Ion Pinch™

Ion Pinch is a low-voltage AC system for removing scaling minerals from water used in cooling tower applications. Ion Pinch delivers savings in chemical costs, energy costs, and water costs.

Ion Pinch™

Ion Pinch is a third-generation water scale suppression system. It is non-chemical water treatment for HVAC & process cooling tower systems. Ion Pinch is installed in-line full flow at cooling loop or on a side-stream loop to suppress mineral fouling, scaling, and biofilm. Ion Pinch enhances current chemical water treatment programs by saving money:

  • Energy savings >10% for conventional HVAC chillers
  • Water and discharge savings by reduced blowdown
  • Reduced chemical water treatment costs (if incumbent chemical water treater has fixed monthly service contract, these savings can pass through to them)

The Need

Cooling is the largest use of water in the U.S. – greater than agriculture. Nearly every factory in the world requires chilled water, and buildings greater than 10-stories tall require cooling towers for HVAC.

  • About 10% of U.S. energy consumption is for cooling.
  • The largest expense for data-centers is cooling water.

Ion Pinch™

Chemical treatment programs are essential for cooling water, and no device can completely replace chemistry, but at the same time, no chemical program can keep chiller tubes perfectly free of scale and fouling. They can always be cleaner.

Ion Pinch works with chemical programs–never as a replacement to them–to close existing efficiency gaps and generate energy and cost savings for facilities.

How Ion Pinch works

The Ion Pinch is a flanged device installed either inline with a chiller and cooling tower or as a separate sidestream skid with filtration. Its electronic control unit produces an oscillating radio-frequency electric field.

A third-generation descaler and the most powerful device of its kind, Ion Pinch has been proven to modify and soften mineral scale crystals, to protect cooling equipment and prevent unnecessary costs.

As shown using scanning electron microscopes, needle-like aragonite calcium carbonate scale bakes onto chiller and heat exchanger tubes creating major energy losses. Scale formation requires regular cleaning and reduces the operating lifetime of equipment.

Ion Pinch forms soft hexagonal-shaped calcite scale particles in water instead of on the equipment to protect chillers and heat exchangers. These particles compete with tube surfaces for more minerals and grow in size. They wash away by the normal flow of cooling water and are easily removable by filtration.

Ion Pinch™ water treatment

The patented method applies electric fields directly to water, unlike the indirect applications of first and second-generation magnets and coils. Because our electric fields are applied directly, the Ion Pinch has no maximum frequency or field strength, increasing the descaling performance of the Ion Pinch. This key difference makes Ion Pinch the most powerful and efficient device of its kind.

Combined with filtration, the Ion Pinch behaves as a non-chemical softener, creating soft particles and removing them generating additional cost savings by reduced water make-up and discharge expenses.

Key Benefits

  • Reduces energy losses from scaling and increases heat transfer efficiency in chillers
  • Reduces fouling resistance up to 83%
  • Reduces make-up and discharge water costs by enabling cycles of concentration to be increased
  • Makes regular brush-punching easier with soft particulate deposition instead of crystallization baked onto heat exchanger tubes
  • Increases capital equipment life and reduces replacement rates of system components
  • Reduces the likelihood of cooling system down-time due to fouling
  • Provides synergies with side-stream filtration

Key Features

The Ion Pinch can be installed:

  • Inline with chillers, heat exchangers and cooling towers
  • On a separate sidestream skid with filtration

Product Details

The Ion Pinch has three main parts: electronic control unit, reactor and housing, and cabling / wiring.

  • Specifications for Ion Pinch are based on pipe size (2” to 14”)
  • Electronic control module requires electrical input 110V AC, 50-60Hz
  • The design applies electric fields directly to water, unlike the indirect approach of first and second-generation systems.

Proven Performance: The Chilling Facts

An Ion Pinch Model RF-10 was installed full-flow at a small-to-medium sized building HVAC system. Here are the results:

  • Energy efficiency of 500-RT (refrigeration tons) chiller:
    – Without Ion Pinch: 0.85 kW/ton
    – With Ion Pinch: 0.76 kW/ton
  • An 11% increase in efficiency and direct operating cost saving
  • Estimated return-on-investment: less than 18 months