Myths Of The Ionic Breeze
Possibly the only ones unaware of the incredible “Quadra Ionic Breeze” were those living in some far distant galaxy!
Or was it so incredible? Not according to Consumer Reports. Although we disagree with their assertion the Ionic Breeze didn’t cleanse the air (at least a little bit), we do agree it’s a waste of money when compared to other devices on the market which do a far better job at a fraction of the cost!
But putting aside the Consumers Report for a minute, what is an “ionic breeze,” and how did the “Quadra” create such a critter?
Even to an Astronaut, the term “ionic breeze” doesn’t seem to describe reality. After all, the dictionary describes ionic as “an electrically charged particle” and “breeze” as “air movement in the category of 4 - 31 miles per hour.” Ions traveling in Space don’t piddle around at 4 - 31 miles per hour, but often approach the speed of light! And back here on planet earth, air coming out of the Sharper Image Quadra doesn’t even come close to 4 – 31 miles per hour. In fact, it can best be described as a VERY gentle air movement.
So was Sharper Image’s use of the term “ionic breeze” as misleading as their original claims the Quadra would cleanse a room of smoke within a few minutes? We know how that turned out… another study by Consumer Reports showed the “Quadra Ionic Breeze” was unable to remove smoke from a test room even after 100 hours! If that portion of their advertising had to be changed, how are they able to justify usage of the term “ionic breeze,” when air movement from the Quadra doesn’t come close to the definition of “breeze?”
Apparently, Sharper Image justified their use of the term “ionic breeze” on the basis of actions occurring on an atomic level… that is, movements resulting from a change in an air particle’s electrical charge and the resulting attraction of opposition to the Quadra’s negatively charged plates. That seemed to be the extent of their mysterious, invisible ionic fan!
So how in earth does this mysterious air movement actually occur?
To perform this miracle of miracles, the Quadra used old time physics:
- Opposites attract (a positive attracts a negative and vice versa)
- Likes repel (a positive will repel a positive and a negative will repel another negative)
- An air particle’s charge can be positive or negative
- “Nasties” in the air generally carry a positive charge
- The “good” air particles carry a negative charge
- An air particle’s charge can be altered by external means
Using the above principals, engineers designed the Quadra with two powerful, negatively charged “collector plates” to attract positively charged “nasties.” But this in itself wouldn’t generate a “breeze.” After all, the negatively charged plates would attract “nasties” from a 360º area, canceling out any possibility of pushing air out the front of the unit. To actually create an air current, engineers also placed two positively charged wires behind the negatively charged collector plates. These wires impart a positive charge to surrounding, and incoming air particles. The rest is basic physics: the positive air particles “rush” towards, and pass over the negatively charged plates. As they do so, they create a vacuum effect behind them, pulling in replacement air. At the same time, they also push anything in their path out of the way, and hopefully out the front of the unit. As all this is occurring, the positively charged air particles passing over the negatively charged bars may have their “nasties” stripped away and receive a negative charge. This can add to the air movement if the now negatively charged particle repels itself away, and hopefully once again, out the front of the unit.
In real earthly life, ionic exchanges are natural occurring events. Thunderstorms, lightning, and ocean waves all create ionic exchanges, resulting in an abundance of negative ions - the good ions – in the surrounding air. Sadly for the Quadra, the creation of negative ions is a passive event as opposed to the use of a built in negative ion generator. This is unfortunate, since hundreds and hundreds of studies have documented the incredible benefits of negative ions. Clinics use negative ion generators to help reduce germs in the air. The United States Air Force uses negative ion generators in the cockpits of jet fighters to enhance a pilot’s awareness level. The list of applications goes on and on.
To read more on the incredible benefits of negative ions, click HERE
Researchers on our staff have put together a BRIEF primer to help understand the concept of using negative ions to cleanse your air. To begin this BRIEF two part report, click HERE
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