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Old March 16th, 2016, 07:51 AM
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Default RO Question's

Researching RO's because I don't know much about them. So here are some questions that I have. What are some of the different options between a basic model and a higher end model? What are the benefits to having these options? Looking at more the hobby sized at this time. So are the hobby units all basic units or do some have the higher end options. What are the highest these unit can concentrate to? I am sure there will be more questions but this is a start.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 03:20 PM
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I would look at MES Equipment "Dolly". Looks like a good solid machine.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 10:41 PM
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I have seen the Dolly in person and it is well built. If you are not looking to build, this is a solid unit and you can easily add a second membrane to it later if you need it. He uses high quality pumps on this unit and I believe it has recirculation which is a great feature. It also has auto-shutdown when it's out of sap. I would also check out the Next Gen Maple models. These are also well-built, simple, and priced accordingly. They are designed to go to 8 brix max. The Dolly might be able to concentrate higher, but call MES and ask them. You could easily add some features on your own.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 11:11 PM
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I would want a unit that would allow for high concentration. high and low pressure shut offs. I wouldn't have a unit that need to be baby sat. Having a high temperature shut off allow it to clean itself and then shut off. A wash tank would be nice.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haynes Forest Products View Post
I would want a unit that would allow for high concentration. high and low pressure shut offs. I wouldn't have a unit that need to be baby sat. Having a high temperature shut off allow it to clean itself and then shut off. A wash tank would be nice.
I agree with auto shut downs you mention. I added high temp shut down on my seprotech. I also added a timer so I can set it to purge or a quick rinse for a set time.
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Old March 18th, 2016, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Haynes Forest Products View Post
I would want a unit that would allow for high concentration. high and low pressure shut offs. I wouldn't have a unit that need to be baby sat. Having a high temperature shut off allow it to clean itself and then shut off. A wash tank would be nice.
I agree with you on that it would be nice to have all those features. It will be something to consider that's for sure. The problem is the price tag that comes along with it. I am trying to squeeze into the biggest ro I can afford. Now if I don't get all the bells and whistles I can possibly get by with it for one year. My brother-in-laws best friend is very good with small circuits and that crap plus the BIL is a master electrician. I am pretty confident that they maybe able to add some of them at a lower cost than what we would pay from the factory rig unit. Like I said something to consider.
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Old March 18th, 2016, 08:21 AM
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Very easy to add switches and relays if you have someone that knows how to do it. Much cheaper too. You can probably use an inexpensive shallow well pressure switch for low pressure. I personally think at least a low pressure switch is a must because it will shutdown when you run out of sap. For the high pressure switch I recommend the ones AutomationDirect sells. They are $82, which is pricey, but with a $20 well pump pressure switch for low pressure, you have High/Low pressure cutouts for just over $100. I think that's pretty good. Also, relays and contactors are cheap.
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Old April 12th, 2016, 12:06 PM
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So you asked about features on lower vs higher end RO's and got lots of good answers

One other thing that I did not see mentioned is recirculation. Many of the higher end RO's are set to take your concentrate and feed it back into your membrane through a second valve (also they often have another pump) so that the concentrate coming out of the system comes out at a higher Brix.

Strictly speaking this is not required, and you can do basically the same thing yourself by taking the concentrate from a non recirc unit and processing back through the system. Recirc is not faster than non recirc - all it does is get your concentrate to a higher concentration as it comes out. The membrane output only has to do with three things - the concentration of the sap going in, the temperature, and the pressure. For the first one, as it goes up output goes down, for the other two, as they go up, the output goes up.

That's another thing you see on a number of the higher end machines, higher pressure pumps and the various hardware that will handle it (Membrane housings, hoses, etc.)

Take care
John
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Old April 12th, 2016, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnj View Post
So you asked about features on lower vs higher end RO's and got lots of good answers

One other thing that I did not see mentioned is recirculation. Many of the higher end RO's are set to take your concentrate and feed it back into your membrane through a second valve (also they often have another pump) so that the concentrate coming out of the system comes out at a higher Brix.

Strictly speaking this is not required, and you can do basically the same thing yourself by taking the concentrate from a non recirc unit and processing back through the system. Recirc is not faster than non recirc - all it does is get your concentrate to a higher concentration as it comes out. The membrane output only has to do with three things - the concentration of the sap going in, the temperature, and the pressure. For the first one, as it goes up output goes down, for the other two, as they go up, the output goes up.

That's another thing you see on a number of the higher end machines, higher pressure pumps and the various hardware that will handle it (Membrane housings, hoses, etc.)

Take care
John
Not really how recirculating works. What a machine with recirculating does is put higher flows across the membrane so the membrane will not get plugged up as fast. In my opinion this is a must when choosing an ro.
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Old April 12th, 2016, 05:15 PM
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Unless you plan to grow a lot in the next year or 2, I think you are better opff getting a basic RO, then when you out grow it you may chose to get some of the extras.
A basic, either with or you add high pressure shut off and low pressure shut off, and with a simple bypass to recirculate all with the single HP pump is all you need. The wash tank is real good to have too, but you could improvise if necessary for that.
My Gingerich 250 is a basic unit, it came with hi-lo shut offs and a wash tank with a needle valve from the concentrate output back to the HP pump infeed. With that I can get from 2% cold sap to 8-8.5% concentrate in 1 pass. Then I plumbed it so once I have enough in the head tank, I can simply close 1 valve and open another and I'm recirculating. With this I often go to 12-14%. However it begins to plug at about 16-17% so I don't go that high. The expensive ones can go to 20% and some even higher, but they cost several times what I paid.
In the lower end units I see at least 3 manufacturers who do well covering what you need, Deer Run (Ray Gingerich), DES and NGMP in E. Syracuse. There may be others too. But if you made 95 gal last year and plan to do up to 1500-2000 taps, a 250 will do it. With my 250 last year I had 1320 taps plus I bought sap from 900 more taps and I was able to keep up with it, however if my best day of 2500 gal of sap came every day, I'd sure want (need) a 500-600 GPH RO.
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