Brine Making Challenges
Brine solution is corrosive and abrasive, therefore it creates wear on the system. This may be reduced or eliminated by using the correct components. Spending a little more up front will significantly impact the long-term costs by reducing maintenance and down time. Quality components ensure reliability and save on long term costs. Many years of design testing have lead us to where we are today.
Our failures are your successes.
Brine Masters Believes in Doing Things Right
Building the best brine making equipment cost-effectively. It comes down selecting the best components and designing for efficiency, user-friendliness and reliability. Below, we’ll cover details that separate Brine Masters from the competition: pumps, motors and automation.
The Pumping System Consists of 4 Major Components
Pump Construction Pump Seals Pump Motor Flow Meters
A quality pump should be made of cast stainless steel, which allows for wear due to material being approximately ¼” thick. Stamped stainless steel pump volutes simply don’t last in this application and will develop holes in the volute. Plastic pumps should never be used due to being brittle when cold and having heavy wear characteristics. Brine Masters pumps are constructed of cast stainless steel.
While most pumps use ceramic seals, Silicon Carbide seals are an excellent choice in brine applications. They are 22X harder than other seals, have excellent thermal characteristics, and will last up to 100X longer than ceramic seals. Brine Masters only uses Silicon Carbide pump seals.
Pump Mounting to Motor
The most common and the least expensive method to mount a pump to a motor is to have the motor shaft extend inside of the pump. The impeller is mounted directly to the pump shaft inside the pump housing. This is problematic as the pump can’t be serviced without removing it from the motor and vice versa. In addition, typically the pump manufacturer will use a low-cost motor that won’t last in the brine making environment. The best solution is to have an independent pump and motor that is long or close coupled to the pump head via an intermediate connection. This enables the equipment manufacture to install the best motor for the application versus what pump manufacturer chooses. Brine Masters pump and motor combinations are close coupled with an intermediate connector creating a “pump pack”. The motor and pump are mated together, but each may be serviced independently.
Let’s face it, the environment that the motor operates in is challenging. The ideal motor must withstand the corrosive environment as well as wet locations. Without a doubt, a washdown rated motor constructed of stainless steel is the perfect solution for long term operation while reducing down time and high replacement costs. The interiors of washdown motors are protected from dust and pressurized water. Brine Masters pump motors are constructed of stainless steel and are washdown rated IP56.
Measurement of the Brine Solution is Key to Making Salt Brine for Snow and Ice Control
Brine Concentration Measurement
The most common method to measure brine solution concentration is conductivity. This method is flawed and it is nearly impossible for it to work at concentrations over about 20% by weight. As the concentration of the solution increases from 0 to approximately 10% saturation, the relationship to conductivity increases accurately. However above about 20% saturation the relationship curve becomes very flat. That means that large changes in concentration have little effects on conductivity and accuracy suffers. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to accurately measure solutions above 20% saturation by using conductivity. Typically, in snow and ice control the desired solution is 23.3% or higher, therefore measuring with conductivity is problematic.
In addition, when measuring brine solution, via conductivity of a NaCl, treated salts cannot be used. The reason is that the conductivity properties of MgCl, CaCl or potassium acetate are totally different and conductivity readings will be inaccurate. The ideal solution to measure the concentration of the solution is by density. In measuring by density, the relationship of concentration and density remains perfectly linear throughout the required salinity range. Additionally, treated salts have no effect on the reading. Why do others use conductivity to measure the solution versus density? The fact of the matter is that conductivity sensors are cost effective but do not work well at high salt levels- as compared to density meters which are considerably more expensive to purchase and implement. Using density is the best option as an accurate process control when making brine for snow and ice control.
Density Meter Challenges
Density meters are expensive and sensitive devices which can be prone to high failure rates when operating in harsh environments. Brine Masters has developed its own sensor that is nearly indestructible, self-calibrating, and will last 10+ years without maintenance. The Brine Masters patent pending sensor comes with a 5-year warranty. It really is that good! It works with treated or non-treated salts, has accurate measurement, and temperature-compensates for accurate measurement of any solution. When comparing to other devices, inquire about the calibration process, how concentration is measured, and the failure rate & replacement costs. Then compare to our alternative!
To be automated, the system must have a series of sensors, actuated valves, and I/O contactors. Brine Masters believes that a true automated system is one that can be loaded with salt and started, with the system then making brine at a desired concentration without additional human intervention. We believe that a system requiring constant monitoring, with manually opening/closing valves, is not considered automated. A non-automated system increases brine production costs significantly due to the increased labor costs. Doing more with less saves time and money. Our systems are fully automated and use durable sensors, many of which perform self-diagnostics for reliability and peace of mind. These quality components will last many years without the need for service. We choose the best components, regardless of cost, for long-term operation and performance.
Powerful, Easy-to-Use Performance
Our systems keep the user in mind for operation and serviceability. User-friendly touch screen interfaces and M12 connections on most devices, make changing components simple in the unlikely event that a device needs replacement. Nearly all components on the machine can be changed out in 5 minutes or less.