Hard water contains minerals that can coat pipes, pump mechanisms, and HVACR systems. Increases in the amount of calcium ions and decreased amounts of carbon dioxide in water allow calcium carbonate or magnesium mineral scale forms on pipes, pump mechanisms, oil wells, and cooling towers. Excess amounts of carbonate collect on the piping as the solubility of the compounds decreases. In addition to high pH levels, high temperatures can reduce solubility.
Magnation Water Technologies manufactures products that combine centrifugal force and vortexing with magnetic fields to condition water. Forces produced by electrically charged ions flowing through a magnetic field work against the properties that allow mineral scale to form and increase the surface tension of water. Centrifugal force and vortexing generate the rotational forces needed to break minerals and mineral clusters apart. Increased water pressure flushes the mineral fragments through the system.
Water and Electrical Conductivity
In the context of electricity, a conductor consists of material that allows the flow of electric charges–or electrons–in one or more directions. Conductivity describes the ability of a material to conduct electricity. Among the many different types of conductor materials that have high conductivity, silver provides the best conductivity. Manufacturers use copper and aluminum for electrical wire while gold often serves as an electrical conductor in electronic devices.
Many companies test and monitor the electrical conductivity (EC) of water. The water conductivity tests establish baselines for regular monitoring. Significant changes in water conductivity can indicate groundwater seepage or a contaminant leak into groundwater. To place the conductivity of water in perspective, ocean waters have high electrical conductivity while pure water has very low conductivity.
The addition of dissolved solids increases conductivity. While steadily increasing the amount of impurities in water causes water to have higher conductivity, small amounts of dissolved salts and chemicals also increase the conductivity of water. The increased conductivity exists because the dissolved solids change atoms in the water into negatively charged and positively charged ions. Potassium, magnesium, and sodium become positively charged ions. Calcium carbonate, chloride, and sulfate become negatively charged ions. The oppositely charged ions form a lattice-like structure.
Because hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom combine to form water, the molecules in water carry a polar charge and attract the ions. The positive end of the water molecule attracts negatively charged ions while the negative end of the molecule attracts positively charged ions. As a result, an electric force field builds between the oppositely charged bodies. The strength of this DC electric field depends on the charges of the ions and the distance between the ions.
If the attraction between water molecules and ions reaches a high level, the lattice-like structure breaks down and the compound formed from the ions dissolves. Because the ions have positive and negative charges, the presence of water molecules prevents the lattice from recombining. The ability of a compound to dissolve in water–or its solubility–depends on the strength of the bonds that hold the compound together versus the strength of the force exerted on ions by water molecules. Reduced solubility allows the positive and negative ions to drift in the solution.
Magnation Technologies Apply Magnetic Force for Water Conditioning
Magnetic fields can result from moving charges or from the placement of permanent magnets. Electromagnetic induction occurs when a DC current passes through a magnetic force. The magnetic field strength around a conductor increases with any increase in electric current strength and decreases as the distance between the conductor and the field source increases. In contrast, a permanent magnetic field has constant strength and direction.
While constant fields do not change in time, an alternating magnetic field induces electric voltages and fields in electrically conductive bodies. Along with inducing electric voltages, an alternating magnetic field varies with time and exists as a low-frequency field that exerts force on electric charges. The strength of the induction effect depends on the magnetic field strength, the alignment of charged ions with the magnetic field, the conductivity of the ions, and the size of the ions.
The electrical conductivity of water changes under the influence of magnetic fields. Magnation’s technologies rely on the centripetal forces exerted by the placement of passive magnets to work against the force that exists between water molecules and ions. Because centripetal forces act on bodies moving in a circular path, the forces change the distribution of electric charges along the water flow and overcome the combined force of the water molecules that attracts ions and begin the process of breaking the scale away from surfaces.
Magnation Water Technologies devices also use shifts in frequency to change the structure of water. As the velocity of water changes, an alternating magnetic field occurs and causes slight frequency shifts. Dissolved solids in water respond to frequency shifts and break away from the coatings that reduce system efficiency. In addition, magnetic fields also reduce the surface tension of water. Reducing the surface tension decreases friction that can allow scale build-up. The reduction in friction improves the efficiency of systems that carry water.
The large surface areas and low mass of mineral-forming compounds allow mineral scale to form. Breaking the compounds into fragments increases solubility and allows sediments to dissolve into the water flow.
Magnation Water Technologies products apply a unique design to introduce vortexing, centrifugal force, and centripetal force into water conditioning. A vortex occurs when turbulent flow causes any fluid–such as water–to rapidly or spin around a central axis line. As the water continues to spin around the central axis, vortices–or mini-vortexes–form.
The swirling motion created by the difference in speeds and rotation rates within the vortices draws particles in the fluid toward the center of the vortex. As the fluid swirls, the highest speed and rate of rotation occurs at the center of the vortex while pressure at the center remains at its lowest level. Very low speeds and rates of rotation exist at the outer perimeter of a vortex.
Centrifugal forces created by the swirling motion within a vortex push water and any particles out to the edge of the vortex. While the centrifugal force pushes the water and particles to the edge of the vortex, centripetal forces accelerate the motion of water and particles toward the center of the vortex. If the swirling motion stops, gravity pulls the water and particles down to the center of the device.