The ability to build an apparatus that uses an electrolysis process to create metallic ions is something that has been taught to high school physics students for the last three decades. The components required for the experiment are confined to a transformer, a timer, a flip-flop device, a couple of resistors, a LED or two, some wire and a board to mount it all on.
Unfortunately some of the technology offered by FreshPools’ competitors is no more sophisticated than what high school students can produce but unsuspecting first time users of ionisation for swimming pools are unaware of what it is they are purchasing because the technology is often sealed up in a mysterious black box.
The image to the right shows a typical example of what lies beneath the black cover. Potential users of this technology ought to insist on being able to see what they are paying for before they commit themselves.
Some of the difficulties presented by the use of such primitive technology include:
Wide range in current. This occurs because, given a constant voltage the conductivity of the water determines the rate of current flow and hence the rate at which metallic ions are created. The end result will be that too few or too many metallic ions will be produced thus placing in jeopardy the systems ability to adequately treat the water or causing excessive ions to ultimately stain pool surfaces.
Other suppliers try to control current flow by adding salt to the water, however the computer controlled FreshPools system regulates the flow to the optimum range by the intelligent deployment of computer controlled feedback technology.
Uncontrolled electrolysis. Essential to the ionisation process is the deployment of voltage ripple. Primitive technology takes advantage of the fact that most transformers output a voltage ripple, but its magnitude and duration vary from transformer to transformer which means that the designer of such a system once again has no control over the rate of ion production. The FreshPools system rectifies and filters the voltage from the transformer and then introduces its own controlled ripple both in terms of magnitude and duration hence putting the FreshPools technician in total control of what is happening within the installed system.
No control over power. The flip-flop device used to reverse current flow from time to time to ensure the electrodes wear evenly and base metal does not become contaminated should have the power to it cut each time the polarity is reversed, otherwise the device will eventually wear out and fail. Primitive technology is incapable of such housekeeping unlike the FreshPools system.
No internal timer. In the absence of an internal timer an ioniser will run whenever the pump is running. Invariably this will cause the overproduction of metallic ions and the consequential staining of pool walls. The FreshPools system incorporates an infinitely variable timer that enables the installation technician to determine how long the ionisation process will be activated for after the power comes on.
Absence of a heat control. The deployment of primitive technology usually dictates that hand soldering has been used and hence subject to dry joints and faults developing as the device heats up. The surface mount technology and the use of world class production methods by FreshPools together with its unique heat sink device ensures safe reliable operation in ambient temperatures up to 60 degrees centigrade.
The user does not have to break open a black box to see the technology he or she is paying for. FreshPools proudly puts it on display for all to see. The Mark 3 version of its control unit is shown to the left.