A method and apparatus for removing fine particulate matter from a fluid stream without interrupting the overall process or flow. The flowing fluid inflates and expands the flexible filter, and particulate is deposited on the filter media while clean fluid is permitted to pass through the filter. This filter is cleaned when the fluid flow is stopped, the filter collapses, and a force is applied to distort the flexible filter media to dislodge the built-up filter cake. The dislodged filter cake falls to a location that allows undisrupted flow of the fluid after flow is restored. The shed particulate is removed to a bin for periodic collection. A plurality of filter cells can operate independently or in concert, in parallel, or in series to permit cleaning the filters without shutting off the overall fluid flow. The self-cleaning filter is low cost, has low power consumption, and exhibits low differential pressures.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of SBIR Contract No. DE-FG02-03ER83630 and SMB Contract No. ZDH-9-29047-01, both awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.