Water Filtration RO System and Basic espresso machine protection.
OptiPure OP Reverse Osmosis System – When You Need It, What It Does and How It Works
If you are considering the purchase of an OptiPure OP Reverse Osmosis system, or if you already own one, here is a basic description to help you understand what the system does and how it works.
When do I need an OP system?
No matter how sophisticated your espresso machine, coffee brewer, steam oven or other commercial foodservice equipment is, you cannot avoid the demons that may lurk in the water they use. An array of different minerals are dissolved in water. Which ones, and how much depends on where your water comes from. The right amount of some of these minerals, which are commonly referred to as TDS (total dissolved solids), is necessary for water to have a good chemical balance. Too much scale-forming calcium, corrosive chloride, ammonia or other dissolved solids can wreak havoc with equipment and ruin beverages.
In order to select the right water filtration for any application, you must know the basic characteristics of the water chemistry at your location. You can have it analyzed by a lab or you can often get the information directly from your water utility. When the amount or scope of contaminants is more than basic filtration can handle, or if you are required to meet manufacturers specific water quality requirements for warranty purposes, an OptiPure RO OP system might be the perfect solution.
What does the OP System do?
In a nutshell, the OptiPure OP system removes the majority (95% plus) of everything from water including suspended particles, organic chemicals and dissolved minerals. Pure water is natures solvent and, as we discussed earlier, needs some dissolved minerals to be balanced. So, once most of the impurities are stripped out of the water, a special blend of minerals is dissolved back in to give it the balance it wants. This optimized water drastically reduces the potential for scale or corrosion with equipment and has the minerals essential for consistent, great tasting espresso, coffee and tea.
How does the OP System work?
The OptiPure OP system includes a processor that produces optimized water, a storage tank to hold the water and a repressurization pump to deliver it to equipment. The system utilizes several water treatment technologies including reverse osmosis. Here is a more detailed breakdown of how it works.
Produce Optimized Water for Your Commercial Foodservice Operation
OptiPure CTO pre-filters take out dirt, sediment and other suspended particulates down to 0.5 micron and reduce chlorine and organic chemicals. A primary purpose of pre-filtration is to protect the RO (reverse osmosis) membrane against contaminants that can damage it. Water with high levels of water hardness may require additional pre-treatment such as a water softener. Replacing the pre-filters on a routine schedule ensures consistent system performance and extends membrane life.
Step #2—Reverse Osmosis
After the pre-filtration, water goes into the OptiPure AMS RO membrane where most (95%+) of the dissolved minerals (TDS) are removed. Reverse osmosis is a separation process where pure water molecules are forced, under pressure, through the membrane. The dissolved minerals cannot pass through and are flushed away to the drain. Water that has passed through pre-filtration and RO has had a wide range of contaminants removed including suspended particles, and dissolved minerals.
Step #3—Mineral Addition
By nature water that has no (or very little) dissolved minerals, is out of balance and aggressive. The OptiPure mineral addition cartridge allows pure water from the membrane to dissolve a balance of specific minerals back into the water. The result is optimized water with a non-aggressive nature with equipment and a good balance of minerals that are desirable for coffee extraction and other beverages.
Producing water utilizing reverse osmosis is a slow process that does not make water fast enough to meet the needs of equipment. The storage tank is a clean environment where the optimized water is stored until called for. It includes a 0.2 micron absolute air filter to protect the optimized water against airborne contaminants and a low water level cut-out switch to protect the pump.
Repressurization Pump (RP)
When your espresso machine, coffee brewer or combi steam oven call for water, the RP pump draws it from the storage tank and delivers it to your equipment. The RP design allows it to efficiently deliver optimized water at a consistent pressure and flow rate to a single piece of equipment or to several different points-of-use at the same time.
There are a couple of optional post-treatment filters to consider depending on your application and water chemistry.
To add a final polish to water used for beverages and ice, it is passed through an activated carbon post-filter just prior to use. This assures that any taste or odor that might be picked up from the storage tank or distribution plumbing is unable to affect the quality and consistency of beverages.
About half the water supplies in the U.S. use chloramine as a disinfectant and with some applications, such as combi and steam ovens, it is desirable to remove it. This pesky chemical can sneak through an RO membrane, however, when needed, a special chloramine post-filter is a simple add-on to the OP system to remove it.
There are three basic operator interfaces:
- Water Quality Monitor– By pushing the ‘in’ button, the water quality monitor allows you to see the TDS of the water coming from the storage tank on the way to your equipment. By pushing the ‘out’ button you can check the performance of the RO membrane.
- Operating Pressure Gauge– You can see the water pressure at the RO membrane following the pre-filters. Monitoring the operating pressure allows you to see if the pre-filters are becoming loaded and need to be replaced.
- System Bypass Valve– Should there be any problem that causes a loss of water, a simple quarter turn of the big red valve on the processor will keep you up and running until the problem is resolved.
The OptiPure OP system is a complete and simple to operate reverse osmosis water treatment system designed for commercial foodservice applications. It can change scale-forming or corrosion-causing water into optimized water that protects your equipment against expensive, damaging problems and that has the right chemistry for the specialty coffee beverages.