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Home News An Overview of Power Sweeping Equipment Technology - Vacuum Sweepers
An Overview of Power Sweeping Equipment Technology - Vacuum Sweepers
Vacuum Sweepers   Vacuum sweepers may be compared to a household vacuum system. An engine powers a fan, which creates vacuum/suction. Typically, there is a suction inlet on one side of the sweeping head, and then the 'used' air is constantly exhausted during the sweeping process. Most vacuum sweepers do not have an air blast that transfers to the vacuum opening. Instead, they employ some type of broom system to brush debris toward the vacuum opening in the head.

 Part of the impetus for the advent of vacuum sweepers was the recognition that the majority of debris, especially the heavy debris, collected within 36 inches of the curb line. Vacuum sweepers are designed to do an effective job of cleaning within that area. They may well be the current top choice for 'storm water runoff abatement sweeping' in areas where the majority of the debris is within 36" of the curbline.
However, in areas where cleaning the entire lane width via air is considered paramount, vacuum sweepers are probably not as effective as the 'blast and suction effect' of regenerative air sweeping technology. The blast force employed by regenerative air sweepers (see next section) cleans more thoroughly across the entire path of the sweeper.
A disadvantage of vacuum sweepers is that their windrow broom tends to fill pavement irregularities with debris that the suction effect isn't strong enough to remove. Vacuum machines also have more moving parts than comparable regenerative air sweepers, as well as smaller diameter curb brooms. As is illustrated in the next section, the regenerative air technology has become widely seen as having a number of advantages: cleaning a wider path, removing small particles better, and limiting the amount of dust-laden air that is exhausted back into the atmosphere.
Even though they typically use water-based dust suppression systems, traditional vacuum sweepers exhaust a high level of particulates into the atmosphere on a continual basis. As a result of the studies by the EPA and others, it is now known that these are pollutant-laden particles that pose a quantifiable hazard to human health and safety.
Another disadvantage to vacuum sweepers is their relatively small intake tubes. These are often as small as 8 inches in diameter, so they are more likely to become plugged with larger debris. Also, the sweeping width of vacuum sweepers is generally less (62 to 68 inches wide) than that of regenerative air sweepers (up to 90 inches wide).

 TThorough cleaning near the curb line. Less dust created than with mechanical broom sweepers. Fewer moving and wear parts than mechanical sweepers. Some models are now available for use without dust suppression water. Appear to do a more thorough job on uneven pavement over the (relatively narrow) width of the sweeping head itself.

 Because suction nozzle must be located on one side or the other of the sweeping head, vacuum sweepers cannot operate with both gutter brooms working. Suction tubes must be smaller than on regenerative air sweepers (generally 8 inches wide vs. as much as 14 inches on regeneratives), so vacuum sweepers can't handle as large of debris.

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