4 Common Problems Encountered Using an Electrostatic Precipitator

Electrostatic precipitators (ESP) are game-changers when it comes to air pollution control. This process effectively cleans the air with no hazardous byproducts, so why wouldn’t you install one to manage dust, smoke, fumes, and other contaminants at your workplace? Here are a few of the challenges that ESP units you might encounter.

Issue in need of air pollution control in San Francisco, CA

1 – High Cost

High-quality electrostatic precipitators are expensive. There is just no way around it. The installation of a new SmogHog electrostatic precipitator to combat air pollution will definitely set you back a few bucks. But consider this: electrostatic precipitators can be used over and over again, you simply remove the plates, wash them out, and replace them. When you compare this to the cost of using disposable air filters over and over again, the cost of a SmogHog ESP doesn’t look like too bad of a deal.

2 – (Perception of) Shock Hazard

Because the electrostatic precipitator must generate an extremely powerful electrical current in order to create an electric corona discharge to ionize the air that flows through the electrodes, it uses a lot of energy. The electrical current generated by most ESP systems could easily kill someone if safe working procedures and warnings are ignored. This is not true at all for Parker Hannifin SmogHog electrostatic precipitators because the SmogHog setups are designed with transformers that power 2 or 3 collection cells, while those of many competing ESPs use one transformer to power 12 or more ESP collection cells. Using this amount of power requires a lot of amps which is definitely a shock hazard. SmogHog ESPs have been designed with low current amps which cannot produce a shock worse than a spark plug shock, even while using the high voltages necessary for the ESP process to work.

3 – One Size Does Not Fit All

Most electrostatic precipitators use the same operating principles, but there are many factors necessary for an ESP unit to be successful. Here are some of the factors that can impact the efficiency of an electrostatic precipitator:

These factors determine how the ESP will be configured so that it works effectively to remove specific pollutants from the air. Some situations, such as pollutants from a coal-burning power plant, need to be configured to effectively remove sulfur-dioxide or limit the amount of ash the plant produces. This may require a lot of configuration and perhaps the need to add other processes, such as wet scrub or dry scrub processes, to make the ESP work effectively.

4 – Voltage Drops

The amount of grease on the collection plates can cause a voltage drop which compromises the effectiveness of the ESP process.  If the grease gets too thick on the collection plates it can result in a voltage drop because the system can’t create enough of a charge to capture more grease. This can easily be remedied with the addition of an automatic wash system using Matrix SP7C detergent concentrate to your electrostatic precipitator system.

Looking for a Superior Electrostatic Precipitator System?

Matrix Systems supplies many different configurations of ESP equipment. The SmogHog PSG series of kitchen emission control systems is just one example of an ESP system configured to address a specific air pollution control challenge. For more information, give us a call at either (510) 822-5167 for Bay Area customers, or (530) 273-5474 for Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada area customers, complete our online contact form, or email us at mquinlan@2mxs.com.