One thing I have noticed while browsing this board is a few threads on the Dolphin Chemical Free Water Treatment System be Clearwater. There seemed to be some people advocating it, and others... well not so much. Those who advocate the Dolphin really seem to think it's great. They argue against the criticism saying that 'they don't understand the science'.
Well I agree, they dont understand the science; because there is no science behind the Dolphin... period. The Dolphin, according to Clearwater, say that it changes the molecular structure of the Calcium ion by hitting it with an electro-magnetic pulse.
I also read on this board, (written by a Dolphin advocate) that the Dolphin can even desalinate sea water?
First off, let me explain how scale is formed. Hardness, in the form of Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg) are both unique ions in chemistry. They belong to a group of elements that have 'inverse solubility' meaning they become less soluble the higher the temperature in a body of water. Now, calcium also adds to the alkalinity of water when it is dissolved; the more calcium, the more alkalinity, the higher the pH (usually). Now, city water is usually between 7.5 and 8.0 or so, it doesnt really matter. When you begin to cycle the bulk water up in a tower, the pH begins to rise; when the pH reaches 8.3, the alkalinity begins to break down into bicarbonate alkalinity or 'P' alkalinity. This is the monster that is the precursor to scale. When the bicarbonate alkalinity becomes over saturated, Calcium, as Calcium Carbonate begins to fall out of solution and onto heat transfer surfaces. This process is accelerated greatly when heat is introduced into the equation.
Now, the Dolphin lovers are going to say, "Whatever Waterboy, I don't have any scale so it must work."
Okay, I challenge you to do this: Go the Dolphin unit in the middle of the summer, keep the controller plugged in (the one monitoring the conductivity and controlling the bleed) but unplug the actual Dolphin unit. Leave it unplugged for the rest of the summer. Your results will be identical to what you are getting now. I guarantee it!
It's a trick people, like mind reading or dowsing or whatever. Here's how they do it, (so I have heard. I have no first-hand knowledge): There is a calculation to figure how many cycles (conductivity setpoint for bleed) you can run without treatment of any kind at 100 degree condenser water. If you look up my other posts you will find it. Now in addition to that calculation, many municipal water sources have a nuturally occuring amount of Phosphate in the water, usually around 1.4 to 2.1 ppm as PO4, so the Dolphin people (agian, this is my assumption if what they are doing) use this in their equation as well to calculate thier max cycles. Then they calculate the amount of Chlorine in the city supplied water, which can be as high as 0.5 ppm. With these factors, they can easily calculate how many cycles they can run without completely destroying your condenser and keep bio in check. BTW, the Dolphin claims to 'encapsulate' bacteria. I laughed so hard I peed when I read that.
Now, for those that say, "But it works because I can see all the calcium in my sump" Again, another trick. Remember what I said about heat? Well, in many cases, the calcium becomes oversaturated. When that happens, it begins to fall out of solution as well, right? Right, but because the Dolphin runs the Cycles so low, the constantly incoming makeup water is what is doing the majority of the cooling, not the tower. So, the calcium does not scale, it can't. There's nothing hot enough for it to adhere to because you are running so much 60 degree make up into the tower system. Instead, it just falls out in the sump.
Okay, so to the Green freaks who say, "But there's no chemicals so it environmentally friendly"
(Originally posted by me in another thread)
Okay, let's talk Green Technology. If on a chemical program, I can run a tower at say 5 cycles, and on the Dolphin I can run 1.5, then which is truly "Green"? Here's food for thought-
If you have a 1000 tons of cooling that averages 80% load, 12 hours per day, at a 10 degree Delta T, then the evaporation rate would be 30 gpm or 21,600 gallons per day. That is fixed. However the bleed rate at 1.5 cycles is 60 gpm or 43,200 gallons per day. At FIVE cycles the bleed rate falls to 8 gpm, (yes that much) or 5,760 gallons per day. So by using chemicals, which are organic and non hazardous or harmful to the watersupply, you are saving almost 14,000,000 gallons of water per year. In California, that's HUGE! Now, at roughly $2.00 per thousand gallons of makeup, and $2.50 per thousand gallons of bleed, (sewer) that's $63,000 in real money that a facility would save by using good water chemistry. Now stop and think how much you would pay for that chemical program. A good rule of thumb is $1.00 per ton per month. So, that would be $12,000 worth of chemical and service for a year. That's a pretty big payback, verses the Dophin.
That is the problem with the Dolphin, they sell a piece of equipment that does absolutely nothing except suck electricity and wastes water. Here are some links of studies done where the Dolphin has been used:
I hope I have been helpful. There are some chemical free devices that do work to remove calcium, but beware... calcium, in addtion to being a scale forming nuicance, also acts as a pH buffer against corrosion on steel. If your water treater uses a good program, then there is nothing 'Greener' and more effective that a quality chemical treatment!