Comparing AC Ionizers to DC Ionizers

Ionizers remove static from surfaces that cannot be grounded. You will find two common types: AC or Alternating Current and DC or Direct Current. This presentation reviews the pros and cons of each technology and will help you decide which ionizer will work best for your application.

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The difference between DC and AC ionization is the way the emitter points function.  In AC, like the Transforming Technologies Ptec & BFN Ionizers, the same emitter point alternates between releasing positive and negative ions.  This means they inherently have a voltage balance.  This is because if an emitter gets dirty and isn’t functioning, the other emitters are still alternating between positive and negative ions.  This also means that the ions are closer together which makes it more likely for them to recombine. This means normally higher fan speeds are needed to reduce the time between the fan and the surface that needs to be ionized.

DC ionizers have separate emitters for positive and negative ions.  This means that it’s a little more difficult to ensure a low voltage balance and if one emitter stops working, it throws the unit out of balance.  These types of units require a lot more consistent maintenance/monitoring to ensure a good voltage balance.  The benefits are that the emitters are separate so there is less of a chance of recombination of the ions.  This allows the DC units to operate at a lower fan speed which is very beneficial when your components are small or you are in a clean room.