Accurate ion measurement is critical for developing and testing products that work to deliver clean indoor air. That’s why Global Plasma Solutions (GPS) has adopted a Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) for measuring airborne ion density.

Developed by the Japanese Industrial Standard Committee (JISC),* JIS B 9929:2006 provides a consistent, precise method for quantifying ion output. But how does it work, and why is it so important?

Japanese Industrial Standard: An Overview

While there is no standard for ion measurement in the United States, GPS is committed to raising the bar and ensuring our products are as effective as possible. JIS B 9929:2006 is recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private organization that oversees the development of consensus standards for products, services, processes and systems in this country. It will provide a key framework for GPS moving forward.

This JIS provides specific, standardized information on how to reliably and accurately measure ion density including:

  • Setup (measuring points, height of equipment)
  • Preparation (confirmation of ground and laminar flow, setup of ion saturated density curve and marginal mobility)
  • Measurement Specifications (environmental conditions, sample collecting flows volume, number of measurements and measurement equations)

GPS believes in making science-based, data-driven decisions. Adopting an ANSI-recognized standard for ion measurement allows us to measure the performance of our products using a consistent method. Furthermore, applying JIS B 9929:2006 to our testing and monitoring protocols will allow us to consistently document repeatable and reliable results of our ionization technology and provide these data in the specifications for all of our products.

The amount of ionization that reaches a given space depends on several key factors including:

  • Proximity of the ionizer to the room (closer = more ions)

  • The amount of airflow (more airflow = more ions)

  • How direct the airflow path is from the ionizer to the space (more direct = more ions)

Our patented needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI®) technology is a proactive approach to cleaner air.

While other, passive air purification technologies only clean the air when it passes through the HVAC unit — via either a HEPA filter or UV light — NPBI actively treats the air in a space by creating and releasing ions into the airstream, using the building’s existing HVAC system as the delivery method.

When ions are created and released via the airstream, they accomplish two things:

  1. Inactivate pathogens (e.g., bacteria, mold and viruses) on contact by disrupting the surface proteins, instantly improving indoor air quality

  2. Seek out and bond with particles (this process is called agglomeration), forming large clusters that are easier for the HVAC system to safely filter out of the air

A consistent approach to ion measurement ensures reliable, repeatable results.

Because NPBI technology dispatches ions directly to a space, monitoring is critical to quantify the number of ions actually reaching an area. Many environmental factors can affect ion measurement (such as temperature, humidity, air speed and sensor location), making a consistent approach all the more crucial to ensure reliable and repeatable results.

One of the most important factors in accurately measuring ion output is the distance between the ionizer and measuring device. In fact, a difference of even one or two inches could yield a much different measurement. The JIS approach accounts for this by ensuring the ionizer and measurement devices are always mounted in the same location, eliminating much of the variability.

While it’s common practice in the United States to measure ions extremely close to the ionizer (1.5 to 3 inches from the device), values taken at that close proximity usually skew high. In line with JIS B 9929:2006, GPS moves the ion counter farther away from the ionizer, yielding much more accurate and reliable ion output data.

The diagram below highlights how GPS applies this JIS to our products’ ion output under controlled conditions including temperature, humidity, air speed and voltage.

JIS test apparatus

Have questions about the GPS approach to ion measurement or our air purification technology? Contact us.

*JISC is the Japanese member body that sits on the International Organization for Standards. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is the United States member body that sits on the ISO.