© Anders Bergstedt

Staying in for fresh air

The Swedish company Wood’s develops and produces air puri­fiers that not only free the air indoors from harmful parti­cles but also inspire high-tech visions.

What are you doing right now? Correct, you are reading. And what else? Was your answer, “nothing?” Patrik Tedsjö is right when he says: “We breathe without really thinking about it. And we take clean air for granted.” When Tedsjö is sitting on the sofa at home in Mari­estad or taking in Sweden’s nature at the weekend, he often breathes in and out consciously. But the 50-year-old’s work routine also focuses on clean air: Tedsjö is the CEO of Wood’s.

The company’s 30 employees develop and produce air puri­fiers and air puri­fying systems. From tran­quil Alingsås, just 50 kilo­me­ters to the north-east of Gothen­burg, thou­sands of units are currently shipped to ten coun­tries — and growing. The public has finally become aware of air quality. “Basi­cally, our units are in use where there are prob­lems with the air,” Tedsjö said. “Twenty years ago, nobody thought about it. Today, clean air is a major concern.”

Wood’s CEO Patrik Tedsjö and employee Ramy Ibrahim examine an air filter before ship­ping it. (Photo | Anders Berg­stedt)

A poiso­nous cock­tail

According to a current World Health Orga­ni­za­tion report, nine out of ten people breathe cont­a­m­i­nated air — and not only those who are moving around outside, on the streets of a major city. In homes and offices, all sorts of stuff is flying through the air and not only liter­ally taking the breath away from people with aller­gies. In addi­tion to dust, pollen, spores and bacteria, lots of volatile organic compounds (VOC) — substances used in paint, personal care prod­ucts or cleaning agents, for example — are in the air we breathe. And these prod­ucts are based on chem­i­cals and oil. In inte­riors, they evap­o­rate quickly and can combine with other gases to form compounds such as ozone or fine dust parti­cles. In the Science trade journal, scien­tists have warned about an insuf­fi­ciently researched “inte­rior chem­ical cock­tail.”

“Our air puri­fiers can filter up to 99.98 percent of the parti­cles from the air, elim­i­nating odors and gas in the process.”
Patrik Tedsjö, CEO of Wood’s Elek­tro­filter

Poorly researched perhaps — but not inevitable. “Our air puri­fiers can filter up to 99.98 percent of the parti­cles from the air, elim­i­nating odors and gas in the process,” said Tedsjö. Their effec­tive­ness is based on the patented elec­tro­static filtering method that Wood’s air puri­fiers work with: ioniza­tion. The parti­cles in the air that the unit sucks in have a slight posi­tive charge. The nega­tively charged filter surface attracts the ionized parti­cles. Without loss of pres­sure, the air flows through the HEPA (high-effi­ciency partic­u­late air) filter.

Shhh, the chil­dren are breathing

Tedsjö says that his employees’ exper­tise is not the only thing that makes the air puri­fiers so effec­tive: “Fans from ­ebm-papst are perfect for us.” To enable the air to flow through the puri­fier, Wood’s uses 12-volt DC centrifugal fans with speed regu­la­tion. “They are the key to our air puri­fiers’ low energy consump­tion and low noise emis­sion,” said Tedsjö. Neither benefit should be under­es­ti­mated — think about chil­dren sleeping through the night or parents concen­trating at work, whether in an urban open office situ­a­tion or at an oil refinery office.

Lars Kyrk­lund also praises the fans from ebm-papst as being “unbeat­ably effi­cient.” The free­lance tech­nical consul­tant develops air puri­fier systems for Wood’s and until recently, worked on a project showing that particle-free air inspires both human lungs and visions of the future. Kyrk­lund inte­grated an Wood’s air purifi­ca­tion system into the holo­gram table from Euclideon, the Australian company.

One reason Wood’s air puri­fiers are so quiet and effi­cient is DC centrifugal fans with speed regu­la­tion from ebm-papst. (Photo | Anders Berg­stedt)

Clean air for holo­grams

This high-tech table creates 3D models such as archi­tects’ designs. But it only works in the absence of parti­cles that could cloud the projec­tion. “I selected this air purifi­ca­tion system for the table because it is extremely energy effi­cient. The amount of clean air that just one watt delivers is amazing — and of course the design is not the only contributing factor. The fans also play a major role. After all, the energy consump­tion level of an air purifi­ca­tion system depends on them,” said Kyrk­lund.

Kyrk­lund used the same fans for the holo­gram table that Wood’s used for the air puri­fiers that are found in resi­den­tial spaces. At home, Tedsjö has one in every room. As he is well aware: “There are no ‘good parti­cles’ in the air.

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