Introduction to the Centralsug System
The Centralsug System is an efficient, modern and exceptionally hygienic method of handling waste. It is based on the principle of transporting waste to the truck. The system utilizes air to transport the waste via a network of underground pipes from buildings to a central collection station. The applications are far ranging, almost any urban development with a high concentration of waste being generated can benefit from this system. The system consists of: a refuse chute with inlet doors for discarding refuse on each level of the building, a network of pipes which connect each building to a central collection station and a collection station where refuse is compacted and stored in containers. The Centralsug system also makes recycling more efficient, Different types of waste can be easily collected and stored in separate containers to be transported to recycling facilities.
Fig.1: System Concept
The Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks (HKSTP) was the first commercial building which has installed the Automated Refuse Collection System.
The components of the Automated Refuse Collection System
The Automatic Refuse Collection System (ARCS) consists of the following parts:
1. Central Collection Station
This is where all refuse is collected after pneumatic transport. All equipment, which performs and supports the collection process, are installed here.
Fig.2: Diagram of main components of ARCS
2. Refuse Transport Pipes
A Network of underground transport pipes connects the collection station with the building and sites where the refuse originates.
3. Vertical Gravity Refuse Chutes with Loading Doors
The vertical chute run down the length of the building and connects to the refuse transport electronically locked. There is no vacuum in the chute, the refuse bags fall by gravity down to the discharge valves.
4. Refuse Discharge Valves
These valves are located at the bottom refuse chutes and serve as a barrier between transport pipes and the vertical refuse chutes. Waste is stored on top of the valve ready for collection.
5. Air inlet Valves
These valves, located at the end of each branch of the pipes system, provide the transport air to enter the system.
6. Out Door Loading Stations
These inlet points provide outdoor disposal access to the pipe net work.
The pneumatic refuse collection systems function automatically. Human assistance or supervision is not required during the collection process. A computer, located in the central control panel controls the collection process. During the collection process, the refuse that has been stored on the refuse discharge valves is collected. The collection process is generally repeated two to five times a day. The duration of each process varies between 2 – 15 minutes, depending on the size of the system. Between the collection times, all machinery of the pneumatic transport system is turned off. The refuse can however be loaded into the chutes at any time when the system rests.
1. The exhausters start and create airflow in the refuse transport pipe system. 2. The central control panel orders the first air inlet valve to open. When the valve is open, a confirmation signal is sent back to the central control panel. 3. A powerful air-steam is created in the refuse transport pipe system from the first air inlet valve to the refuse collection station. The air steam must be powerful enough to transport even the heaviest refuse components. 4. After verifying that a minimum air speed has been established in the transport pipe, the central control issues an order to the first refuse discharge valve on the corresponding pipe branch to open. When the valve opens, the refuse which was stored above the valve falls by gravity/suction into the refuse transport pipe and is transported by the air stream to the collection station. 5. After a period of about 7 seconds, all refuse stored on...
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