Validation of ED 2000 Technology

Recent developments at Drexel University’s Mechanical Engineering Department, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,  have resulted in a new technology that both prevents and eliminates scales in heat transfer surfaces.  Seven years of research with scientists in heat transfer and fluid dynamics have improved the understanding of non-chemical water treatment, specifically, electronic treatment.  A theory of operation has been developed based on well-founded laws of physics and chemistry and validated through both lab testing and field-testing.

Professor Young I. Cho, a heat transfer professor, has supervised this project since its inception in 1992.  Cho collected a team to understand and improve what he believes is the most innovative process the heat transfer community has seen in years.

Cho and his staff have published numerous articles in well-respected scientific journals in this field.  The electronic descaling technology can be found in the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer,  Compact Heat Exchangers for the Process Industry and the 32nd National Heat Transfer Conference. 

Research in the last few years has resulted in a number of new patents being awarded in both heat transfer and other sciences using the basic principles of electronic descaling technology.  This research is the foundation for a better understanding of this technology and how it can be successfully applied to solving mineral precipitation fouling that has plagued industry.

The electronic descaling technology is based on the “Controlled Precipitation” of scale forming mineral crystals.  The fouling problem begins with supersaturated water that contains excessive amounts of mineral ions such as calcium and magnesium.

Heat exchanger surfaces are negatively charged, pulling positively charged mineral ions toward them.  Precipitation occurs when the water makes contact with the metal surfaces at high temperatures.  The solubility on the ions decreases with increase temperature.  These ions stick to metal surfaces as a result of “electrostatic attraction.”  This is termed “Uncontrolled Precipitation” and is how scaling occurs.

The technology uses a square wave pulsing current, which creates an induced electric field within the feed pipe to the heat exchanger.  This is known as “Faraday’s Law.”  This induced oscillating electric field provides the necessary molecular agitation to charged ions and causes the excess mineral ions to undergo a precipitation.  This precipitation is deliberately initiated by the molecular agitation away from the heat exchanger surface and is called “Controlled Precipitation.”  A snowball effect begins resulting in larger insoluble crystals being formed.

As a result, when supersaturated water is treated by the electronic descaling technology, dissolved mineral ions are converted to insoluble mineral crystals and are suspended in water and remain in the water without sticking to the heat exchanger surface.  “Controlled Precipitation” reduces the number of dissolved mineral ions in the water and subsequently eliminates fouling.

Fouling is one problem that continues to frustrate industrial and commercial users and costs industry millions of dollars in chemical clean up, downtime, process duplication and reduced capacity each year.  Proven solutions will certainly change the face of the heat transfer industry today.