ASSIGNMENTS BEFORE GRANT, SECTION 113 -2004 UNDER THE NAME ALPHA GLOBAL HOLDINGS PTY LTD, APPLICATION NO. 2004233510, UNDER INID 71 CORRECT THE NAME TO READ ALPHA TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION LTD.