BY BETH HAMIL
In 2017, I was contacted by an ozone company located in the Midwest. They wanted me to look at their technology and give them ideas on where their unique products could be utilized. The founders/inventors were well-versed in the technology of producing small, efficient, and very powerful plasma ozone cells (called chips) but had very limited experience in determining where this technology could be successfully utilized. This was my introduction to MicroPlasma Ozone Technologies, Inc. (MPO3). It took me a while to find the time to visit their facility and meet the team, but once I did, I was surprised to find I had finally found the technology that I had always hoped for. I knew this technology would revolutionize ozone use in residential and small commercial swimming venues. Not only do these systems make a very respectable level of ozone (sizes from 2 to 10 grams per hour); these units are Smart!
Founded in 2010, MPO3 is located in Champaign, Illinois, and provides a range of ozone systems designed for use in applications that benefit from NSF listed and performance-validated Smart Ozone Systems. Developed by a major university’s Plasma Lab Team, MPO3’s multi-patented micro-channel ozone process produces a “uniform glow discharge” (plasma), as opposed to a standard corona discharge (CD), which is a “random discharge”. This state-of-the-art technology provides exceptional efficiency (energy usage and ozone output) in a very compact size. Plus, they monitor the health of the pool water, as well as their own health and performance, and tell the end-user in real-time with a bright HMI display.
As a comparison, the most popular ozone generators for residential pools produce an ozone output of 0.1 to 0.4 grams per hour, and some are marketed for residential pools up to 100,000 gallons! This is certainly not enough ozone to make a very big dent in the health and clarity of the water. In addition, the only way one can tell if the system is “working” is to see if the indicator light is illuminated and there are visible bubbles in the pool water. On top of this, there are no third-party validations in these residential ozone systems; just blind faith that they are working (because the sales guy said they do). “If the light is on, someone must be home!”
MPO3’s Smart Ozone Systems for residential and small commercial swimming pools, and other aquatic venues, provide the same innovative technology as large commercial systems with a very small footprint, for applications requiring a range of sizes that other manufacturers do not or cannot offer. MPO3’s smallest residential pool systems, at a minimum, provide more than four times the ozone as the largest residential ozone systems in the market. Onboard ORP monitor/controllers continuously measure the health of the water, while onboard controls measure the health of the system and adjust for changing ambient conditions. Plus, all ozone system functions are continuously captured and recorded in an onboard SD Card that can be downloaded to MPO3’s Website Portal for data logging and maintenance purposes.
Humidity is the Achilles heel of ozone. When the nitrogen (found at high levels in ambient air), humidity (>50%), and the high voltage energy (plasma or corona) all come together inside an ozone cell, nitric acid is produced. At low levels, the ozone output plummets and at higher levels, the nitric acid will corrode the ozone cell to the point of complete failure. MPO3 developed a solid-state electronic dehumidifier (called the Kistler™) for the MP5Air (2 grams/hour) and utilizes an oxygen concentrator (ultra-dry O2) for the MP5O2 and the MP10 (5 and 10 grams/hour respectively). Nitric acid production is eliminated, and the systems are well-protected for performance and longevity.
MicroPlasma Ozone Technology ®, provides true ozone output ratings based on third-party ANSI accredited laboratory testing and validation for each model. MPO3’s chosen ANSI Lab is NSF International under NSF/ANSI Standard 50 for swimming pool performance and antimicrobial efficacy. All product performance claims are fully investigated, verified and surveilled on an ongoing basis to ensure their performance is consistent with written and reported claims over the life of the system. MPO3 systems provide optimal ozone output coupled with ozone management for swimmer safety, antimicrobial efficacy, and the best reliability and durability in the industry.
MPO3 products are built as systems, meaning that the entire ozone process is precisely managed by design. Each step in the process has properly sized components and comprehensive monitor/control mechanisms, to deliver the exact amount of ozone safely and efficaciously without any bubbles entering the pool. Bubbles in the pool do not represent effective ozone performance. Only dissolved ozone is efficacious in the water and dissolved ozone is invisible.
Smart Ozone Systems by MicroPlasma Ozone essentially take care of themselves and only require a quick glance at the user-interface HMI display to determine exactly what’s happening in the water, with remarkably low energy consumption. The MP5, MP5O2 and MP10 provide extreme chemical reduction. The built-in ORP monitor provides the pool owner with the confidence that the ozone system is performing with its continuous read-out of the ORP which is a direct reflection of the health and cleanliness of the pool water, while proving that the ozone is working. The built-in Ozone ORP operates independently of the pool’s chlorine ORP. The independent ORP probes are located in different areas in the pool’s plumbing. The chlorine ORP probe is located after the filter (sometimes after the heater) and the Ozone ORP probe is located after the ozone side-stream remixes in the main return line right before the water returns to the pool (in some cases there can be a chlorine feeder after the ozone and prior to the pool).
Ozone is produced by an ozone generator at the point of use (utilizing only air and electricity) and converts back to oxygen leaving no harmful byproducts, making it both a green and sustainable technology. Ozone is an approved organic food additive under the USDA National Organic Program. Ozone is an EPA Approved Antimicrobial, Disinfectant & Sanitizer by definition and ozone performs these functions as an oxidizer. In swimming pools, it will reduce the use of chlorine and ancillary chemical additives dramatically which offers a healthy swimming environment and beautiful pools.