The Kärcher Klean!Star car wash gantry might not be most people’s idea of exciting tech, but at least it’s interesting to know that are petrol kiosks willing to take a punt at the automated car wash again thanks to a host of new features this system can offer.
In a nutshell, the Klean!Star offers quick, consistent and thorough cleaning. The entire wash-and-dry process is timed to be under five minutes and is quite a lot quicker than the machines of old, which can typically take 10 minutes or more just for washing. Drivers simply follow simple drive-in instructions to move their vehicles into position and let the system do the rest.
Among other things, the Klean!Star car wash gantry professes to alleviate existing labour shortages as you only need one person to handle payments; we’re told that it can be made fully self-running also. Staff can instead focus on higher-value tasks like vacuuming and detailing if required.
Klean!Star relies on an array of sensors that make thorough cleaning possible by adjusting the cleaning mechanisms to adapt to the shape of the vehicle being cleaned. The sensors also make it possible for Klean!Star to bring the dryer close to the vehicle for more efficient drying, much like a Dyson hand dryer. The system uses specially-foamed polyethylene brushes and specially formulated detergents that do not scuff the finish of the car–tech that was used to clean delicate solar panels.
The system also saves water by recycling up to 85 per cent of all the water used during each wash. The wastewater funnels through a filtration system and is stored in a tank. Klean!Star only uses this water for the initial round of washing, with freshwater to complete the wash.
The first Klean!Star car wash gantry can be found at Esso Lorong Chuan with two more due this year in Toa Payoh and Bedok. Prices, we’re told, is around $11 for a sedan-sized car and will vary depending on the vehicle. While Klean!Star can be set up to polish cars, automated polishing is currently not available here.