WO2010147607A1 - Disinfecting passenger conveyor - Google Patents

Disinfecting passenger conveyor Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2010147607A1
WO2010147607A1 PCT/US2009/066219 US2009066219W WO2010147607A1 WO 2010147607 A1 WO2010147607 A1 WO 2010147607A1 US 2009066219 W US2009066219 W US 2009066219W WO 2010147607 A1 WO2010147607 A1 WO 2010147607A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
ultraviolet light
light generation
movable platform
logic
passenger
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2009/066219
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Min Zhong
Zhe Li
Fei Tang
Xiaodong Cao
Original Assignee
Otis Elevator Company
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to CN2009203046228U priority Critical patent/CN201580871U/en
Priority to CN200920304622.8 priority
Application filed by Otis Elevator Company filed Critical Otis Elevator Company
Publication of WO2010147607A1 publication Critical patent/WO2010147607A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B66HOISTING; LIFTING; HAULING
    • B66BELEVATORS; ESCALATORS OR MOVING WALKWAYS
    • B66B11/00Main component parts of lifts in, or associated with, buildings or other structures
    • B66B11/02Cages, i.e. cars
    • B66B11/0226Constructional features, e.g. walls assembly, decorative panels, comfort equipment, thermal or sound insulation
    • B66B11/024Ventilation systems

Abstract

A passenger conveyor includes a movable platform adapted to support a passenger, an ultraviolet light generation device mounted to disinfect a surface of the movable platform, a logic device adapted to detect an active and inactive state of the movable platform, and a controller. The controller is adapted to activate the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in one of the active and inactive states, and deactivate the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in the other of the active and inactive states.

Description

DISINFECTING PASSENGER CONVEYOR
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
[0001] This International PCT Application claims priority to, and hereby incorporates by reference in its entirety, Chinese Patent Application No. 200920304622.8, which was filed on June 18, 2009.
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
[0002] The present disclosure generally relates to passenger conveyors and, in particular, relates to apparatuses and methods for disinfecting passenger conveyors.
BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE
[0003] Passenger conveyors are in widespread use to transport a passenger from one destination to another destination rapidly. For example, elevators have been designed to get a passenger vertically from one level to another level quicker than manually climbing stairs. Escalators as well have been designed to get a passenger diagonally or spirally from one level to another level more expediently than climbing stairs manually. Even moving walkways have accelerated the process of walking by more expediently getting a passenger horizontally from one position to another position. Passenger conveyors are commonly installed in publicly used areas such as office buildings, airports, and shopping centers, for example. [0004] Although passenger conveyors have brought convenience in public areas by transporting numerous passengers from one destination to another destination rapidly, the concern for sanitation has increased among passengers as the use of passenger conveyors becomes more prevalent. The constant use of passenger conveyors located in enclosed indoor facilities has increased the risk of transmitting contaminations via air-borne and direct surface contact, particularly the spread of bacteria and viruses. With the spread of more serious communicable diseases such as SARS and Swine Ru, passengers have become more concerned with using public facilities for fear of contracting an illness from another passenger. To diminish such concern, a demand for improved sanitary environments in public spaces has arisen.
[0005] One solution is to manually disinfect passenger conveyors. This method requires additional labor and expense, not to mention the release of residue into the air and left behind on the surfaces by the cleaning solution. Attempts have been made to reduce labor cost by designing devices to disinfect passenger conveyors. For example, a guard device for an escalator handrail has been designed to spray disinfectant solution onto the handrail as it rotates. The escalator guard device is not ideal because it requires continuous maintenance costs to refill the spray solution.
[0006] Another attempt was made by Otis Elevator Company, the assignee of the present disclosure. Otis disclosed in U.S. Patent Application No. 11/574,102 a disinfecting elevator passenger interface. The passenger interface has a radiation-activated disinfectant material on its contact surface. A radiation source, such as ultraviolet light, is placed behind the passenger interface to irradiate the disinfectant and thus disinfect the contact surface. Although such a system is effective in disinfecting the passenger interface in an elevator, it does not disinfect the remaining object surfaces and the air within the elevator, which could be contaminated and which could provide grounds for transmitting bacteria and viruses.
[0007] In light of the foregoing, improvements continue to be sought for disinfecting passenger conveyors.
SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
[0008] In accordance with one aspect of the disclosure a passenger conveyor is disclosed which comprises a movable platform adapted to support a passenger, an ultraviolet light generation device mounted to disinfect a surface of the movable platform, a logic device adapted to detect an active and inactive state of the movable platform, and a controller adapted to activate the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in one of the active and inactive states and deactivate the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in the other of the active and inactive states.
[0009] In accordance with an alternative or additional aspect of the disclosure a passenger conveyor is disclosed which comprises a movable platform adapted to support a passenger, a ventilation system operatively associated with the movable platform, a logic device adapted to detect an active and inactive state of the movable platform, an ultraviolet light generation device mounted in such an orientation to disinfect air in the ventilation system, and a controller adapted to activate and deactivate the ultraviolet light generation when the logic device is in one of the active and inactive states and deactivate the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in the other of the active and inactive states. [0010] In accordance with yet another aspect of the disclosure, a method for disinfecting a passenger conveyor is disclosed which comprises providing a movable platform adapted to support a passenger, providing a logic device adapted to detect an active and inactive state of the movable platform, providing an ultraviolet light generation device mounted relative to the movable platform, activating the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in one of the active and inactive states, and deactivating the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in the other of the active and inactive states.
[0011] Other advantages and features will be apparent from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the attached drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0012] For a more complete understanding of the disclosed apparatus and method, reference should be made to the embodiments illustrated in greater detail in the accompanying drawings, wherein:
[0013] FIG. 1 is a block diagram representation of an embodiment of a passenger conveyor constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure;
[0014] FIG. 2 is an interior view of an elevator constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure;
[0015] FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of an interior segment of an elevator employing an ultraviolet light generation device constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure; [0016] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of an elevator handrail employing an ultraviolet light generation device constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure;
[0017] FTG. 5 is a block diagram representation of an embodiment of a ventilation system constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure;
[0018] FTG. 6 is a perspective view of an exterior elevator ceiling supporting an ultraviolet light generation device for use in a ventilation system constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure; and
[0019] FIG. 7 is a flowchart depicting a sample sequence of steps which may be practiced in accordance with the method of the present disclosure.
[0020] It should be understood that the drawings are not necessarily to scale and that the disclosed embodiments are sometimes illustrated diagrammatically and in partial views. In certain instances, details which are not necessary for an understanding of the disclosed methods and systems or which render other details difficult to perceive may have been omitted. It should be understood, of course, that this disclosure is not limited to the particular embodiments illustrated herein.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE
[0021] Referring now to the drawings, and with specific reference to FIG. 1, a passenger conveyor constructed in accordance with the teachings of the disclosure is generally referred to by reference numeral 100. More specifically, an elevator 100 will be used as the exemplary embodiment to describe a passenger conveyor in detail below. It is to be understood that this disclosure should not be Limited only to elevators, however, rather that other exemplary embodiments such as an escalator, a moving walkway, and so forth may be substituted for the elevator and referred to herein as the passenger conveyor.
[0022] The elevator 100, as illustrated in FIG. 1, may comprise a movable platform 102 adapted to support a passenger (not shown). A logic device 104, one or more ultraviolet light generation devices 106, and a ventilation system 108 may be attached to the movable platform 102 as described in further detail herein. The logic device 104 may be adapted to change from one state to another state based on the movable platform 102 being active or inactive. As used herein, the logic device 104 may be, but is not limited to, a mechanical device, such as a relay, sensor, or switch, or a programmable device, such as a logic gate or programmable logic device (PLD).
[0023] A controller 110 connecting and controlling the ultraviolet light generation devices 106 may be adapted to activate or deactivate the ultraviolet light generation devices 106 upon a change in state in the logic device 104. Further, the controller 110 may be configured to activate or deactivate the ultraviolet light generation devices 106 automatically and/or manually upon a change in state in the logic device 104. By way of specific example, the controller 110 may be configured to automatically activate or deactivate the ultraviolet light generation devices 106 upon a change in state of the logic device 104 indicative of the absence or presence of a passenger. Additionally or alternatively, the controller 110 may be configured to activate or deactivate the ultraviolet light generation devices 106 upon the manual input of a mechanic or building owner in conjunction with a detected state of the logic device.
[0024] Although the controller 110 may automatically and/or manually activate and deactivate the ultraviolet light generation devices 106, for simplicity of explanation, the controller is described herein as automatically activating and deactivating the ultraviolet light generation devices 106. Further, as used herein, the controller 110 may be, but is not limited to, an adapter, a programmable logic controller (PLC), or a central processing unit (CPU). Furthermore, the logic device 104 may be embedded within the controller 110 or be stand- alone. The ultraviolet light generation devices 106 may be installed in the ventilation system 108 as illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 and described in further detail herein. The ultraviolet light generation devices 106 may be installed in the movable platform 102 as illustrated in FTGS. 2, 3, and 4 and described in further detail herein.
[0025] A power supply 112 provides power to all the electrical elements comprising the elevator 100. The power supply 112 may be a power grid and/or a battery. Moreover, in some embodiments more than one power supply may be used to power separate or various electrical elements of the elevator 100. For example, any one or more of the electrical elements including, but not limited to, the logic device 104, the ultraviolet light generation devices 106, the ventilation system 108, and/or the controller 110 may be powered by the power grid during normal operations and/or by one or more backup batteries in the event of a loss of power from the power grid.
[0026] In one embodiment, the ultraviolet light generation devices 106 may comprise a mercury-vapor lamp. Mercury- vapor lamps are commonly used for germicidal irradiation. Once active, the ultraviolet light generation devices 106 may use the ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) method to sterilize the elevator 100. Known as a highly effective method for destroying microorganisms, the UVGI method uses ultraviolet light at short wavelengths to kill microorganisms by damaging the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Ultraviolet light is an electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths shorter than visible light. The ultraviolet radiation breaks down the chemical bonds that hold the DNA together, making the process irreversible and permanently damaging the microorganism from reproducing and remaining alive. Thus, the UVGI method, used by the ultraviolet light generation devices 106, allows for the elevator 100 to be disinfected from contaminations, such as bacteria and viruses, creating a sterilized environment.
[0027] Referring now to FIG. 2, an interior 114 of the elevator 100 may include a ceiling 116, a left side wall 118, a right side wall 120, a rear wall 122, and a front wall with a sliding door for passengers to enter and exit (not shown). Handrails 124 surround the walls 118, 120, and 122, with tracks 126 being located on one or more of the left wall 118, right wall 120, and rear wall 122. A floor 128, representing in this embodiment the movable platform, may be provided at the base of the elevator 100 to support the passenger. Furthermore, FIG. 2 shows the ceiling 116, the handrails 124, and the tracks 126 having ultraviolet light generation devices 130, 132, and 134 respectively installed along with a reflection mask 136 covering the bottom portion of the walls 118, 120, and 122 below the tracks 126. The ultraviolet light generation devices 130, 132, and 134 may be used to disinfect the surfaces 116, 118, 120, 122, 124, 126, and 128 from contaminations such as bacteria and viruses. The reflection mask 136 aids in reflecting the ultraviolet light to ensure sterilization with broader surface coverage. It is to be understood that the reflection mask 136 can be installed anywhere within the interior 114 of the elevator 100 in any shape or size in order to enhance reflection of ultraviolet light onto surfaces of the elevator 100. In addition, it is to be understood that the ultraviolet light generation devices 130, 132, and 134 can be installed anywhere within the interior 114 of the elevator 100 in order to sterilize surfaces of the elevator 100. For example, although not shown, the ultraviolet light generation devices 130, 132, and 134 could be installed in or proximate the car operating panel, in the sliding doors, etc.
[0028] FIGS. 3 and 4 are enlarged views to show how the ultraviolet light generation devices 132 and 134 may be installed in the handrails 124 and the tracks 126 of the elevator 100. In FIG. 3, the tracks 126 in which the ultraviolet light generation device 134 may be installed, may be provided within a slit or recessed in the walls 118, 120, 122. The reflection mask 136 may be mounted right below or above the tracks 126. In FIG. 4, the ultraviolet light generation device 132 may be installed behind the lower portion of the handrail 124. Mounting the ultraviolet light generation devices 132 and 134, as well as the reflection mask 136, in such an orientation provides an ideal location for minimal access by passengers using the elevator 100, thereby reducing the likelihood of damage to the ultraviolet light generation devices 132 and 134 and the reflection mask 136.
[0029] Referring now to FIG. 5, the ventilation system 108 may include an air inlet 138, a fan 140, a motor 142, an ultraviolet light generation device 144, a filter 146, and an air outlet 148. The motor 142, powered by the power supply 112, circulates the fan 140 in such an orientation to draw in air from an elevator shaft 150 through the air inlet 138. The air from the elevator shaft 150 passes the fan 140 and is pushed towards the air outlet 148. Prior to exiting the ventilation system 108 through the air outlet 148, the air from the elevator shaft 150 flows passed the ultraviolet light generation device 144 and the filter 146. The ultraviolet light generation device 144 admits ultraviolet radiation onto the air particles from the elevator shaft 150. Since ultraviolet light is an energy that kills microorganisms, the air particles are not only sterilized from microorganisms, but also negatively ionized, creating oxygen anions. As charged, sterilized air particles flow passed the filter 146 and exit the ventilation system 108 through the air outlet 148, the dead microorganisms are captured by the filter 146, resulting in air into an elevator cabin 152 being germicidal free and filled with oxygen anions.
[0030] In FIG. 6, which depicts an exemplary embodiment, the ventilation system 108 may be attached to an exterior ceiling 154 of the elevator 100. The ventilation system 108 ventilates air from the elevator shaft 150 into the elevator cabin 152. The ultraviolet light generation device 144 disinfects air flowing through the ventilation system 108 and into the elevator cabin 152 via an air outlet 148. The ultraviolet light generation device 144 not only sanitizes air-borne pollutants, but also generates oxygen anions, which are beneficial to the health of the pas sengers .
[0031] In FIG. 7, a flowchart demonstrates an exemplary method for disinfecting the elevator 100. As used herein, if the elevator 100 is in a standby mode with no passenger present on the movable platform 102, then the movable platform 102 will be in an inactive state. If the elevator 100 is being used or requested to be used by a passenger, then the movable platform 102 is considered to be in an active state. The logic device 104 will detect whether the movable platform 102 is active or inactive, and sets a state accordingly, as illustrated in step 202. In addition, the ventilation system 108 used to ventilate air within the elevator 100 can either be in an ON state circulating air or in an OFF state sitting idle, as illustrated in step 204. If the logic device 104 is active, then all ultraviolet light generation devices 130, 132, 134, and 144 may be deactivated by the controller 110* as illustrated in step 206. If the logic device 104 is inactive and the ventilation system 108 is ON, then the ultraviolet light generation devices 130, 132, 134, and 144 installed in the interior 114 of the elevator 100 and in the ventilation system 108 may be activated by the controller 110 to disinfect air-borne and surface contaminations based on a timed sequence, as illustrated in step 208. If the logic device 104 is inactive and the ventilation system 108 is OFF, then the ultraviolet light generation devices 130, 132, and 134 installed in the interior 114 of the elevator 100 may be activated by the controller 110 to disinfect surface contaminations based on a timed sequence, as illustrated in step 210. The ultraviolet light generation device 144 installed in the ventilation system 108 is not activated since the ventilation system 108 is OFF.
[0032] In one exemplary embodiment, the ultraviolet light generation devices 130, 132, 134, and 144 may be activated to disinfect based on a timed sequence, as illustrated in step 212. The timed sequence may be programmed within the controller 110 and executed by the controller 110. For example, the controller 110 will automatically activate the ultraviolet light generation devices 130, 132, 134, and 144 every one to two hours to disinfect for twenty to forty minutes. Other disinfecting durations and frequency are certainly possible. Once the timed sequence cycle is complete, the ultraviolet light generation devices 130, 132, 134, and 144 may be deactivated by the controller 110, as illustrated in step 214. The timed sequence cycle is automatically interrupted upon the logic device 104 being activated, as illustrated in step 216. Once the logic device 104 is activated, the ultraviolet light generation devices 130, 132, 134, and 144 may be deactivated as illustrated in step 214.
[0033] One pass through the entire sequence of steps in FIG. 7 may, for example, take on the order of 2-20 milliseconds, or at any other desired speed. As a result, if for example, the logic device 104 is initially inactive in step 202 and then active in step 216, say for instance if a passenger is detected, the ultraviolet light generation devices 130 may immediately be terminated in step 214 within 2-20 milliseconds of the logic device 104 becoming active. INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY
[0034] In light of the foregoing, it can be seen that the present disclosure sets forth a passenger conveyor which automatically and/or manually sanitizes itself by utilizing ultraviolet light radiation to disinfect the surfaces and air surrounded by the passenger conveyor. Such a passenger conveyor can be provided in the form of, but not limited to, an elevator, an escalator, a moving walkway, or the like. By placing ultraviolet light generation devices in various locations and controlling them with a controller and a logic device, the ultraviolet light generation devices can be activated and deactivated automatically and/or manually. Activating and deactivating the ultraviolet light generation devices to disinfect the passenger conveyor based on a presence or absence of a passenger, allows ultraviolet light radiation to only occur while the passenger is not present, thus eliminating ultraviolet light radiation exposure on the passenger. In addition, since ultraviolet light radiation does not leave behind residue after disinfecting and further enhances the air by sanitizing air-borne pollutants and generating oxygen anions, the passenger conveyor becomes a sanitized and healthier environment for the public.
[0035] While only certain embodiments have been set forth, alternatives and modifications will be apparent from the above description to those skilled in the art. These and other alternatives are considered equivalents and within the spirit and scope of this disclosure and the appended claims.

Claims

What is claimed is:
1) A passenger conveyor comprising: a movable platform adapted to support a passenger; an ultraviolet light generation device mounted to disinfect a surface of the movable platform; a logic device adapted to detect an active and inactive state of the movable platform; and a controller adapted to activate the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in one of the active and inactive states, and deactivate the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in the other of the active and inactive states.
2) The passenger conveyor of claim 1, wherein the controller is adapted to automatically activate and deactivate the ultraviolet light generation device upon a change in state in the logic device.
3) The passenger conveyor of claim 1, wherein the movable platform is selected from the group consisting of an elevator, an escalator, and a moving walkway.
4) The passenger conveyor of claim 1, wherein the ultraviolet light generation device is mounted in a ceiling of the movable platform. 5) The passenger conveyor of claim 1, wherein the ultraviolet light generation device is mounted in a handrail of the movable platform.
6) The passenger conveyor of claim 1, wherein the ultraviolet light generation device is mounted in a track of the movable platform.
7) The passenger conveyor of claim 1, wherein the ultraviolet light generation device is accommodated with at least one reflection mask.
8) The passenger conveyor of claim 1, wherein the logic device is one of a mechanical device and a programmable device.
9) A passenger conveyor comprising: a movable platform adapted to support a passenger; a ventilation system operatively associated with the movable platform; a logic device adapted to detect an active and inactive state of the movable platform; an ultraviolet light generation device mounted in such an orientation to disinfect air in the ventilation system; and a controller adapted to activate the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in one of the active and inactive states, and deactivate the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in the other of the active and inactive states. 10) The passenger convey of claim 10, wherein the controller is adapted to automatically activate and deactivate the ultraviolet light generation device upon a change in state in the logic device.
11) The passenger conveyor of claim 10, wherein the movable platform is selected from the group consisting of an elevator, an escalator, and a moving walkway.
12) The passenger conveyor of claim 10, wherein the ultraviolet light generation device disinfects air-borne pollutants and generates oxygen anions.
13) A method for disinfecting a passenger conveyor comprising: providing a movable platform adapted to support a passenger; providing a logic device adapted to detect an active and inactive state of the movable platform; providing an ultraviolet light generation device mounted relative to the movable platform; activating the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in one of the active and inactive states; and deactivating the ultraviolet light generation device when the logic device is in the other of the active and inactive states. 14) The method of claim 13, wherein the ultraviolet light generation device automatically activates when the passenger is not present on the movable platform.
15) The method of claim 13, wherein the ultraviolet light generation device automatically deactivates when the passenger is present on the movable platform.
16) The method of claim 13, wherein the logic device changes states depending upon the presence and absence of the passenger from the movable platform.
17) The method of claim 13, wherein the ultraviolet light generation device becomes active based on a timed sequence.
18) The method of claim 13, wherein the ultraviolet light generation device disinfects a surface of the movable platform from contaminations.
19) The method of claim 13, wherein the ultraviolet light generation device disinfects airborne contaminations in air within or adjacent the movable platform.
20) The method of claim 13, wherein the ultraviolet generation device generates oxygen anions in air within or adjacent the movable platform.
PCT/US2009/066219 2009-06-18 2009-12-01 Disinfecting passenger conveyor WO2010147607A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
CN2009203046228U CN201580871U (en) 2009-06-18 2009-06-18 Ultraviolet sterilization and disinfection compartment system
CN200920304622.8 2009-06-18

Publications (1)

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CN111994758A (en) * 2020-08-30 2020-11-27 苏州铃木电梯有限公司 Intelligent cleaning device for elevator car environment and control system thereof
DE102020121660A1 (en) 2020-08-18 2022-02-24 Nova Solutions GmbH Elevator car of a passenger elevator and method of operation

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CN105084177A (en) * 2015-09-17 2015-11-25 恒达富士电梯有限公司 Environment-friendly elevator car
CN105502134A (en) * 2016-02-24 2016-04-20 恒达富士电梯有限公司 Elevator car with ultraviolet sterilization device
CN105923511A (en) * 2016-06-21 2016-09-07 浙江屹立电梯有限公司 Elevator car with air purification function
CN108178048A (en) * 2017-12-28 2018-06-19 浙江益仓机电有限公司 A kind of elevator with disinfection and polishing function
CN111150862A (en) * 2020-03-23 2020-05-15 重庆瓦力仪器有限公司 Intelligent sterilization device based on ultraviolet rays and sterilization control method thereof
CN111591866B (en) * 2020-05-29 2022-02-25 广州广日电梯工业有限公司 Variable frequency door motor system and elevator car safety protection processing method

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