Ozone Generators: Why Use An Ozone Generator
Ozone generators are plumbed directly into your swimming pool and spa circulation lines. This particular plumbing installation will allow the ozone gas to properly dissolved, react with the contaminants in your pool water, and be consumed before the water is returned to your swimming pool or spa. Ozone is an unstable gaseous molecule that is slightly soluble in water.
It appears bluish in color, has three oxygen atoms and is produced naturally in our atmosphere.
In swimming pool care, ozone is used as an oxidizer.
It is utilized in conjunction with an EPA approved disinfectant or pool sanitizer.
Characteristics of an ozone generation system
Because ozone is so unstable, it cannot be transported. It has to be generated or produced on-site. This is the only way that it (the gas) can be used in swimming pool care effectively. Ozone does not maintain any residual concentrations in waters of pools and spas. It is however, very toxic and is not safe to humans - not even at low levels. Human beings have a maximum exposure time to ozone gas.
According to OSHA, the exposure level is 0.1 ppm for a time period of eight (8) hours. Ozone machines and other ozone generating equipment, should be carefully considered when they are going to be used in swimming pool care. Your ozone generating equipment should be installed in a room that has a good fresh air circulation system. This is an absolute must.
Your ozone generation equipment must never be installed below ground level. As an added precaution, there should be an ozone alarm system or ozone detector installed in your ozone equipment room.
In some states, this is a requirement according to their health code regulations. Even though you may not be in a country or state that requires an ozone alarm system or detector - you should have one installed regardless. An ozone alarm system will prevent you or your staff personnel from entering a room filled with ozone gas.
Types of swimming pool ozone generators
Basically there are three types of generators or ozone machines that are used in spa and swimming pool care. These include
Out of the three ozone machines mentioned above, only two of them are more frequently used. No matter which one of these ozone production systems you utilize, the gas has to be introduce into your circulation lines correctly. You will only be able to achieve this task with the installation of a venturi injection system.
Corona discharge ozone generators for spas and swimming pools
I know some of you wish that you could build your own ozone generator for free but we have to settle for a professional ozone machine manufacturer. Now when it comes to ozone production, the corona discharge ozone machine seems to be the top choice of many. This particular ozone machine is often referred to as a CD - ozone generator.
Because of it's popularity, the corona discharge ozone machine or generator, can be found in many personal and industrial swimming pool use. One reason for this - is that these types of generators produce more quantity and much higher concentrations of ozone.
Operation of the corona discharge ozone generator
In the CD - ozone machines, air is exposed to multiple high voltage charges. The air in the system contains 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen. The corona discharge ozonating systems are very cost effective and do not require an oxygen source, other than the ambient air. Unfortunately when these types of ozonators are used, they produce nitrogen oxides as a by-product.
To reduce or eliminate the formation of nitric acid, a desiccant air dryer is used.
The air dryer removes water (moisture) vapor from the air.
This process increases ozone production as well.
If you desire to further increase your ozone production, you can have an oxygen concentrator installed.
Oxygen concentrators are a great piece of equipment.
The truth of the matter, is that they can further increase ozone production and at the same time, reduce the risk of nitric acid formation by removing both moisture and the bulk of the nitrogen from the air. A corona discharge ozone machine must have an electrical connection to your swimming pool pump.
This is a safety feature that will stop any ozone production - whenever your swimming pool pump or spa pump is turned off. Even if the control circuit trips for one reason or another. Occasionally a second fail - safe device is used. This is usually in the form of a pressure switch located in your pool/spa circulation line.
Ultra-Violet Light pool ozone machines
An ozone sterilization system is an excellent supplement to your pool disinfectant process. Pool UV ozone generators are other types of ozone generating systems that use a light as their source of ozone production. A standard UV ozone machine tends to be less expensive but it can only produce ozone with a concentration of about 0.5% or lower.
Another disadvantage of this type of ozonator is that it requires the supply of oxygen to be exposed to the Ultra-Violet light source for a longer time period. In addition, the gas that is not exposed to the UV source will not be treated. Due to their lower output and concentrations of UV ozone production, these type of ozonators are not used on large commercial swimming pools and spas.
However, VUV ozonating generators are used in swimming pool and spa applications that consist of millions of gallons of water. Unlike the corona discharge ozone machine, the VUV ozone generators do not produce any harmful nitrogen by-products.
Additionally, an VUV ozone generating system seems to work extremely well in very high humidity air environments. Another reason for these types of ozone producing systems being less expensive, is that they do not require any off gas mechanisms, no desiccant air dryer systems or any oxygen concentrators. Which all require extra cost in purchase and installation--as well as preventive maintenance.
Cold Plasma Ozone Generators
Unlike the UV ozone machine, a cold plasma ozone producing system is very expensive; hence, you will not find it frequently used in swimming pool care. Cold plasma ozone generators utilize pure oxygen as its input source and it produces an ozone concentration of about 5%.
Operation of a cold plasma ozone generator
In the cold plasma ozone generator, the pure oxygen is exposed to a plasma that is created by a dielectric barrier discharge. The diatomic oxygen is then split into single atoms.
Once the oxygen has been split into the single atoms, they are then recombined in triplets to form (O3) ozone. As was mentioned above, when you decide to have an ozonating system installed, you should have an ozone gas detector installed as well.
This is just another way of providing safety for you and your staff. Remember that ozone gas can be very dangerous to your health. But if you decide that you are going to use ozone as part of your swimming pool care, make sure that the ozone machines that you choose, are the correct type of swimming pool or spa ozone generators.
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