Illinois Patent of the Month – July 2022

Surface aerators are often used in water treatment systems but have been known to torque or rotate in the opposite direction of the propeller rotation. Substantial mooring components are needed to restrain this torque, making installation more complex and limiting. Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc. conducted rigorous experimentation and determined that this torque is not related to the torque of the motor, as previously thought. Instead, the torque on the mooring system is in response to the rotational element of the hydraulic discharge from the aerator. Using this knowledge, the company has developed a new aerator system with less torque and ultimately a simpler installation.

A flow straightening vane is included in the design within the aerator volute tube which straightens both the intake and discharge flow. This straightened flow eliminates – or at least minimizes – the torque on both the aerator and the mooring components. The reduction in torque allows the system to function more efficiently while also increasing stability. 

Without a vane, an aerator tends to torque in the opposite direction of impeller rotation. The discharged fluid rotates in the same direction as propeller rotation. These two forces are what cause the assembly to torque in the opposite direction. The vane, which is designed with a curved end, forces the fluid to discharge in a straightened path through a volute tube and out a diffusion head. Without fluid rotating in the same direction as the propeller, the torque is eliminated.

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