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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

RO on a larger scale

My RO unit/machine is another of my projects that i have running in situ with my aquarium builds. I've had this system for a few months now and its been a great piece of kit. Everything you see is from Osmotics.

I have done various tests and upgrades to the system since i started out with a straight forward 6-Stage RO/DI system, eventually adding a second membrane to increase yield and reduce waste, and recently added a boost pump to keep the pressure as high as possible.

The following updates are me adding a water butt and associated equipment so i can produce a large amount for storage and to stage fill the new reef tank.

I will repost my figures and findings on adding the second membrane etc. in the near future.

I purchased a water butt several weeks ago and currently working on an Arduino based controller, but that's on the back burner for a while. However i have recently acquired a few odds and ends to get the butt into place and can contribute to the bigger picture later.

Apologies in advance, i appear to have had some serious white balance fail in the following images. The float valve is not actually at critical mass...

So... float valve, shut off valve, boost pump pressure switch and a few other odds and sods...

2012-08-07 17.34.22

The butt...

2012-08-07 17.42.51

I now have a hole in my butt...

2012-08-07 17.47.24

Float valve installed...

2012-08-07 17.49.25

Boost pump cut-out pressure switch thingy... decided to dismantle it to see how it works and decided to hardwire it... as i didn't have any crimp connectors!

2012-08-07 18.01.09

Spliced into the pumps power line, but also extended so the switch can be at the butt with the pump near the end of the RO unit that it needs to be...

2012-08-07 18.07.47


2012-08-07 18.10.46

Heat shrink!

2012-08-07 18.11.44

Same for the micro switch out of the pressure doo-dah...

2012-08-07 18.19.13

2012-08-07 18.20.26

Reassembled and fittings PTFE taped in...

2012-08-07 18.26.41

Now to remove the RO unit from its current home in the downstairs toilet...

2012-08-07 18.27.59

Some stoppers to keep the existing install points safe. Can always bring it back in to this point should it be required, in the event of it being too cold outside or something along those lines...

2012-08-07 18.28.39

At the new site in the garage...

2012-08-07 18.32.04

Stuffed and mounted on the wall...

2012-08-07 18.47.41

Pump added into the mix, this is a 12v ShurFLO pump i had hanging around for years that was originally used on a car project to inject methanol, i gave it a good rinse through before using it for its new role!

2012-08-07 19.02.44

Plumbing up...

2012-08-07 19.12.17

Hose pipe adaptor for the moment, something more permanent coming in future...

2012-08-07 19.18.14

2012-08-07 19.25.39

Test run, still getting a nice 60psi-ish, our mains supply is pretty reasonable.

2012-08-07 19.28.55

RO water!

2012-08-07 19.33.20

Hit the button and pulling around 125psi! Pump was vibrating the lines and the gauge a little bit!

2012-08-07 19.41.15

Water really started flowing into the butt with this on! Cant believe how much of a difference it makes! (Some calculations at the end of this post)

Also... membranes/pre DI now at 5TDS! Normally its around 10-11, so that should help the DI resin a little too! In fact i didn't really have to run any off from the feed, it was zero from the word go!

2012-08-07 19.47.59

And to finish off, a sheet of polythene under the lid of the butt to help keep out any airborne garage based dust or other stuff...

2012-08-07 20.16.07

And trimmed off like cake icing

2012-08-07 20.21.40

So when the tank comes to wetting time i will fill the butt then run a hose from its tap to the tank, rather than having the RO unit do it in one full hit, fearing an overflow and flooding the living room!

The cut off switch is a nice touch, i tried holding the float valve in the "full" position and after a few seconds when the pressure mounts the whole system locks up and the pump turns off, pretty neat!

Ok. Calculations, i will post the past results soon!

So... two membranes and now boosted to around 125psi... the results are in...

Using a 4 pint jug (milk carton was the only thing i had to hand!) or in metric 2.27l

So to produce 2.27l of RO = 3min and 37sec! Or 1l in 1min and 35sec... or 905l per day! Meaning i can fill the 210l butt (give or take a bit) in about 5 and a half hours!

So the ratio...

Well, on the "dirty end" the 4 pint bottle filled in...

3minutes.............................. and 15 seconds!

A ratio of 1:1.1

So very close to the 1:1 ratio!

Dare i add a third membrane!

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