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Old February 3rd, 2014, 07:29 PM
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Default Another Homemade RO

Hey guys, so I have been debating about building an ro for the 2015 season. I have been reading through some of the old threads and it seems like there is alot of really nice looking units people have built. I would like to make a single membrane unit. I would like to run about 125 gph, I am thinking an XLE 4040 4040 membrane, I am debating about the size of the pump. I am thinking a 240 gph pump I thought I would adjust the pressure to run about 1-1.5 gpm of permiate flow and 2.5-3 gpm concentrate to help keep the membrane from fouling. Does this sound correct or should I use a smaller pump? Thanks for any guidance you can give me.
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Old February 5th, 2014, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by nymapleguy607 View Post
Hey guys, so I have been debating about building an ro for the 2015 season. I have been reading through some of the old threads and it seems like there is alot of really nice looking units people have built. I would like to make a single membrane unit. I would like to run about 125 gph, I am thinking an XLE 4040 4040 membrane, I am debating about the size of the pump. I am thinking a 240 gph pump I thought I would adjust the pressure to run about 1-1.5 gpm of permiate flow and 2.5-3 gpm concentrate to help keep the membrane from fouling. Does this sound correct or should I use a smaller pump? Thanks for any guidance you can give me.
Sounds like you're looking for about 4 gallons per minute of flow. Your 240 gph pump should handle that fine.

By the numbers, this looks like it'll work- XLE-4040 is rated at somewhere around 2500 gallons per day of permeate at 70 degrees.
The 70 degrees note is a big deal. At 50 degrees Fahrenheit (the lowest temperature on Dow's Temperature Correction Factor chart- http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedL...romPage=GetDoc) you have to divide the permeate flow by 1.7. So, if you figure 104 gallons per hour of concentrate derated at 10 degrees Fahrenheit you get 61 gallons per hour of concentrate (Around 1 gallon per minute). Remember, too, that the XLE is designed for lower pressure, but is rated to run up to 600 psi. I found mine started producing permeate at 60 psi- but you can run it at higher pressures for more production (the reason the temperature is an issue is that water gets "thicker" at lower temperatures, and increasing pressure somewhat counteracts that. It looks like you might be a little marginal with just one membrane.

I built mine looking for 2 gpm of concentrate and 2 gpm of permeate (about what you're looking for) with 2 membranes. Right now mine tends to run a bit over that in tests (about 2.5 and 2.5 or even 3 and 3, depending on how fast the motor is running) but I haven't been using icy water yet- or sap, for that matter. I'll know more about mine after a season of trying it out.

Hope this helps. There's a ton of good advice and helpful people on here, so you're in the right place.
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Old February 6th, 2014, 06:15 AM
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Sounds like you're looking for about 4 gallons per minute of flow. Your 240 gph pump should handle that fine.

By the numbers, this looks like it'll work- XLE-4040 is rated at somewhere around 2500 gallons per day of permeate at 70 degrees.
The 70 degrees note is a big deal. At 50 degrees Fahrenheit (the lowest temperature on Dow's Temperature Correction Factor chart- http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedL...romPage=GetDoc) you have to divide the permeate flow by 1.7. So, if you figure 104 gallons per hour of concentrate derated at 10 degrees Fahrenheit you get 61 gallons per hour of concentrate (Around 1 gallon per minute). Remember, too, that the XLE is designed for lower pressure, but is rated to run up to 600 psi. I found mine started producing permeate at 60 psi- but you can run it at higher pressures for more production (the reason the temperature is an issue is that water gets "thicker" at lower temperatures, and increasing pressure somewhat counteracts that. It looks like you might be a little marginal with just one membrane.

I built mine looking for 2 gpm of concentrate and 2 gpm of permeate (about what you're looking for) with 2 membranes. Right now mine tends to run a bit over that in tests (about 2.5 and 2.5 or even 3 and 3, depending on how fast the motor is running) but I haven't been using icy water yet- or sap, for that matter. I'll know more about mine after a season of trying it out.

Hope this helps. There's a ton of good advice and helpful people on here, so you're in the right place.
Jstamp,

Ideally I would like a 1gpm of comcentrate and 1 gpm of permiate, but from what I have read it sounds like that would be too little flow on the concentrate side and cause issues with fouling.
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Old February 6th, 2014, 07:28 AM
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Jeff, another member on here (Ogden's) has a home built ro and a 2x6 arch. He uses the procon 240 with a xle 4040 , can't recall the exact gph but I'm close, and he will set his concentrate to fill and maintain a level in the head tank. He removes 50% of the water and told me it works very well. Maybe Rich will chime in and give some more details?
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Old February 6th, 2014, 08:33 AM
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Jstamp,

Ideally I would like a 1gpm of comcentrate and 1 gpm of permiate, but from what I have read it sounds like that would be too little flow on the concentrate side and cause issues with fouling.
You could run 1gpm concentrate and 3 gpm permeate to run your rated flow and have much shorter boil times.
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Old February 6th, 2014, 08:33 AM
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Jeff
I get about 70/80 gph with my setup. I boil about 30/35 gph so it works good for me. If you want 125 i think you will need another membrane. Talk to Atlantic Joe he should be able to size what you need
Remember all the numbers you read are for water and usually 55 degrees, as soon as you introduce sap at 35 degrees things slow down
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Old February 6th, 2014, 09:22 AM
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Foolish speculation, purely - I read the RO threads in an effort to edumacate my ignorant self - but if you are running the rig when you are running the RO, would it make sense to have a preheater line in the hood you could warm up the sap to be RO'd with?

Or for the complexity-craving enginerds (you know you are, you have an RO), collect hot condensate (nothing actually added to the hood) and use it to do some prewarming, but minimize the heat you need and the storage temperature rise by countercurrent exchange (cold sap incoming picks up heat from/cools off warm concentrate outgoing - I guess the permeate would be better left warm for washing.) If boiling PDQ, use more condensate skip that heat exchanger and leave the concentrate warm, I'd guess.

Without drawing a picture:

RO - sap tubing in warm/hot water - concentrate/sap heat exchange - sap and concentrate tanks (cold)
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Old February 6th, 2014, 10:34 AM
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Ecnerwal. I like the idea. I would think the smaller the unit the more feasible the rewards. I have the CDL 600 and lets say it will do 520 actual gallons. Raising the temperature in 520 gallons of sap is a monumental task. I have tried many different pre heaters and never was able to acheve what I wanted on 160 gallons per hr. let alone 500. I say give it a try and document the increase and see if its worth it for the small producer.
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Old February 6th, 2014, 11:48 AM
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So reading on the Atlantic RO sight, the XLE 4040 will have a lower flow rate compared to the NF 270 membrane, but the XLE is more tolerable to high PH cleaning, and wont pass sugar at higher concentrations. Is it safe to say that an XLE just wont allow 125gph with a single membrane? I kept thinking it was because of pump limits but now I am realizing it might be membrane capacity.
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Old February 6th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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Haynes, what's your GPH on that 3x10? Better yet, both boil rate and rate of condensate collection (presumably less due to steam leaving.) I can spitball some numbers for what you could possibly get from that - but it would still depend on "being worth the bother to plumb up" and actual efficiencies achieved. But if it's too small before those adjustments, it would make it clear that it wasn't worth the bother.

The good side of it it that if you are using (say) 190 degree condensate but only looking to add 30-40 degrees to the sap, a gallon of condensate would warm 3-4 of sap - but things get even better if you start with steam. And if you are using heat exchange to cool the concentrate for storage, that would also increase the thermal performance at warming sap. Hmm - some sort of sectional preheater that could switch-hit from using all of it to preheat the incoming pan sap/concentrate to having 80% of it preheat RO sap?

Or, as I said at the start, could be just foolishness.
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