Softening of water in an industry is a prerequisite as hardness leads to scale formation in boilers which eventually reduces efficiency and increases costs. For any industry which performs its operation using water as source for steam generation, pretreatment is done by either employing any softening process or chemical additions.
THE SOFTENING PROCESS
Softening of water gets rid of accumulated excess minerals and metals like calcium, magnesium and iron from your water supply or feed water. These minerals create a condition called hard water. Hard water increases your expense and is considered as a liability. The scales and spots on your appliances, pipes and boilers are actually because of hard water. This can lead to clogging, drop in pressure and corrosion which reduces the efficiency and shortens their life span. It may even cause damage to your equipment.
There are two types of technologies involved in softening of water in industries. These are:
- Upward Technology
- Downward Technology
RESIDENTIAL VS COMMERCIAL:
The main difference of water softener systems employed in houses and industry is in its sizing which affects its regeneration process. Since the water demand for an industry is much larger than those of residential apartments.
Regeneration is the process by which the sodium ions are swapped for further treatment. The process is simply substitution of calcium deposits over resin beds by sodium ions. These sodium ions are necessary for softening process. Once these ions are washed away, a backwash by salt brine water is done in order to process the softening.
How to calculate Industrial water softener size?
Sizing is usually done on the basis of capacity that a water softener can perform. This is usually based on gallons per minute or flow rate of water that is to be used, using a time reference (per minute). The sizing should be done based upon water used per day. It should be kept in mind that water softener regenerates once in twenty four hours. Hence, the capacity of water softener to fulfill the water demand is prime factor for its sizing.
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR SIZING:
In some commercial applications of the water softening where soft water should be available for 24 hours a day, clubbing of water softeners should be done such that if one or two are regenerating the rest of softeners are available to fulfill the demand.
You can typically wire together four individual water softeners into one water softening system. In some industries multiple water softening systems are used in order to achieve the water demand. There are various other factors that are to be considered while sizing industrial water softener.
Some of the following are listed as:
- Water pressure that is to be maintained for the operation of industries.
- Hardness of raw water entering the system.
- Water temperature.
- Capacity per cubic foot of resin that water softening tank can hold.
- Desired hours and optimum time for regeneration.
- Amount of space at an industry.
It should be kept in mind that not all commercial facilities may need a large softener or a water softening system. Some may use the water softener which is used for residential purposes. Every single industrial water softener needs to be sized and quoted individually based on the fact of water consumption demand.
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