Technology

About the Technology

The magnetic technology has been cited in the literature and investigated since the turn of the 19th century, when lodestones or naturally occurring magnetic mineral formations were used to decrease the formation of scale in cooking and laundry applications. Many magnetic water treatment units have been on the market claiming scale reduction since the original patent taken out in 1890 by Englishman William Benedict Ball. However, the availability of high-power, rare-earth element magnets has advanced the magnetic technology to the point where it is more reliable.

The technology uses a magnetic field to alter the reaction between scale-forming ions in hard water. Hard water contains high levels of calcium, magnesium, and other divalent cations. When subjected to heating, the divalent ions form insoluble compounds with anions such as carbonate. These insoluble compounds have a much lower heat transfer capability than heat transfer surfaces such as metal. They are insulators. Thus additional fuel consumption would be required to transfer an equivalent amount of energy.

The general operating principle for the magnetic technology is a result of the physics of interaction between a magnetic field and a moving electric charge, in this case in the form of an ion. When ions pass through the magnetic field, a force is exerted on each ion. The forces on ions of opposite charges are in opposite directions. The redirection of the particles tends to increase the frequency with which ions of opposite charge collide and combine to form a mineral precipitate, or insoluble compound. Since this reaction takes place in a low- temperature region of a heat exchange system, the scale formed is non-adherent. At the prevailing temperature conditions, this form is preferred over the adherent form, which attaches to pipe work and heat exchange surfaces.

This technology can be used as a replacement for most water-softening equipment. Specifically, chemical softening (lime or lime-soda softening), ion exchange, and reverse osmosis (RO), when used for the control of hardness, can be replaced by the non-chemical water conditioning technology. This would include applications both to cooling water treatment and boiler water treatment, in both once-through and recirculating systems.