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Supermal Karawaci SMK Shopping mall removes mineral scaling

blog heading icon4 Year field test of the electronic descaler at a shopping mall.

A 4 year field test of the Vulcan electronic descaler was conducted at a Mall’s cooling towers in Indonesia. During the 4 years no system maintenance was required and the system was not treated with chemicals. Mall administration and maintenance report the prevention of rust in their iron pipes has been an added benefit.

Supermal Karawaci SMK logo

Location: Tangerang (Indonesia)
Installation Area: One of 7 cooling towers servicing the Mall's water cooled air-conditioning systems
The cooling tower selected is a 408TR system containing 45 m3 water volume with a water flow rate of 318 m3/h in an open circuit system.
Period: February 2014 - February 2018 (4 Years)

Significant findings as a result of a 4-year field test:

  • Scale build-up did not take place. During this 4-year trial period, no scale formation was found on the condenser heat exchanger copper tubes of the system.
  • No system maintenance was required.
  • We have found conclusively that EC (Electric Conductivity) levels of up to 10,000 μS/cm can be safely ignored. Similarly, high TDS, metals, anions and many other substances in cooling tower water can be ignored when Vulcan is used.
  • Cooling tower water blow downs are vastly reduced because with the Vulcan the maximum EC limit increases from 1,200 μS/cm in chemically treated cooling tower water systems to the much higher limit of EC 10,000 μS/cm for the electronic method of cooling tower water treatment. At the new 10,000 μS/cm EC limit, the need for cooling tower water blow down will likely be reduced from almost daily to once or twice per year.
  • All AC compressors ran entirely at clean condenser efficiencies.
  • R22 refrigerant gauges on all condensers remained at constant hot gas head pressure.

Summary of Benefits:

  • Large savings on chemicals. The complete elimination of chemicals in this cooling tower operation during the field test supports the fact that Vulcan is “ecofriendly” and would meet the Leeds and Green Mark Building Criteria required for “Green Building” designation anywhere in the world. Enjoy the benefits of a world class, sustainable and “Green” Cooling Tower
  • Rust prevention in iron pipes is an added benefit of the Vulcan system.
  • Scale formation was eliminated. Refrigeration compressors operated at peak efficiency due to no scale in the condensers.
  • Huge savings on blow down water consumption. Significant energy and water savings due to clean condenser tubes and no need for water blow downs below electric conductivity 10,000 μS/cm levels with the electronic cooling tower water treatment system – representing alone a saving of virtually all previously wasted water due to blow downs.
  • Savings on payroll – no operational stoppages required for condenser cleaning, less testing and fewer inspections needed.
  • Savings on supervision – engineers appreciate the “set and forget” of this automatic water treatment system. Frequency of inspections and laboratory expenses for cooling tower water testing are reduced due to the safety and reliability of the electronic systems.

Supermal Karawaci SMK Vulcan S500 located inside aluminum box

A Vulcan S500 descaler installed on the mall rooftop and the electronic board is housed inside an aluminum box. Impulse cables installed on a cooling tower main pipe in Supermal Karawaci.


The images below show the refrigeration condenser tubes from the beginning to the end of the trial period in "as clean as new" condition.

Supermal Karawaci SMK first inspection
First Inspection: March 4, 2014
The heat exchanger tube plates were removed to reveal the inside surface of the copper tubes. Since these tubes had recently been manually cleaned, virtually no scale was present, as is obvious on this photo
Supermal Karawaci SMK last inspection
Last inspection: February 12, 2018 at the end of the 4-year trial
The inside surfaces of the copper tubes show zero additional scale formation after 4 years in the test period.
Please note that for 4 years of 365 days continuous operation, there has been:
  • No chemical water treatment.
  • No bleed off of waste water.
  • No cleaning of condenser tubes.
  • No water treatment specialists employed.
  • Copper tubes in the condensers stay very clean – without scale.
  • No cleaning of the cooling tower inside surfaces.

Inspections during the 4 years:
2014 - 4 times
2015 - 2 times
2016 - 2 times
2017 - 1 time
2018 - 1 time

At each inspection, the following procedures were followed:

1. One of the refrigeration "Shell and Tube" condensers was opened and the tubes inspected.
2. Condenser tubes were photographed.
3. Cooling tower water sample was sent to lab.
4. Refrigeration hot gas pressure gauges were checked.

Showing copper tubes of AC condenser heat exchanger on dates indicated:

Supermal Karawaci SMK march 4 2014
First Inspection: March 4, 2014
Supermal Karawaci SMK june 1 2014
June 1, 2014
Supermal Karawaci SMK dec 10 2014
December 10, 2014

Supermal Karawaci SMK june 3 2015
June 3, 2015
Supermal Karawaci SMK oct 27 2016
October 27, 2016
Supermal Karawaci SMK Inside of heat exchanger
Inside the heat exchanger. Condenser end plate have lost all previously built up scale. (FYI: the light spot at bottom is a reflection.)

Supermal Karawaci SMK aug 3 0217
August 3, 2017
Supermal Karawaci SMK feb 12 2018
Last inspection: February 12, 2018
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