Why Turbine Aeration

Why VaraCorp Air Turbine?

All things considered, the VaraCorp aerator has proven itself to outlast and outperform virtually every aerator in its class in the market today.

VaraCorp’s air turbine uses the twin physics principles of precession (as applied to rotating fluids) and centrifugal force. Precession creates the low pressure zone which draws in the surface air. Once inside the turbine chamber, this air is discharged rapidly through the power of centrifugal force. There are two important factors that further distinguish VaraCorp’s turbine aerator. First, the centrifugal force slings the air outward at a high speed in a lateral direction. See Videos on Home page. Second, tests in a clear water tank have shown that the dissolved oxygen is also pushed downward up to ten feet below the surface. These forces create a mixing and sheering action which produce and disperse microbubbles. The air turbine offers a gross air transfer volume up to 76 cubic feet per minute.

1. Oxygen Transfer Efficiency

The ability of any aerator to transfer dissolved oxygen into a body of water is of key importance when comparing aerators. Other keys are the initial capital cost of the aerator plus its ongoing costs such as maintenance, repair, and electrical power consumption. Since the primary concern of most clients is the transfer efficiency, this issue is discussed in the report referenced below.

VaraCorp’s Air Turbine can transfer 4.7 pounds of dissolved oxygen per horsepower hour per field study. This equates to 450 pounds of dissolved oxygen per/unit/day.

2. Power Consumption Efficiency

By some estimates the monthly cost of powering the aeration system can be as much as 60% of the cost of running the entire treatment system. If this is the case, then the primary focus needs to be placed on meeting treatment goals while minimizing power consumption. The five-horsepower VaraCorp aeration system has often been selected by potential clients largely on its ability to aerate a lagoon at a fraction of the monthly electrical cost of competing systems. In at least one client case the VaraCorp aerator increased dissolved oxygen levels while reducing electrical costs over 50%. 

Below is a report discussing power consumption in the VaraCorp aerator.

Air/Drive Shaft is precision balanced.

VaraCorp operates a quality control program on many of the components of its aeration system in its quest for trouble-free operation. For example, the stainless steel air shafts are precision balanced by master machinists during fabrication. Afterwards, each shaft is tested for straightness by being spun at high rpm’s. (See video attached below.) The air shaft is not shipped until it meets a minimum level of straightness. Each pontoon likewise is tested not only for the integrity of its polyethylene jacket but also to affirm that there are no voids or gaps in the contents of its internal closed-cell foam. (See video under the heading 5. Built to Last on the manufacture and foam-filling process of the pontoons.)

VaraCorp’s air turbine aerator requires no routine maintenance. There are no bearings to grease or floats to be checked.

While oxygen transfer efficiency is important in an aerator, this factor can be overshadowed in the practical setting if maintenance and repair costs are exorbitant. Maintenance issues can include the need to clean clogged emitters, the need to grease bearings, and the need to make routine adjustments in the alignment of moving parts. Repair costs can include the replacement of motors, bearings, gears, blades, vanes, propellers, etc. One of the huge advantages of the VaraCorp aerator is that little to no maintenance is ever required. In fact, many VaraCorp aerators have been running for years without ever being touched by human hands. While the engineering principles of the VaraCorp turbine are complex, the utter simplicity of the design makes it virtually trouble-free.

VaraCorp’s engineers make a concerted effort to improve the quality of the components that constitute the VaraCorp aerator. We constantly work with technicians, motor experts, and design consultants in rotational molding to produce an ever-improving, ever reliable aerator. Our goal is to provide an aerator that can be left alone as it runs for years without outside input.

Freezing temperatures often prevent aerators from operating in waste lagoons, particularly splash-type aerators which throw water into the air. This water can quickly become frozen, thus shutting down the operation of the aerator. Due to the nature of its design, the VaraCorp aerator can continue to operate during very severe ice storms. VaraCorp has received reports that its aerators have continued to operate where nighttime temperatures reached 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. The key is to keep the aerator running continuously so that the rotating turbine does not become frozen in the ice. It is not unusual to see the VaraCorp aerators in full operation even when frozen moisture has completely covered the motor and pontoons.

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