IPS Key Questions and Answers

The efficiency of the IPS KalyxX is dependent on two main factors and that is the electric field that is generated by the different electrode material and the intensity of reverse turbulence due to their shape. The higher the flow rate of the device, the more intense the turbulence.
In the laboratory, we investigated the effect of low flow on the efficiency of the device, concluding that a complete loss of efficiency of IPS KalyxX due to low flow will not occur, only a decrease in it.
At a flow rate of 5 l/min (low flow), we recorded an efficiency of approximately 50%, which is still a high efficiency compared to competing products. Of course, as the flow rate increases, the efficiency increases. The upper limit of the flow rate is defined by the maximum flow rate for the model and it is not recommended to exceed this value. However, this does not mean that the device would not be effective even at higher flow rates.

The information below is taken directly from the manufacturer of IPS products – Swiss Aqua Technologies

TEMPERATURE – Experience with the development of the properties of some cathodes in hot water can lead to the conclusion that the device does not work in hot water, is this true? How does temperature affect potency?

The tests carried out show that IPS show a slight increase in efficiency in DHW, which is also supported by a slight increase in voltage between the electrodes. This statement is also supported by references from the deployment of IPS KalyxX into recirculation circuits.
However, what we do not recommend is the installation of IPS in a device where steam is produced – due to the extreme temperature gradient, the desired efficiency cannot be achieved by the device.

ANODE DECAY – How long does an anode in IPS last in heavy electrolytes?

In normal use of IPS KalyxX, where the electrolyte is formed by drinking water, both electrodes are relatively stable and their service life is up to 10 years. In the case of water with increasing acidity (low pH), the service life is reduced (up to 4 years).
In the laboratory, we tested the effect of high pH solutions on the dissolution time of the zinc electrode. We tested the solution with a pH of 3 and 1.4, leaving the electrodes in this solution submerged for 1 week. In the solution with pH 3, color changes were visible, weight loss was negligible. The solution with a pH of 1.4 caused the zinc electrode to break down.

VOLTAGE – Is the voltage across the device measurable? How does it change with the flow and ionization of water?

The voltage is not user measurable by default. For laboratory measurements, small adjustments need to be made in order to connect a measuring device to the "vital" turbines and monitor the voltage value between the mini.

However, the voltage value is not so much dependent on the flow parameters. By measurements, we found that the voltage value is approximately constant (it varies around the mean value) and increases only slightly (on the order of tenths of a volt) with increasing flow. We also found that a slight increase in voltage is achieved by the higher temperature of the water flowing through the device (faster movement of electrons in the electrolyte with a higher temperature).

The greatest influence on the stress between the "vital" turbines is the mineralogical composition of the water itself, where the richer the water is in minerals, the higher the voltage can be achieved. The voltage limits between turbines are bounded by the galvanic potential of the material from which the "vital" turbines are made. In IPS devices, we strive to create conditions that guarantee its maximum value and use.

INFLUENCE OF HIGH IRON CONTENT – Does high iron content in water affect efficiency? What is the course? Is there any data to support the claim that iron content does not have a negative effect?

Due to the fact that we carry out our testing on water that is not treated in any way, it is not possible to carry out exact comparative tests for different iron in water contents. From a physical point of view, we see no reason why the iron content in water should have a negative effect on its effectiveness. Our claims are also supported by practical experience, where our systems were deployed in systems where water had a high iron content – this factor did not affect efficiency. After disassembly and inspection, a fine ferrous deposit was present on the electrodes, which was easy to wash – without affecting the efficiency. Of course, water with different composition and content of individual components can in some way affect the potency, either positively or negatively.

FILTRATION – Is it necessary to install IPS together with a filter for mechanical impurities? What is the permissible size of mechanical impurities when using IPS?

In general, it can be noted that installation wiring includes devices with a higher sensitivity to mechanical impurities (to their smaller size) than IPS. The need for protection by an IPS filter for mechanical impurities is needed only in the case of impurities in water of 50 μm and larger.

PRESSURE LOSSES – How significant are pressure losses?

The design, material composition and internal composition of the electrodes in IPS are chosen with regard to maximum efficiency. However, pressure losses through the flow through the device are negligible, in the order of hundredths to tenths of a percent.

ANTIBACTERIAL EFFECT OF IPS KalyxX BlueLine – How can it be characterized? What is the effect and how can it be measured?

Since ancient times, it has been known that silver ions are effective against a wide range of microorganisms. Today, silver is used to control bacterial growth in industries ranging from medical applications to consumer products such as washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and even toilet seats. The same principle is used in IPS KalyxX BlueLine devices, which not only change the crystalline structure of CaCO3 scale from calcite to aragonite, thus protecting the device from the formation of unwanted deposits, but also providing an antibacterial effect thanks to the silver contained.

To properly understand the principle of operation of the antibacterial effect of the IPS KalyxX device, it is necessary to understand the mechanism of antibacterial action of silver itself. Silver and most of its compounds have an oligodynamic effect that is toxic to bacteria, algae and fungi. Oligodynamic effect refers to the antiseptic effect of silver on certain pathogens. This phenomenon occurs already at a very low concentration of silver, and is based on the specific absorption of silver ions on the surface of bacteria. This means that the effectiveness of silver as an antiseptic is based on the ability of the active silver ion to inversely damage key enzyme systems in the cell membranes of pathogens. An interesting property of silver ions is the so-called "zombie effect", where dead bacteria that already contain silver can be a source of silver and thus can kill other bacteria. The antibacterial effect is significantly increased in the presence of an electric field.

In general, three scientifically researched mechanisms by which silver acts on microorganisms are known to date:

  1. Silver ions can create pores and pierce the bacterial cell wall by reacting with the peptidoglycan component;
  2. Silver ions inhibit cell respiration and disrupt metabolic pathways, leading to the formation of
    ROS – reactive oxygen species;
  3. Silver in bacterial cells disrupts DNA and their replication cycle;

Silver increases the activity of enzymes involved in cell division, thus significantly slowing down their multiplication. Due to this, it has antibacterial or bacteriostatic effects.

IPS KalyxX BlueLine ensures its antibacterial effect by using these mechanisms through silver electrodes and the presence of an electric field between the mini, which enhances the whole effect. Laboratory tests revealed a 40% reduction in E. Coli bacteria in the given composition of the IPS KalyxX BuleLine device. However, this is not the main function of this device, the main function continues to be the recrystallization of the scale structure and the antibacterial effect extended by a very positive property.

Possible discoloration of water after using IPS

Water with a high mineral content is referred to as hard. This high mineral content is positive for the user's human health, but the negative impact of its use is the deposition of these minerals during use on the walls of distribution systems and equipment in the form of a hard coating known as scale (for the difference between limescale action on a water heater with and without IPS protection, see Figures 1 and 2 — Applied Technical Service source, with the USA).

Using IPS devices the chemical balance of water is not disturbed, only the re-crystallization of the minerals contained in the physical way, especially calcium and magnesium, which are the building block for the formation of scale, occurs.

This change in the form of the crystalline lattice of the mineral causes it to no longer be able to form hard crusts on surfaces, but is washed away by flowing water in the form of a fine powder (see Figure 3 – source Swiss Aqua Technologies, Swiss). These are microscopic changes, and such an effect, as a rule, is not recognizable by the human eye. However, if the water is extremely hard, it can sometimes happen that after soaking it seems to be with a slight white effect.

This phenomenon is in no way negative for the user. Conversely. The content, important minerals for human health, is preserved in the water and does not settle on the walls of the device. Among other things, the effectiveness of IPS devices is confirmed.

In most cases, the effect of the so-called "white water" causes air toreleased in water – millions of miniature air bubbles (see Figure 4 – source Swiss Aqua Technologies, Swiss). This phenomenon commonly occurs when cold water from the distribution network comes into contact with water distribution systems that have a higher temperature. This phenomenon is also caused by the aerator located at the outlet of the faucet or we can observe it after various repairs carried out on the water pipes, where air enters the distribution network. The "white water" can also be caused by the TGP effect used by IPS devices, because there is a turbulent flow in their flow chamber, which equally releases air from the water and disperses it into very small bubbles. Such turbidity of water is absolutely not dangerous and has no negative effect on the taste, quality and health of the consumer. The air in such turbid water will gradually evaporate, which means that if such water is allowed to stand for a few minutes to release all the bubbles, the turbidity will be lost and the water will be clear again.

A secondary effect of IPS may be that the water thus treated acts on the washing away of previously created scale. Again, this is a very gradual phenomenon that is often not recognizable by the human eye. However, if the historical layer of scale is significantly large, at first the water filled may seem slight cloudy (for an extreme case, see Figure 5 – source Siam Cast Nylon, Thailand). Again, this does not mean in any case negative impact on human health, these are again minerals that are needed for human health. And again, this only confirms the effectiveness of the use of IPS, in this case also in terms of the gradual removal of the already formed scale. However, the user experience may be less. However, this is due to the limescale itself, which was in the wiring even before the installation of IPS, but its presence the user may not have been aware of.