Copper Silver Ionization Technology

Copper Silver Ionization Technology (Types)

Facility Potable Water Treatment vs. Swimming Pool Water Treatment Technologies when investigating the engineering requirements of Copper Silver Ionization Technology.

By: Chris J. Gauthier, B.Sc. ICC / Legionella Field Microbiologist
Date: March 19, 2011

When it comes to copper silver ionisation evaluations, engineers and end users commonly discover two types of these water treatment technologies:


Copper Silver Ionization Technology TypesFacility Potable Water Copper Silver Ionization Technology Types:
The commercial (medical and military) types of copper silver ionization units are engineered for facility potable water distribution networks such as those found in healthcare facilities, hotels, schools, commercial buildings or military establishments. Key engineering features and observations include:

  1. PLC controlled automated DC voltage control (0 – 180 VDC)
  2. PLC software controlled amperage output based on unit size (10,20,30,40, up to 160 amps)
  3. Daily water makeup capacity for each controller based on model size installed in an in-line facility potable water:
    • Level 1: 5,000 to 22,500 GPD
    • Level 2: 23,000 to 46,000 GPD
    • Level 3: 46,500 to 69,000 GPD
    • etc…
  4. Remote PLC monitoring and controls,
  5. Remote activation data monitoring, logging and reporting,
  6. Engineered spesificly for facility potable water applications,
  7. Internal electrodes composition ARE intended for human consumption. 99.9% Cu / 99.99% Ag electrode usage with laboratory report provides safe for consumption electrodes. (Electrode MSDS Trace elements must be reported. Potential presence of trace elements such as: As, Cn, Pb, Hg)
  8. High mass electrode to last between 9 to 24 months ( 6 – 9 lbs)
  9. Installed in moderate or higher load water use systems (i.e. facility potable water)
  10. Ideal bactericide & algaecide properties, (i.e. excellent for Legionella prevention)
  11. Manufactured by only 4 companies globally, Canada (1), USA (2), UK (2)
  12. Engineered for facility potable water Legionella prevention applications (See Details)
  13. Medical, Commercial & Military applications for facility potable water
  14. Startup Cost ($10,000 – $225,000 USD)
  15. Electrode replacement Cost: ($2,500 to $6,000 each cell)
  16. See chart bellow for details

Not all copper silver ionization technology types are created equal.

When comparing swimming pool units to larger medical, commercial or military grade Copper Silver Ionization types, the engineering differences will be very clear. In fact, swimming pool units, when installed within potable water distribution network, have been known to fail within a few weeks due to controller output limitations.

Copper Silver Ionization Technology TypesEngineers world wide understand that commercial size copper silver ionisation units such as AquaLyse® or the CSI Defender® units are required for 100% facility potable water treatment and/or domestic potable hot water loops.

Those trying to install more affordable and smaller swimming pool ion generators within a facility potable water network fail within weeks and this leaves the end user without any means of controlling Legionella growth.

Medical, commercial or military grade copper silver ionisation technology such as AquaLyse® should be used when Legionella control and prevention is required within a facility potable water distribution network.

Engineering & Observations for Each Technology type Swimming Pool type Copper Silver Ionization water treatment: Facility Potable Water Copper Silver Ionization Application
Electrical Power Consumption
    3 to 120 Watts
    200 to 85,500 Watts
Maximum applied DC voltage to electrodes
    Manual
    12, 24, 48 VDC
    Automated
    0 to 180 VDC (AquaLyse® / CSI Defender®)
Current draw per system
    FIX (Circuit board)
    0.250 milliamps to 5.0 amps
    Programable (PLC with HMI)
    2.0 to 20.0 amps each chamber cell
Electrode mass per ionisation chamber cell
    0.25 lbs –  3 lbs (each chamber cell)
    6 lbs to 9 lbs (each chamber cell)
Electrode surface contact with water per ionisation chamber cell
    up to 200 cm2
    200 cm2 to 36,000 cm2
Automated variable DC Power Output to compensate for electrode erosion in real time:
    NO
    YES
Timer control
    OPTION
    YES
Industrial Applications
    NO
    YES
Remote Monitoring / Management
    NO
    YES (BACNET, TCP/IP, Portal-Hub.com)
Residential swimming pools
    YES
    NO
Ornamental fountains
    YES
    NO
Agricultural Fruit Wash
    YES
    NO
Domestic hot water
    NO
    YES
Cooling towers
    NO (lack of output capacity)
    NO (pH issues over 8.7)
    NO (pH limit over 8.7)
Irrigation systems
    NO
    YES (Cu only required)
Low conductivity potable water
    NO
    YES (Power output required up to 180VDC) AquaLyse®
High conductivity potable water
    NO
    YES (Software controls PID)
    AquaLyse® / CSI Defender®
Time for installation
    1 to 2 hours
    3 to 8 hours
Copper test kits / monitoring
    Color – Chemical Test Kit using drops
    Traditional: Field spectrophotometer and/or yearly atomic absorption
    2015: CSI Defender® – In-Line real time water monitoring, data logging and reporting.
Average Cost ea. (US)
    $200 to $9,500
    $10,000 to $225,000
Over time, medical, military and commercial grade copper silver ionization facility potable water treatment solutions, such as AquaLyse®, have been proven to be effective for treating facility potable water against Legionella growth. The use of AquaLyse® is known to eliminate the need to implement regular short-term Legionella remediation intervention such as hyper-chlorination or thermal eradication.

Swimming Pool Copper Silver Ionization Technology Type:
This more common “residential” type of copper silver ionization unit is engineered for swimming pool applications. Key swimming pool type copper silver ionisation engineering features & observations:

  1. Manual DC output voltage control (6, 12, 24, 48)
  2. Fix amperage output based on model number (0.2 – 5 amps)
  3. Daily water makeup capacity for each controller in a recirculated swimming pool: 10 to 1,000 GPD
  4. Small & easy to replace electrodes, ( 0.25 to 3 lbs)
  5. Internal electrodes composition NOT intended for human consumption. 99.9% Cu electrode usage does not guarantee safe for consumption electrodes. (Electrode MSDS Trace elements must be reported. Potential presence of trace elements such as: As, Cn, Pb, Hg)
  6. Installed in low usage recirculated water (i.e. swimming pools, ornamental fountains)
  7. Manufactures by hundreds of companies globally
  8. Not engineered for facility potable water Legionella prevention applications (See Details)
  9. Residential use / commercial larger swimming pool use
  10. Very affordable ($200 – $9,500 USD)
  11. Electrode replacement Cost: ($85 to $500 each cell)
  12. See chart bellow for details


Note:
Swimming pool copper silver ionization technology type units are not engineered for facility potable water Legionella control and prevention. Their smaller electrodes, lack of electrical power output and lack of automated variable voltage output features have been reported to cause application failures within a few weeks after installation.