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  #31  
Old February 12th, 2015, 04:59 PM
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With a qick glance to your build blog.. I see you are using a high pressure switch. Is this what is causing your shutdown? Also, I see in your drawing that you are using a 10" filter. You may want to put a guage before and after the filter so you know when it plugs up. What type of filter are you using? Wound or spun and what micron.
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  #32  
Old February 12th, 2015, 09:15 PM
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Ok here is an update.

I think the I found the low pressure cut off issue, I replaced the filter. That seems to fix that. I did not replace that since I had only used it to rinse the RO when I first tried it out. Lesson learned there. Filters are cheap so replace often.

I took a few pics of the pressure gauges and flowmeters when I ran it this evening.

The first pic is of cold sap. The high pressure is running about 200 psi. I did adjust the high pressure switch so that I could run at 250psi. Feed pressure is at 21 psi, permeate is at 2.25 and concentrate is at 4.5.
After running a little while the high pressure went up and I had to adjust the concentrate level to 5 gpm and the permeate flow to about 1.5 gpm.
It ran like this for as long as I wanted to and decided I concentrated it enough.

The second pic is of the gauges and flowmeters with warm permeate running thru it to rinse it out.
As you can see the feed pressure is about 21psi and the high pressure is about 180psi.
The permeate flow is 5gpm and concentrate is 1.1gpm.

The third pic is with cold permeate running thru it giving a rinse.
The feed pressure is 21 psi, concentrate is 250 psi.
Permeate flow is 3.1 gpm and concentrate is 3.6 gpm.

So when I compare cold sap with cold permeate the relation to flows and pressure sort of compare. This looks to me that it is how it will run for me in the configuration that I have right now.
Can this be because I have the membranes in parallel? How would putting them in series change these numbers?
When I build this I was undecided which way I wanted the membranes, in the end I decided that parallel was the best choice for me, maybe I am wrong.
Attached Thumbnails
Homebuilt RO Test Run-cold-sap.jpg   Homebuilt RO Test Run-warm-permeate.jpg   Homebuilt RO Test Run-cold-permeate.jpg  
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  #33  
Old February 12th, 2015, 10:21 PM
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Reading the post and now looking at all 3 pics I got some questions. First is why do I see the concentrate valve on the bottom of the flow meter in different positions in all 3 pic??

To concentrate sap I will say this again you want more flow rate of permeate then you have of concentrate. This is the way a membrane is made for. PLEASE turn down on the concentrate until the flow rate is LOWER then the permeate flow while concentrating sap.

Again the concentrate valve was moved in pic 2 and 3 to a different setting so honestly that doesn't tell me much other then if you touch that the flow rates will automatically be off every time from normal.

To do a rinse/cleaning of membrane AFTER YOU HAVE THE SUGAR OUT OF MEMBRANE you want a low flow with only the low psi pump on. Yes you can run the high for a bit with soap and that may help remove some deep imbedded material in the membrane but the big mfg's of RO's will say low flow( 2-4gpm) and low Psi (20-40) and NOT 60# what the low psi pump will put out.

So do like I said with no more then 2 1/2 GPM flow rate (preferably 2) through the CONCENTRATE side and I will then reply back after you do that.

On a 600 gph RO it will run at 2.5gpm of CONCENTRATE and 7.5-8.5 of PERMEATE. I think you got the flow rates back basswood as I went back to RO build thread and gave up looking after about 8 pages. I did see sapholic had concentrating post of 6 concentrate and 1 permeate but he must have messes up on thinking while typing # and maybe that is where the train of thought is from but in real situations you want hi permeate flow and low concentrate. 45 min punch button typing and I can find more constructive things to do.

Post pic and a story after you show me higher permeate flow then concentrate flow while concentrating raw sap and then I will reply again to this thread.

Really want to help you but just do as said above
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  #34  
Old February 13th, 2015, 12:10 AM
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I'll see what I can next batch of sap.

Thanks for the help, I knew once I ran sap it would be different and would have questions.
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  #35  
Old February 13th, 2015, 12:18 AM
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How can you run them in series and why would you. the second membrane would be filtering permeate Plus the concentrate line out is low pressure so that wouldn't work.
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Old February 13th, 2015, 02:33 AM
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Haynes the top end of my SS vessels are anything but low pressure are they not? They are between the high pressure pump and concentrate flowmeter/adjustment valve, so why would they not be high pressure. After the flowmeter it would be low pressure.

Ok, let me try to explain how I would do it and see if I am way off.

With 1 membrane I would raw sap going in the bottom with permeate coming out the top center port and concentrated sap coming out the offset top port.
Would this not be how a single post be plumbed in? The concentrate coming out the offset port would be then going to the flowmeter/concentrate adjustment valve.

Then I would add a second membrane. I would take the concentrate line coming out of the top offset port of the 1st membrane and then feed it into the bottom offset port of the second membrane. I guess it really does not matter which end sap goes in and out from as long as the u cup seal is installed on the correct end and facing the right direction. Now the concentrate would come out the top offset port and goto the concentrate flowmeter/adjustment valve.

As for the permeate I would plumb them both together which would then feed the permeate flowmeter.

So in my thinking, concentrated sap coming out of the 1st membrane would be feeding the second which would get more concentrated by pulling even more water out.
Permeate flow would be the combined flows of both membranes and the total concentrate flow would be what comes out of the second membrane.
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  #37  
Old February 13th, 2015, 05:20 AM
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Those numbers are close to what you should expect to get from 2 xle membranes that have no membrane recirculation. You cannot get the permeate faster than the concentrate unless you can recirculate within the r/o. Playing with pressure settings, you will find a sweet spot where you max out the permeate output per min with a higher concentrate flow.. this will help keep the membranes cleaner longer.

From personal experience of building an r/o , you probably started out on clean membranes with permeate flows close to 2gpm before they settled into the 1.5 - 1.75 gpm. You will find that increasing the pressure to 300 will net you very little more in water removal than what you get at 150 psi. Bonus of 150 psi is that the membrane will not get fouled up as fast because you will have 4-6 gpm flow across the membrane surface as apposed to 1.5 gpm across the membrane surface.

As you do not have recurculation / post pumps, you will need to run your high pressure pump to rinse and wash.( you also are using a positive displacement pump ) Just keep the pressure ad low as you can. But dont exceed 14 gpm on the concentrate side
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Last edited by sapaholic; February 13th, 2015 at 06:13 AM.
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  #38  
Old February 13th, 2015, 07:11 AM
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Thanks for the info sapaholic.
Kevin has been a big help with this and I have been trying what he has told me but I seem not to be able to get the concentrate gpm down any lower along with permeate flow gpm up.
I have managed to run it up to 250 psi but it was scaring the s#!& out of me, I was expecting something to let loose any second. I'm a little gun shy since I blew the end cap off one of the vessels the first time I test ran it. A lot can happen in an instant.

You are correct, I do not have any means of recirculation at the membranes. I also do remember being told that without a means of recirc I must keep the flow up across the membranes to help keep them clean.
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  #39  
Old February 13th, 2015, 09:44 AM
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Commercial machines have recirculation pumps to keep the membranes clean, so for washes they just use the supply pump with the recirculation pump. An 8" tower with pump in it will flow between 40 and 75 gpm across the membrane.. that is why they don't use the pressure pump and only need 4 gpm out of the concentrate side of the membrane.

If you have big enough pressure pump, you could add a needle valve that will discharge back to the supply side of that pump to get you more flow across the membrane without increasing the pressures. This is what the old sap brothers and memtech r/o units did to regulate pressure as they used oversized piston pumps for pressure.
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Old February 13th, 2015, 04:33 PM
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What is the membrane specs for these 2.5" membranes for total flow?

One thing I can guarantee is if you totally closed the concentrate valve on your flow meter your permeate flow will go up! Maybe for only a min or so until your membrane starts to clog but the flow of sap from the hi psi pump has to go somewhere or the caps will blow or you'll "stretch" a membrane or could crack the fiberglass.

The concentrate valve leaving the vessel is under psi and if you dead head it the hose inbetween it will come up in psi but not quite be close to equal pump psi as you still have open flow of permeate/ but guessing you might be 15-25% of pumps psi?

I know guys that have or had RO's in 4" and 8" configurations and without recirculation that could and would run both permeate and concentrate flows at equal or slightly more permeate. Maybe these 2.5 are not what they are thought up to be/BUT an XLE or NF I assume are all built the same way.

Don't be chicken turn down on the concentrate valve. I'm waiting for a YouTube video showing me it is about closed or closed. I know from experience that if you turn down on the concentrate on a mfg machine with recirculation pump that with 1/2 gal a min leaving will make you 21% first pass. Don't recommend doing it as a practice but it can be done.
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