How does the cartridge reduce energy use by around 20% in central heating systems?


In cold weather, a building constantly loses energy in the form of heat, the amount dependent on the building.  To keep the internal space at a constant temperature, the same amount of energy must be transferred into the building’s air as is lost.  By improving the efficiency of the energy transmission system, so that energy is delivered more efficiently, less heating energy in total needs to be delivered to the building.  So how does a heating system with treated water reduce the overall energy consumption?

The whole environment

The whole environment comprises:

  • the boiler
  • the heating system pipes and water
  • the ‘target environment’ e.g. building air or swimming pool

The total heat energy required is the total required in these 3 areas – the only constant is the target environment, which needs to be kept at a certain temperature. For example:

  • If a boiler is 70% efficient then 30% of the energy put into the boiler is lost, but if it’s 95% efficient then only 5% is lost. So much more fuel is needed to warm the same building with an inefficient boiler.
  • Similarly, there is the heat tied up in the heating pipes and water i.e. the heat energy trapped in the heating system at any given time. The more heat is trapped, the more overall heat energy required.

Effects on heating water

Treated water has different physical properties from normal water.  Fundamentally, the water atoms vibrate faster, as seen by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) analysis: all the observed behaviours of the altered water derive from this fact.  This faster vibration has a number of consequences relevant to fuel consumption in heating systems, as follows:

Effect 1   Scale comes off from all heating system surfaces during its period of operation, and prevents re-precipitation, without the use of chemicals.  The scale is broken down into a nanoparticle suspension in the water.

Effect 2   The higher molecular vibration of treated water speeds up heat transfer in and out of the heating system water, as the molecules can absorb and lose heat faster than ‘normal’ water.

Effect 3  The lower surface tension leads to a reduction of small air bubbles that hinder efficient heat transfer.

Effect 4  The nano-particles suspended in the water enhance the water’s effectiveness at transmitting heat significantly.   Independently* it has been shown that nanoparticles in water can dramatically increase the heat transfer capability of water by around 30%.

These four effects combine to reduce fuel requirement for the building with the ESfB cartridge installed.  The magnitude of reduction in fuel consumption depends on the heating environment in which the cartridge is operating, and can be empirically measured.

Treated water impacts on reduced fuel consumption

  1. Boiler efficiency
    1. The boiler is restored towards its designed level of efficiency by cleaning of the system from Effect 1.
    2. Effects 2, 3 and 4 combined mean that heat from the boiler is transferred to the heating water more quickly from the boiler/heat exchanger, which may even increase the level of boiler efficiency to surpass its designed level. Hence less fuel is consumed to achieve any given water temperature.
  2.  Faster heat transfer from heating pipes and water to the target environment

Effects 1, 2, 3 and 4 combine, with the result that altered water in the heating system can transfer heat energy faster to the target environment.  So, at any given time, proportionately more of the total heat energy is in the target environment than the heating water and pipes.

The empirical manifestation is that treated heating water (compared to normal heating water) heats a target environment to the same temperature with a significantly lower average heating water temperature. This has a number of fuel saving implications.

  1. The energy required to heat the heating water is significantly lower
  2. Because the heat transfer is more efficient, the boiler can operate at a lower temperature. This may need manual intervention to change the boiler temperature, giving additional savings.
  • In a building where heating is not required 24 hours a day,
    1. the boiler can be switched on later in the morning because the heat energy transfer to the target environment is faster with treated water.
    2. at the end of the day when the heating goes off, or is very low, with treated water there is less residual heat in the heating system (due to the heating water being cooler) so less energy is lost to an empty building.

In summary, treated heating water absorbs heat faster from the boiler, and then loses heat from the heating water faster into the target environment.  Hence a lower proportion of the heat energy is a) lost by the boiler, and b) tied up in the heating pipes/water. Consequently a higher proportion of heat energy resides in the target environment, whether building air or swimming pool.  Hence with treated heating water, for a constant target environment temperature, less energy is required by the whole environment.


* Conventional heat transfer fluids such as water have inherently poor thermal conductivity compared to solids.   Nanofluids are a new type of advanced heat transfer fluids, which increase thermal conductivity three to eight-fold. See, for example:  ‎


John Spottiswoode