Dolphins to the Rescue: Dolphins Eliminate the Need for Chemical Treatments to Prevent Scaling

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Courtesy of Dolphin WaterCare

Untitled Document Mineral scale accumulates daily inside the boilers and cooling towers that keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Scale is a bad actor causing loss of efficiency, increased fuel consumption, and if left unchecked, premature equipment failure. Adding chemicals to the circulating water systems of boilers and cooling towers has traditionally controlled scale. The chemicals manipulate dissolved mineral ions so that they don't precipitate as scale.

When carefully administered, controlled, and monitored, chemicals can be effective. However, they are a continuous expense and potentially hazardous to our environment because the chemicals are then discharged into our public waste water systems. Now there is a non-chemical solution. The Dolphin, a flow through device that can be plumbed into a circulating water system, prevents the formation of new mineral scale in a boiler or cooling tower.

Emerging Technologies Lead to the Dolphin

Several years ago, the Environmental Research Institute at the University of Connecticut, conducted an investigation into the mechanisms that are at work when low energy electric impulses are directed into flowing water by means of an induced electric field. The Dolphin is an outgrowth of those investigations. Uniquely wound coils deliver a pulsed power signal to the flowing water that excites the mineral ions in such a way that they will not precipitate as scale, but rather as free floating colloids. These free-floating colloids eventually drop out into reservoirs or traps in the system, where they can be harmlessly flushed away during normal blowdowns.

CONN/STEP has assisted with the development and commercialization of this technology since its inception. Recently, environmental specialist Judith Wlodarczyk has helped Clearwater position the product to satisfy the customer's demand for both environmental and economic performance.

Dolphins Demonstrate Additional Cost Savings

When a large Connecticut dairy was looking for an alternative to the chemical treatment of their boiler water, they were intrigued by the possibilities of this new technology. The prospect of eliminating potentially hazardous chemicals in a food-processing environment had obvious benefits, but the additional benefits of energy savings and water conservation were compelling. Two units were installed and operated continuously for three months. When the boiler was opened, inspection revealed:

  • No new deposition of scale;
  • Significant amounts of pre-existing scale had been removed, and;
  • No signs of corrosion or pitting.
  • Boiler efficiency also improved substantially as fuel consumption was reduced by nearly 50%.

Payback on the purchase of Dolphin equipment is typically between 9 and 14 months, based on eliminating the cost of chemicals, improved fuel efficiency, reduced water and sewer costs, and reduced equipment maintenance. This payback period will be even shorter if wastewater disposal fees are levied. Walter Anderson, VP Sales and Marketing at Clearwater Systems, explains, "Economic issues aside, it just makes common sense to conserve our natural resources of energy and water and to treat our fragile ecosystem with great respect wherever and whenever we can. The Dolphin water treatment system allows us to do just that."

Cooling tower operators have experienced similar benefits. Gone is the hard adhering calcite scale that predictably forms on the fill material, clogging channels and fouling valves and pumps all the while robbing cooling efficiency and interfering with heat transfer. Instead, a soft, grainy, light colored substance may appear over time and collect in the bottom of the reservoir pan. This residue can be easily power washed away during periodic maintenance. A second important benefit in cooling towers is the control of microorganisms such as bacteria and algae through an encapsulation mechanism. Cooling tower water will remain clear and odor-free through our hot, humid Connecticut summers-all without the use of potentially hazardous chemicals and biocides whatsoever.

Dolphins Swim Laps Around Chemicals

While the Dolphin possesses some of the characteristics of an electromagnetic device, it is not to be confused with the various magnetic devices that have been on the market for the past 30 years or so, and which have a checkered history in controlling mineral scale. These conventional devices produce a linear and fixed field that is unable to change in size or direction. The Dolphin circuitry is wound in such a way that it produces a pulsed power that has variable frequency, variable field strength and variable vectors that affect all the mineral ions in the water, not just the few that happen across its fixed field.

Public desire for more environmental responsibility on the part of industry is driving the trend for many municipalities to restrict the discharge of chemical additives in blowdown water. Many communities may institute wastewater disposal fees. This will mean increased record keeping for boiler and cooling tower operators. As environmental regulations regarding water discharges increase and pollution prevention initiatives gain momentum, the need for non-chemical treatments will also increase.

For more information about this new technology as it applies to boilers and cooling towers, contact Clearwater Systems, the manufacturer of the Dolphin, directly at their Essex, CT office at 860-767-0850. For more information about how CONN/STEP may be able to help you develop new products that meet current and future regulations, please call toll-free 800-MEP-4MFG.

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