Protection Components from Dust

Protecting Internal Projector Components from Dust

Epson's projectors are used in a wide range of applications and environments. But if dust gets inside a projector and accumulates on the optical devices and other components, it can reduce the brightness and quality of projected images and lead to malfunctions. Using projectors frequently in smoky environments such as concerts or stage performances can also increase the frequency of maintenance and accelerate product deterioration. To avoid these problems, therefore, Epson has developed measures to protect its projectors from dust.

Projectors are sometimes utilized at events where smoke is used

Projectors are finely crafted and precision-assembled optical devices. These optical devices, along with the light source, generate considerable heat during projector use and need to be cooled in order to preserve their reliability. They are cooled by bringing in outside air while exhausting the air inside the projector. (See here for thermal countermeasures.) However, in dusty or smoky venues, the air taken into the projector may be laden with dust or fine particles that land on the light source and optical devices, causing brightness and image quality to deteriorate.

Projectors that are used in dusty environments require regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure that they are kept in good condition and continue to deliver high-quality images.

Epson thus spent many years developing dust protection measures to address these problems.

Products rigorously evaluated under real-life environmental conditions

Structural design that protects the optical unit from smoke

Structural design that protects the optical unit from smoke

In order to understand the projector usage environments and the nature of dust in them, Epson visited sites around the world to research the type and amount of dust present. Epson found that the type and amount varies greatly depending on the application and environment.

Using these researd results, we built an evaluation environment that reproduces actual projector uses, usage times, and usage environments. Tests are conducted internally using this evaluation environment. We can reliably demonstrate performance by using the same type of dust that products are likely to encounter. The performance of products designed for use in special applications is verified using event smoke.

We always perform dust tests when developing projectors and this has led to improved dust protection. Even now, with usage environments becoming increasingly diverse, we continue to closely analyze environmental conditions, accumulate dust-proofing know-how, and improving user convenience.

Keeping projectors clean with electrostatic filters

High-performance electrostatic filter

High-performance electrostatic filter

Air coming into a projector carries with it dust and fine particles that may adhere to the light source and optical devices, reducing image brightness and quality. To keep these contaminants out, Epson attaches high-performance electrostatic filters to air intake ports.

Furthermore, the airflow is designed to keep the inside of the projector as pristine as possible. The amount of air taken into the product from the filters and the amount of air exhausted to the outside are controlled to prevent dust and particles from entering the projector from gaps other than the filters. We are working on dustproof designs that takes into consideration the amount of air inflow and its path.

cooling and block dust

When projectors are used in smoky environments, Epson recommends replacing the filters every 240 hours of use because oily smoke reduces the electrostatic force of the filters.

When projectors are used in smoky environments, Epson recommends replacing the filters every 240 hours of use because oily smoke reduces the electrostatic force of the filters.

Designs that block dust but facilitate cooling

seals the optical devices and the light source unit

For projectors that are intended for use in dusty environments or in staged events where smoke is produced, Epson seals the optical devices and the light source unit in blocks to physically protect them from dust. The sealed optical devices become hot during use. This heat becomes trapped in the block and could affect the performance and reliability of the optical devices if not addressed. Epson has addressed this issue in two ways. First, we improved the heat resistance of core optical devices such as the high temperature polysilicon TFT liquid crystal (HTPS) panels and phosphor wheel. And, second, we developed over many years a system that effectively cools the HTPS panels.

From the selection of sealing cushions to the way they are applied, we carefully test and verify every detail to keep dust out.

These dustproof measures create customer value by enabling projector users to enjoy bright, beautiful images for many hours even in dusty environments and by significantly reducing the frequency of maintenance and cleaning, thus saving time and money for users and service personnel.

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