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Softer water leads to more efficient heat transfer

23 July 2017

Due to growth in product sales of its cider and  cider vinegar, a UK-based cider producer made the decision to build a new production facility, including a whole new kegging line. 

The plant is located in a hard water area, which contains a high concentration of calcium and magnesium. This water was previously found to have created scale on equipment in the plant which resulted in costly repairs and maintenance over the years, as well as resulting in more inefficient heat transfer, both of which resulted in an increase in the cost of operation.

It was for this reason that, when, due to growth in product sales, the company made the decision to build a new production facility including a whole new kegging line it used the opportunity to find a solution to its hard water related problems.

Base exchange
The new plant and equipment was, therefore, designed to soften and re-distribute the sites mains water. This solution consists of a duplex, base exchange (BX) water softener.  The base exchange water softening process works by exchanging the mineral salts naturally present in the potable water with other minerals that do not lead to scale formation.
In this application Clearwater used a resin which exchanges calcium and magnesium ions for sodium. As sodium is soluble in water at far higher concentrations than calcium and magnesium, hard scale deposits are not formed. 

The base exchange water softening solution is said to offer a good solution where a permanent softening effect is required or where the removal of hard water minerals is important for optimal operation of a process.

In addition to the softener, Clearwater also supplied and installed a large water storage tank, duty/assist distribution pump-set, associated pipework and connections. Over the course of the project, a series of additional challenges needed to be overcome, including a change in the location of the installation by other contractors working on the project, and Materials of Construction (MOC) specification changes. Additional draw points also needed to be added mid-project. to allow for services connection.

The finished system met all of the technical and business requirements specified by the customer. The project was completed ahead of schedule and on budget. 

Clearwater is able to offer a complete range of products to control corrosion, scale and microbiolological contamination in industrial water systems, which can help maximise heat exchange efficiency and system longevity. 

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