AirKnife — a Clean Car Journey Like Never Before

It’s been two years since the pandemic started and everything changed. Can you imagine safely breathing without the mask with others in a confined space? Probably not now, but that’s normally the case with cars, and their only line of defense is the air filter that filters out harmful particles from the outside.

But what about the interior? Well, the air filter doesn’t do much in terms of air circulation, and you are bound to breathe the same air as those next to you.

This is why WayRay developed AirKnife and built it into our Holograktor car.

A Different Kind of Safety

As we mentioned before in our previous blog posts, safety is our utmost concern — and we are not just talking about road safety. We care about the riding experience, and the air quality inside the car is an important aspect of that.

We came up with the idea of AirKnife at WayRay and we developed it from scratch with our team of engineers. It separates passenger airflow — like modern air-conditioning, but better. What it does is create streams of air in designated directions to facilitate the airflow inside the car, meanwhile preventing air particles (caused by talking or sneezing) from moving around the cabin.

“It’s the air conditioning concept which we tested and we built it physically to split air into three parts,” said Vitaly Ponomarev, founder and CEO of WayRay. “It will be safer to ride along with others if you’re sharing your ride with somebody.”

But you might be wondering — how is it any different from conventional AC systems? Don’t modern cars already have air filters installed?

Yes and no, here’s why.

Compartmanized Cabin

If you have taken a taxi during the pandemic, you might have noticed the glass and plastic panels in place that separate the driver and passengers. AirKnife sort of works like that — but instead of glass panels, it utilizes strong air streams to divide the cabin into different areas. An air curtain, essentially.

The air particles will not be able to pass from one area to another due to the invisible barrier. The “dirty” air is then directed towards the air filter for decontamination, which can then be passed on to other areas.

In order to achieve this, special nozzles have to be designed and calibrated to ensure that the air will flow in the desired directions and that the air barrier will be maintained through a constant airflow. This is one of the things that set AIrKnife apart.

Interior DIsinfection

Another thing that sets AirKnife apart from conventional ACs is its ability for interior disinfection — while air purification has been the norm in automobiles for decades, interior disinfection remains a rather new concept.

The major difference here is the use of high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filters that can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns (µm). Similar systems have been used in aircraft, but AirKnife brings it to automobiles.

The Science Behind

While the idea itself does not sound too complex, a lot of work went into it to perfect the system.

Throughout its development, different configurations were tested in order to achieve the ideal results. We have tested the concept of having four slotted nozzles, and the tests on the nozzles themselves took a significant amount of time — the airflow rate was measured with an anemometer, which was then compared with the rate calculated in the calculation program to achieve the ideal results.

More calculations followed after that, particularly regarding particle penetration through the air curtain. Pressure and velocity fields were constructed for flat and three-dimensional airflow calculations, and more calculations were then carried out on flat and three-dimensional particle penetration.

The result? A safe and pleasant journey without the need to wear a mask inside the car, even with other passengers around.

Health is a serious concern, and a safe car journey should take that into consideration as well. The system can be integrated into any car, and we expect widespread use of the technology in the near future throughout the automobile industry, because health and hygiene is a serious matter, pandemic or not.

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Creators of the world’s №1 Holographic True AR™ Display for automotive and beyond. Join our WayRave. #DoDeepTech

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WayRay

Creators of the world’s №1 Holographic True AR™ Display for automotive and beyond. Join our WayRave. #DoDeepTech