What Decide the Quality of an Ozone Generator
We receive numerous inquiries regarding the quality and pricing of different ozone generators. These questions are valid, given the wide range of price points available for ozone generators with similar g/hr or mg/hr ratings. In this article, we will attempt to outline the most significant distinctions among ozone generators.
Materials of Corona Cells
At the core of every ozone generator lies the corona cell, where the corona discharge takes place, resulting in ozone production. In order to reduce costs, materials like aluminum, tin (tin foil), low-grade stainless steel, and plastics are often utilized. However, over time, these materials are prone to oxidation from ozone exposure, leading to potential leaks or a malfunctioning corona cell.
As these inferior materials deteriorate, they can introduce contaminants into the oxygen/ozone stream, compromising its purity. This is a crucial factor to consider, particularly in applications such as water treatment or medical ozone, where maintaining a clean and pure ozone stream is of utmost importance.
Superior ozone generators will employ high-grade materials such as stainless steel (316L), quartz glass, ceramic, and pure Teflon. These ozone-resistant materials are capable of withstanding the effects of ozone and significantly prolong the lifespan of the ozone generator.
Within the first six months of operation or under minimal usage, the choice of corona cell materials may not exhibit noticeable differences. However, in the long run, especially after the six-month mark or with heavy usage, the reliability of the ozone generator will be significantly impacted. Manufacturing corona cells with higher quality materials incurs higher costs, but the benefits they offer are well worth the investment.
The production of ozone necessitates a high voltage spark, which is constantly present and serves as the endpoint ground. A high voltage transformer is employed to generate these high voltages and sparks. It is crucial for this transformer to be reliable and capable of withstanding the stresses of shorting through a dielectric to ground at high frequencies for extended periods. Our experience has shown that open coil resonant transformers or oil-cooled transformers offer the best performance. While simpler endpoint transformers are less expensive and commonly used in lower-cost ozone generators, they tend to have a shorter lifespan and are prone to failure.
Electronic Driver Boards
Ozone production requires a high-frequency spark, which is generated using electronic components. Basic Mosfet transistors are commonly utilized to switch DC voltage and create the desired high frequency. Lower-cost ozone generators typically employ a single transistor to achieve this, while higher-end ozone generators distribute the workload by employing a series of transistors.
In situations where the corona cell is contaminated or adverse conditions arise, it is crucial for the ozone generator's driver board to deactivate ozone production. This prevents the transformer from shorting directly to ground and experiencing failure. Unfortunately, many lower-cost ozone generators do not incorporate this circuit protection. Even in cases where it is implemented, there is a risk that the reaction time may not be fast enough to effectively safeguard the electronic equipment.
Ozone generators inherently generate heat, and this is an indisputable fact. However, numerous low-end ozone generators utilize inadequate cooling fans that fail to circulate sufficient airflow, while others may not incorporate a cooling fan at all.
Ozone generators are typically rated based on their ozone production capacity, measured in mg/hr or g/hr. However, the efficiency of ozone production is determined by the ozone concentration, which is usually measured in terms of percentage by weight, g/m3, or gamma. When purchasing an ozone generator, it is crucial to prioritize models that can produce the highest g/hr at the highest possible ozone concentration. Higher concentration ozone offers several advantages, including reduced oxygen consumption, improved dissolution into water, and overall enhanced performance for various applications.
These are some of the crucial components to consider when evaluating an ozone generator. It's important to acknowledge that low-quality ozone generators do have their purpose, as they cater to a lower price point and enable users to determine if ozone suits their needs. As with any product, higher quality typically comes at a higher cost.
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