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ClariMax™ Series Inclined Plate Clarifiers

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"Clarifier Design Parameters"

for information on the accurate design and sizing of
Clarifiers and Clarification Systems

The HydroFlo ClariMax™ inclined plate clarifier is a unique device in the world of clarification equipment. Our experience in clarifier design, and recent advancements in fluid dynamic modeling, have all been applied to make the HydroFlo ClariMax the most efficient clarifier available today.

It is interesting to note that, according to recent research, the most turbulent area found in "standard" inclined plate clarifier design is the area between the influent trough and the entrance to the plate pack. Short circuiting, high velocity areas and eddy currents are present throughout this area, creating turbulence and misdistribution at the main plate pack entry areas.

In researching ways to minimize these problems, we discovered something interesting. First we altered the influent configurations and influent baffling. These changes did help minimize these issues but not enough to make a significant difference. Our real breakthrough came when we combined co-current and counter-current designs. This "hybrid" design greatly improved fluid dynamics throughout the entire clarifier. This configuration also allows us to take advantage of both co-current and counter-current design principles (as detailed in "Wastewater Engineering" by Metcalf and Eddy). The results are a step up from any of the other clarifier designs available today.



HydroFlo is the only company offering both co-current and counter current technology in a single compact clarifier package. HydroFlo has patent's pending for this highly efficient Hybrid technology.

The net benefit of this "hybrid" design is greatly improved hydraulic loading and an improvement in the overall efficiency of the clarifier.

Influent distribution is greatly improved.
HydroFlo's influent configuration allows for the largest influent trough configuration available in the market. This huge 504 square inch connection between the clarifier and the flash/floc tank reduces influent velocities to the lowest available anywhere. This creates the ideal transition from clarifier influent to the primary co-current plate packs. The cross-sectional resistance created by the primary co-current plate packs in combination with the counter-current plate packs and HydroFlo's adjustable effluent trough system gives us better influent flow distribution than any other style clarifier on the market. This gives us far superior plate coverage and greater operation efficiencies than traditional designs.

Large quantities of solids are immediately removed from the waste stream by the co-current section.
The largest, heaviest, fastest settling floc particles are all trapped by the central co-current pack. Over 40% of the TSS are removed in this section. Often, numbers in excess of 50% are attainable. These solids are carried along the surfaces of the co-current plate packs (past the flow transition point from co-current to counter-current) directly into the sludge collection chamber.

Solids handling, as well as solids loading ratios are greatly improved over the typical counter-current designs available from every other manufacturer.
One of the greatest issues faced by traditional counter-current clarifiers is the impact that accumulated solids have on overall clarifier efficiency. As the solids accumulate on the surfaces of the plates, they have to migrate along the surfaces of the plate to the bottom of the plate where they are discharged into the sludge collection chamber. As these solids accumulate they reduce the effective "gap" or space between the plates. This increases the velocities through the plate packs reducing the clarifiers efficiency and increasing the possibility of floc carryover. By eliminating large quantities of solids in the co-current pack section, we are reducing the solids loading on the counter-current section. Less solids in the counter-current section means that our plate gaps will remain larger than other clarifier designs. Larger gaps mean lower overall velocities and less probability of floc carryover.

By utilizing the influent distribution area, our overall package is more compact than any competitive model.
Space is always a major consideration in the design, as well as the overall cost, of any water treatment facility. HydroFlo's hybrid design reduces a typical clarifier's footprint by as much as 25% over competitive designs. Also, HydroFlo has the greatest variety of clarifier configurations available from any clarifier manufacturer. The ClariMax™ line of clarifiers is available in four different profiles and two different widths, allowing us to solve even your most difficult facility design issues. Also, custom configurations are available at the same price as our standard designs.

These advanced design elements, along with our standard features, make the HydroFlo ClariMax™ the finest Inclined Plate Clarifier available today.

Standard Features:

  • Adjustable effluent V-notch troughs

  • Epoxy coated ASTM A-36 carbon steel tank
  • Factory tested
  • Polypropylene plate packs
  • Seamlessly integrates with other HydroFlo wastewater products
  • Stand alone operation
  • Standard units can be manufactured for flows from 5 gpm to 3,000 gpm and above, in a single above grade tank
  • Structural steel support legs

Available Options:

  • Access platforms with ladder or stairs

  • Automatic sludge pump out packages
  • Chemical pretreatment systems
  • Flash mix/flocculation tanks with mixers
  • Duplex systems for redundancy
  • Effluent monitoring
  • Effluent sampling
  • Explosion-proof design
  • Full FRP or stainless steel construction
  • Influent equalization
  • Influent / effluent lift stations
  • Instrumentation and controls
  • Removable covers with gaskets
  • Integral mechanical sludge thickener
  • Potable water design
  • SCADA system monitoring
  • Special coatings and plate materials
  • Sludge handling and dewatering


Equipment Design Data & Sizing Calculations
  • General Arrangement Drawing

Installation, Operation & Maintenance Manuals

HydroFlo's ClariMax™ line of Inclined Plate Clarifiers, as well as the rest of the HydroFlo product line, is engineered and fabricated to the highest standards. We are constantly reviewing our designs in order to provide you with the most efficient and highest quality products available today.

For example, HydroFlo uses advanced fluid dynamic modeling to optimize laminar flow characteristics through our ClariMax™ series of inclined plate clarifiers. We look for quiescent flow and equal distribution as the water enters the plates, laminar distribution of flow through the plates, equal distribution of flow as the water exits the plates, flow characteristics at the effluent trough, etc.

HydroFlo Clarifiers provide the greatest amount of effective projected surface area available in a compact, cost effective package.

Influent Flow Distribution Trough:
An influent distribution trough is provided to reduce influent velocities and uniformly distribute the flow over the primary down flow inclined plate compartment(s). Laminar flow is established and the hydraulic momentum of the incoming liquid is dissipated to prevent channeling. The HydroFlo Tech design does not use orifices which may clog with heavy suspended solids.

Influent (primary co-current) plate pack:
The influent plate pack is positioned below the influent distribution trough. This "primary" pack removes more than 40% of the incoming suspended solids before flow transitions into the main up flow packs.

These primary packs extend down into the sludge collection chamber carrying the settled sludge away from the pack effluent area without the possibility of re-entrainment. Flow exits the bottom of the primary pack from the side, directly into the main (up flow) plate packs.

Plate pack materials of construction:
HydroFlo plate packs are fabricated out of a combination of polypropylene, fiberglass and stainless steel.

Polypropylene was chosen as the plate material for many reasons, but superior chemical resistance and its ultra smooth surface (which allows the collected sludge to easily slide off the plates surface) were the primary considerations. More often than not, polypropylene can be used in situations unsuitable for stainless steel. The ultra smooth surface of the polypropylene will continuously slough off accumulated sludge in situations where the surfaces of stainless steel will oxidize and start to hamper the sliding sludge's progress down the plate surface.

Sludge Collection Hopper:
Located below the plate packs is an integral sludge collection hopper. The sludge hopper is available in two different configurations.

First is an inverted cone or pyramid with angles to match the expected angle of repose of the solids to be collected.

Second is a horizontal hopper bottom with integral sludge thickener. This design will break up compacted sludge and direct the sludge to the center discharge point. This design also allows for the maximum amount of sludge storage below the plates for a given height (three time as much as a cone bottom design).

Most clarifier manufacturers offers a vertical sludge rake as an option. HydroFlo's optional horizontal thickener has several advantages over the vertical sludge rake...

  1. More consistent thickening
    Horizontal thickeners have been used in industrial applications for many years. The action of turning/folding the material over (at a relatively slow rate) and conveying the material to a central discharge point (as opposed to stirring/turning the material in a single direction) results in a more consistent, less stratified sludge blanket. As the sludge compresses/thickens toward the center of the thickener and along the thickeners compressing edge, water passes up into the clarifier at the thickeners ends and at its rising edge. In a vertical sludge rake, the only path for the escaping water is up through the developing sludge blanket, elevating the sludge blanket and slowing the thickening process. Horizontal thickeners present a much more "convenient" path for the escaping water than conventional vertical sludge rakes and generate a more consistent product for further thickening and dewatering. 
  2. less required HP
    While our horizontal thickeners have more sludge contact area than an equivalent sludge rake, we require less HP because of the smaller overall diameter. Typical sludge rakes are going to be approximately 10 feet in diameter and have two "wipers" at the bottom of the device giving you approximately 10 linier feet of sludge contact (three wipers give you approximately 15 feet). Our horizontal thickener is 4 feet in diameter with 12 "wipers" giving you 30 linier feet of sludge contact. So, even though you have a much greater contact area with the horizontal thickener, the torque and HP requirements are reduced due to its smaller effective diameter.
  3. Horizontal thickeners have a longer service life less and are less expensive to maintain and operate.
    We have been using this basic horizontal design for over 20 years. During that span we have only replaced a single driven shaft as a replacement part. And, this was only due to over tightening of the driven shaft packing. Over the past 20 years we have never replaced any bearings, thickeners shafts, wipers or any other thickener component. On the other hand, vertical sludge rakes often require replacement of the bearings, motors and sometimes the entire gear motor drives themselves.

Adequate capacity must be allowed for the solids as they slide off the bottom of the plate packs. Turbulence and channeling are avoided by continuously removing the solids from the bottom of the hopper.

Main (counter-current) plate pack:
Flow enters the bottom of the main plate packs from the side where the flow is evenly distributed throughout the pack. Flow travels up through the pack toward the effluent overflow troughs where the clarified water is carried toward the separator discharge. The bottom of these packs extends down into the sludge collection chamber carrying the settled sludge away from the pack influent without the possibility of re-entrainment.

Effluent overflow troughs:
The effluent troughs must be designed to force uniform flow throughout all plate compartments and also over the entire width of the plates. The HydroFlo clarifier utilizes a V-notch type weir with V-notches located on each side of the trough. This allows for uniform flow distribution and also makes installation and leveling the system easier than other designs.